Basically, Chrissy and I shadowed Josh, the Site Manager, throughout his day, with Chrissy scribbling everything he said and did in her notebook, and me painting and drawing what I could capture. It was even more fast and furious than I'm used to. The indoor meetings were okay but, once we got outdoors, Josh was moving back and forth between different contractors on different parts of the site and hardly stood still for a moment, so the sketches got a bit rough and ready.
We went up a few floors to talk to welders and scaffolders. Sparks occasionally fell like fireworks from the other side of the floor above and large areas were shrouded in a green netting, which Josh told us was because they were spraying the girders with fire-resistant paint and they didn't want the paint drifting out over the people and cars below.
This day was all part of a much larger body of research, Buildings in the Making, about how you create buildings which are truly fit for purpose, how healthy they are for us and how buildings we work and live in make us feel. The researchers are mostly interested in the issues around architecture for hospitals and care homes. This work is linked to the residency I'm currently doing on Cystic Fybrosis clinics in hospitals - it's the same research team.
The university will use my sketchwork as a way to interest different parties who are not going to engage with turgid academic papers. Sketches are a very effective way of getting people's attention and are a great conversation starter, with the ability to communicate ideas swiftly in a way that anyone can grasp.