Topo-Licy: The Frontier that Topo-licy built

The project aims to create a topological study of policy and the relationship between physical and policy landscapes. Topo-licy is the name of the system we developed during the project to turn policy documents into three-dimensional data with spatial values. This enabled us to provide a more accessible, and interactive format for policy displaying the real time impacts of policy change.

Using this new spatialised policy data set, a master planning tool was developed to interpret the formatted data and produce a policy driven masterplan. This was tested and explored across Cumbria throughout the project using a speculative design model of research and theorised that separating conservation and development policy into dedicated territories could allow policy to become more productive towards its respective goals.

Taking both the Topo-licy methods, the project tested the system through proposing the form an architectural intervention could take. The intervention was situated on the border condition between Conservation and Development territories, allowing this relationship to be explored. The architectural response developed consisted of three distinct elements that form a co-dependant relationship throughout the scheme. The first element was directed by the masterplan focused on mental health support using democratic therapeutic communities (DTC) as an alternative support route, benefiting from the proximity to the conservation territory. The second element of the scheme was a Biodiversity Archive, responding to the conservation territory, preserving the heritage of local ecology and creating a true representation of conservation policy. The third element of the scheme facilities the crossing of the policy border between Conservation and Development territories while also housing the connection to policy directly through a policy chamber. This policy chamber allowed the conservation actors to discuss and amend policy using their expense and data in a more direct manor.