During 2015 Sam Gullam was invited to Almaty by the British Council as part of their 'British Days in Kazakhstan' season of events, a programme which is supported by the GREAT Britain campaign.
The series of workshops led by designers from different disciplines, entitled “British Days”, were aimed at developing the skills of emerging Kazakhstani designers and young professionals engaged in the production process of the sector.
Whilst there Sam ran workshops looking at strategies that designers, architects and urban planners can use to transform research and speculative ideas into real projects.
The workshops focused on public realm projects centred on pedestrian wayfinding and transit information, but with a perspective of trying to understand the benefits of researching and understanding local context and how this can lead to more appropriate propositions.
Understanding that good ideas in themselves are not enough the group was engaged in discussion about how you can find routes to bring those possibilities to fruition.
This raised a number of topics from the benefits of cross discipline collaboration as a method of accessing a greater knowledge base and network of connections, to prompting thought about who might fund projects, whether public or private sector and the advantages of encouraging partnerships between the two.
The workshops culminated in the participants displaying their ideas for future projects at the inaugural Almaty Urban Forum.
As part of this forum Sam presented to a wider audience on the theme of Designing for a City with a particular focus on how a co-ordinated approach to the design of street furniture and information infrastructure can make a positive contribution to place identity.
The British Council have published a short film on their website capturing the workshop process and Sam's presentation at the Urban Forum.