We recently worked with Swansea Co-Housing and Christopher Gutteridge from the University of Southampton IT department, as well as Sketty Primary School in Swansea to design cohousing buildings for local residents.
Swansea Co-Housing have been researching opportunities to develop community focused, sustainable and congenial living spaces in the Swansea area. We teamed up to work on a project where local schoolchildren were asked to redesign derelict buildings in Sketty, Swansea via Minecraft for the purpose of cohousing.
The Minecraft world was created as an exact replica of Swansea, including the site itself in Sketty, Brangwyn Hall and the local Uplands area. The two buildings that will be redesigined are in Sketty, and pupils were able to go inside and assess roofing, flooring and other details using Minecraft: Education Edition.
We worked with Sketty Primary to encourage pupils to design the new buildings. While these designs will not be implemented in the real world, they will inspire the pupils to consider:
- The local surroundings – for example, the buildings are in a local conservation area
- Council requirements
- The needs of local community members
- The needs of the cohousing community – often of mixed ages and ways of living
- The proximity to nearby amenities
- Sustainability – for example, using ground-source heat pumps or air source heat pumps
- Room sizes and requirements
- Accessibility requirements
The project was a huge success with both pupils and teachers learning from the experience. The project’s coordinator and Technocamps’ Operations Manager, Luke Clement, said, “The pupils were excited to see their local surroundings in a Minecraft world, and this inspired them to understand the real issues in their area and come up with creative yet realistic solutions. I am looking forward to working with other schools on similar projects in the new academic year!“
The aim was to inspire young people to blend art with science and technology by getting involved in an innovative way of designing their local community. This developed their creative and digital skills in a fun environment. It is also likely to have introduce the idea of social, housing and family situations different to the pupils’ own.
A special thank you to Lucy Johns, James Crofts, and Beverly Phillips from Sketty Primary; Swansea Co-Housing’s Noel Isherwood, Leonie Ramondt, and Adrian Lester; and Christopher Gutteridge (pictured below) from Southampton University for their support on this project.