Design for Well-Being – the Southside Challenge

Thursday June 14th – Friday June 15th 2018
G43 Paterson's Land

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Free + £0.00 fees

This event is running as part of the year-round programme of the University of Edinburgh's Festival of Creative Learning.

Join us for an absorbing design workshop taking place over two days! This event will bring University students and staff together in multi-disciplinary teams to solve a locally-based challenge: how to tackle anti-social behaviour in public spaces while also promoting social inclusion. Challenges will be posed by local stakeholders who have an interest in Nicolson Square.


This event builds on the successful Hunter Square project undertaken in the summer of 2017, in which multi-disciplinary teams of University students, in consultation with local stakeholders and University researchers, developed designs for improving the streetscape of Hunter Square. It was undertaken in response to community police and City of Edinburgh concerns about anti-social behaviour and drug taking in the Square.

The challenge

Key challenges in ‘designing out’ anti-social behaviour are:

  • Displacement – that the problem will simply move elsewhere rather than be eradicated
  • The need to guard against exclusionary practices that result in ‘social cleansing’ rather than social inclusion

An exploration (in the form of a dérive) around the south side of Edinburgh has highlighted a series of public spaces in which anti-social behaviour may be prevalent.The challenge for workshop participants is to come up with an inclusive design solution that tackles head on the issue of displacement.


Lunch and refreshments are provided on both days.

Day 1 (9.15am-5.00pm)

  • 9.15am: Tea and coffee on arrival
  • 9.30am: Introduction by Remo Pedreschi (Professor of Architectural Technology, The University of Edinburgh)
  • 9.40am: Policy context (local councillors and council officers)
  • 10.00am: Police perspective (local police officers)
  • 10.10am: Criminological perspective (Lesley McAra, Chair of Penology, The University of Edinburgh)
  • 10.20am: Agenda
  • 10.30am: Students divide into groups and speak with those presenting the issues
  • 11.00am: Those providing briefings depart; students walk to Nicolson Square from Moray House
  • 12.30pm: Working lunch
  • 1.30pm: Ethics
  • 2.00pm: Students working in groups on design solutions
  • 5.00pm: End of day 1

Day 2 (9.15am-6pm)

  • 9.30am: Interviewing and observations in Nicolson Square
  • 11.00am: Students working in groups on design solutions 
  • 12.30pm: Working lunch
  • 1.30pm: Student groups working on presentations of final ideas
  • 3.00pm: Those who provided initial briefings return. Presentations to judging panel; drinks reception
  • 4.30pm: Judging panel announce winning group and present prize
  • 5.00pm: End of day 2


Starts: Thursday, June 14th 2018 at 9:15am
Ends: Friday, June 15th 2018 at 6:00pm

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Timezone: Europe/London
Bookings close: June 14th 2018


G43 Paterson's Land
Holyrood Road
City of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Contact details

This event is organized by Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

Telephone 0131 650 4063
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Paterson's Land can be accessed directly from Holyrood Road or through the courtyard off St John St.

The room is wheelchair accessible.

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