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Sherborne Urban Design Summer School - An Experience By Josh Wood

Posted: 23 August 2023

Lomax + Wood sent one of their employees, Joshua Wood, to the Sherborne Urban Design Summer School Programme, by the Create Streets Foundation as Part of Lomax + Wood’s cooperation with the Traditional Architecture Group to ensure the education and improvement of staff members.

Lomax + Wood are a bespoke timber and aluminium composite, window, door and garden room manufacturer. While a greater proportion of the projects supplied and completed by Lomax + Wood are homes and offices in cities, they also supply and fit framed windows to smaller suburbs and hamlets. The course covers the architecture and design of these places very well, so it is entirely relevant to the company.

- “A three-day residential course to provide an introduction to designing beautiful, sustainable, prosperous, economically and socially successful places that will stand the test of time.”

This was to experience and learn about superb architecture and design, gain an insight into urban planning, and meet different architects, developers and planners that would help Lomax + Wood to better serve future clients.


"Set in the heart of the beautiful market town of Sherborne in Dorset, this course will introduce core urban design principles including the idea of place, mixed-use neighbourhoods, public space, gentle density, landscape, building typologies and architectural language. You will also explore the connections between urban form and design with wellbeing, sustainability, prosperity, value and popularity.” – The Create Streets Foundation.

Sherbourne Town Centre Dorset

Please see the course itinerary below:

Day 1

  • The first day started with an introduction to the Summer School and Create Streets
  • A short tour of Sherborne School grounds and drawing exercise
  • Design principles: Place, community, tradition, urban growth, Studio
  • mixed‐use neighbourhoods, public space, connections, density
  • ‘Space, Time and Urbanism’ with project examples – Prof. Robert Adam
  • Design brief and how to undertake site/context analysis
  • Sherborne town centre tour (1) and discussion
  • Urban design study site tour and discussion
  • Site and context analysis in small groups


Walking Through Sherbourne in Dorset


Day 2

  • Design Principles: urban blocks, landscape, building typology
  • architectural language
  • Local vernacular architecture
  • Short urban design study
  • Process: context, roles, design process, presentation skills
  • Prepare initial masterplan sketches as individuals, and review
  • Sherborne town centre tour (2): focus on details, sketching buildings Sherborne
  • Prepare large site concept masterplan in small groups
  • Review large site masterplan work.  Commence small site concept Studio
  • masterplans in small groups and review

Day 3

  • Connections between urban form and design with wellbeing
  • sustainability, prosperity, value and popularity
  • Short drawing exercise on the school grounds
  • Design Codes and Community Consultation
  • Prepare a community consultation and engagement plan
  • Finalise masterplan work and commence illustrative material
  • Finalise material and consider how to present
  • Present the scheme in small groups and receive feedback


Projected Plan of Proposed Urban Space while at Sherbourne SchoolSite Analysis Urban Development - James Armitage Architects


Tutors During the Course

The summer school will be led by Dr James Armitage BSc BArch (Dist) PhD RIBA, a practising architect and urban designer who has extensively researched the relationship between community and urbanism. He is a fellow of Create Streets and has lectured or run crits at the Universities of London, Bath, Cardiff, Yale (US) and Notre Dame (Rome).

Lectures, teaching and review, were also provided by other members of the experienced Create Streets team, including:

Nicholas Boys Smith MA MPhil (Dist) AoU FRSA – founding director of Create Streets, chair of the Office for Place. He is also the author of many studies into the links between design with well-being and prosperity and has lectured at many universities including Oxford, Manchester, Leeds and London.

Robert Kwolek BA – senior architectural designer at Create Streets who leads a wide range of master-planning and design coding projects across England and teaches at the University of Oxford.

George Payiatis BA MA – senior urban designer at Create Streets who leads a wide range of master-planning and regeneration projects across the UK.

Walking to Sherbourne School Dorset UKParking at Sherbourne School Dorset, UK

Thoughts From Josh

Joshua Wood only had good things to say about this course and described it as an enjoyable way to learn with interesting and relevant people within the industry.


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