Manchester City Council is looking for designers to help with a PS25 million public-relations project
Manchester City Council is looking for a design team that will lead a PS25M public realm redevelopment.
The Piccadilly Gardens will be the focus of the project. This central area is near many transport hubs as well as retail districts.
For both “visitors” and “Mancunians alike
The site was last renovated in 2001. Since then, additional elements have been incrementally added to it. The redevelopment plan will create “one uniformed space”.
According to the briefing document for international competition, the public realm must undergo a re-design with flexibility. Both leisure and practicality must be considered, with consideration for both visitors and Mancunians.
The council states that the area must have a “level of multifunctionality” to be usable all year.
Safety priorities and pedestrianization
As with the redevelopment of London’s Oxford Street, which has been in the works since last summer, there will be an emphasis on the area being a pedestrian-first space.
Piccadilly Gardens contains a number of locations that could be considered prohibited for driving. These areas would be enhanced with existing movement patterns.
The council states that the successful design team will need to consider safety improvements. Clear sight lines and easy installation of CCTV will be key to pedestrian safety.
It will also be necessary to develop lighting design principles. The council states that lighting will be used to improve safety and highlight wayfinding.
Supporting design elements and greenery
The brief states that green space preservation is a key consideration in the redesign process. According to the brief, a reduction in grass or planting could be interpreted as a negative development.
It is recommended to encourage biodiversity in the area through planters and other greenery. This will help to clean the air in the city and support carbon neutral goals, as the short states.
The council emphasizes that the PS25 million project will be a holistic effort and that it includes elements such as street furniture, children’s playgrounds, and bus stations.
The council claims that the project will provide an example for good public realm design. All elements will be tested and approved by the city’s accessibility and disability groups. It is intended that the area will be accessible to all.
Fussy refillable deodorant is inspired by the seaside pebbles
Blond, a London-based design studio, has created a subscription deodorant Fussy that is inspired by seaside pebbles.
Fussy, a refillable deodorant, is available via a postal subscription. It includes a container, refillable refills and a dish that can hold them all.
Over the past few years, a variety of refillable deodorants has been developed. Many of these products are designed to reduce the use of single-use plastics within the cosmetics industry.
According to Blond founder James Melia, Fussy had two major design inspirations. Melia explained that the first inspiration was the seaside stone, which is “shaped by the ocean over time”, and has been called the “seaside pebble”.
He adds that “we thought it appropriate to draw inspiration form the ocean, since saving the ocean from single use plastic is the project’s purpose.”
Another form of soap that can be shaped when it is used was the soap bar. These inspirations led to Fussy’s most distinctive feature, which is that it lies flat rather than standing straight.
Melia says that this was possible due to the subscription model. The product didn’t need to stand up to be visible on supermarket shelves. It can be used in any way you like, such as to carry around with you, whether it’s part of your home, work, or gym routine.
According to the design team, Fussy is made of recycled plastic because it is easier to recycle. Melia explained that the whole product is made of one material, including all the components. This allows it to be easily recycled or composted without the need to be disassembled.
You can choose from a variety of colors, including mint green, orange, and blue. According to the designer, it has a matte finish to better match ceramics and homeware that are used daily.
Melia states that the product will develop an “aesthetic-enhancing patina” over the course of time. This is once again inspired by pebbles. He says that organic surfaces can work in synergy to the scratches collected, as opposed to less organic forms where the scratches feel like defects.
The ceramic material used to make the dish is homeware-inspired. It can hold two refills as well as the deo case.
Melia says that the Deo Dish was designed to be used over and over. Therefore, we chose more homeware-inspired materials that feel natural in a home.
He says that although ceramics cannot be easily recycled at home, they can be reused in other ways.
Melia suggests that it could be made into soap dishes at the end of its lifespan.
WPP interim results show “very strong recovery” for brand consulting firms
WPP reported strong interim results, with market recovery occurring “much quicker than anticipated” in the first half.
Global advertising and design company, which owns design consultancies like Wunderman Thompson, Landor & Fitch, and Superunion, reported a 9.8% rise in revenue to PS6.1million.
The total operating profit is now at PS590 millions, which is 54.4% more than the PS382 million achieved in the same period last year. This led to a 12% increase in profit margin.
The UK agency reported an operating profit in excess of PS35 million last year. WPP reported an average 12.1% rise in operating profits across all markets.Mark Read
WPP’s specialist consulting firms had a strong showing. In the second quarter, the sector saw revenues of PS265 millions. This brings the total to PS513million for the first half.
Specialist consultancies’ operating profits totalled PS44 millions, compared to PS28,000,000 in 2020.
According to WPP, this has led to a “very strong recovery” for its brand consultants where there has been an increase in demand for their services. WPP also stated that CMI, the communications agency’s healthcare strategy consulting unit, was doing well.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, cites reinvestment as a driving factor for the growth.
He adds, “We have returned in 2021 to the 2019 levels, one year ahead of our plan with good momentum for 2022.”
WPP also believes that successful vaccination programs have played a significant role in the success of these programmes in major markets. It adds that growth has been aided by the easing of restrictions as well as economic stimulation.
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