Finally our time had come, the last day, the final frontier, it was presentation time! We said goodbye to the overground line to Stratford and hello to the lower ground lecture theatre of Bedford Way. After attempting to reorganise everyone’s roles in the presentation we made the controversial decision to stick to the parts that each individual had actually prepared. Despite our lack of post-it notes or any real speaking order, we sat near the front eagerly anticipating our time to shine.
We may not have had as many slides as Group 1 (IROKO) or the artistic abilities and props of Group 4 (Creative Wick) but our spirit and passion burned bright! Fortunately our project was well received. The longitudinal structure of our scheme and engagement of various companies within Here East was highly commended. We also received useful suggestions that we hadn’t considered such as integrating Here East’s current programme designed to target university students. This idea was concurrent with our overall aim to implement a longitudinal programme that reinforces attitudes and beliefs relating to equal opportunities on a consistent basis. Therefore if we were pitching this solution to the LLDC we would take time to discuss the possibility of joining with this programme.
After a quick lunch break we returned to Bedford to evaluate and reflect on the programme. In typical human-centred design fashion we grabbed post-it notes and wrote down our opinions on various reflective questions regarding the (Un)Urban strand. We found people would have preferred more time for such large projects and possibly smaller groups for more concentrated discussions. Students also seemed to contribute and take away similar aspects such as communication skills, understanding and insight. A common theme amongst questions regarding what people gained and enjoyed was an appreciation and understanding of the human centred design process and multidisciplinary teamwork. Thus overall despite being in it first year the (Un)Urban strand was a great success!
Eventually, we attended the final cross-strand event and witnessed talks and video presentations from various other strands. These ranged from drawn animations created by the outbreak strand to a homemade video from those working on Sustainable Cities. At first the idea of sitting in a lecture hall for an hour so soon after exams was far from exciting, however the presentations were well thought out, educational and entertaining. Each strand seemed to offer a wealth of opportunity for learning, growth and enjoyment. Fortunately, the organisers were smart enough to save the best till last resulting in (Un)Urban closing the presentations. Despite the time restrictions our group delivered a clear and concise insight into the progress made in those short two weeks.
After UCL’s Vice Provost (Education & Student Affairs) delivered a closing speech we all shuffled out towards the cloisters to admire the fruits of our labour and exchange as many drink tokens as we could find. Amongst the buzz of celebrating students our poster hung loud and proud, a dazzling mint green example of excellence. No but really our poster was great. The perfect Microsoft word template complimented the perfect project and we were proud to admire our innovative and engaging creation. It was safe to say we struck lucky, not only with the challenge we received and the group members whose company we shared but also with the strand overall. From the diverse discussion panels in UCL lecture theatres to enjoying Stour Space and its beautiful surroundings this programme really went above and beyond my expectations and if it were socially acceptable to redo it next year I’d be the first to apply!