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Charrette week annually offers students from Newcastle’s university of Architecture, Planning and Landscape a platform to devise a combination of creative outputs. This year, the theme of the project that I participated in called “Making Spectacular”. The aim of it was to abstractly establish a pleasing community with some objects.

Preparation period


Our group individually collected numerous packaging boxes and cartons with various shapes and scales in many rubbish bins and firstly cut the logo off on first three days. Boxes which lost the identifications made people focus on their appearances, not commercial values. In the project, every box represented a structure but Martin asked us to casually cut several geometries on the boxes and use colored papers to decorate without obeying architectural principles such as scales of windows and doors. In my view, it was a form of two dimensional compositions. I attempted to design five boxes and finally selected two most successful one.

Integration period

By Thursday, members of our group put the finished products together, then arranged and combined them, as known as “three dimensional compositions”. At this time, city elements were added. For instance, three elongated boxes were bundled together as a landmark; conical boxes were using as nodes; small boxes of different sizes were linked into a complete district. According to integrate boxes from the perspective of cityscape, I understood what was the space, how to form a square, how to use the occlusion to make the neighborhood more harmonious and how to handle with a street corner.








Finishing period

On the last day, we added some lights to our “community” and then slightly adjusted the layout of it. The effect of the light and shadow was excellent owing to geometric gaps on the boxes. But unfortunately, our initial idea hoped to make a work that felt like “Upside Down”, but ultimately it was not realized due to the insufficient number of boxes.

In general, it was a very entertaining activity that also allowed us to learn more about the how to create elements in the city. Last but not least, what I want to say is that Charrette week gives me much more inspiration and enlightenment than I expected.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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