In our studio entitled: ‘Communities & Contested Spaces’ (CCS*) the design process focuses on people’s everyday experiences of architecture and how we – as citizens/architects – may better engage with the communities and places we encounter especially in the context of current unfolding political, economic and environmental crises. Architecture demands a negotiation of shared and contested space(s) as well as the considered use of local and global resources to create positive and sustainable change; and is therefore, we believe, a political practice. Our decisions impact the experiences and stories of people that will eventually use the buildings and the places we help to design and create.
The studio’s theme this year was ‘Water’ and in particular exploring water-infrastructure as a site for cultural & social production.
In semester 1 the project (‘Space for Storytelling’) was set in the Lake District at the active Thirlmere Reservoir just outside the Market Town of Keswick. The programme was a space for a storyteller (or poet or playwright) – a space for cultural production.
In semester 2 the project (‘Social Reservoir’) was set in Liverpool, at the decommissioned covered reservoir in Toxteth working with the reservoir’s local owner Dingle 2000 Development Trust Ltdand a range of social enterprises located nearby to develop a creative reuse of the reservoir into a mixed-use piece of social infrastructure – a space for social production.
Across both semesters, students met with a range of possible clients, architects, makers and experts in their respective fields to better understand the briefs and the proposed programmes. This included visits to their facilities and places of work and organised talks.
Studio CCS* staff are engaged and active in political discourse related to the built environment in Liverpool, Manchester and further afield. We bring this expertise and experience into the studio, enabling practice and research informed teaching.
Carrilho da Fonseca, Ines
Lee, Yung Wing Wien
Michael Southern, Architectural Emporium, Liverpool
Dr Ranald Lawrence
Professor Iain Jackson
Dan Gibson Gibson Architects
May Tang Heatherwick Studio
VP or special guest
Matthew Bellwood Moveable Feast Productions, Leeds
YHA (Keswick & London Euston)
Becky Vipond, Clare Owens, Caspar Jones & Squash team SQUASH Food shop, Liverpool
Grace Harrison Kitty’s Laundrette, Liverpool
Marianne Heaslip URBED, Manchester
Roger O’Hara & Mark Clarke Dingle 2000 Development Trust Ltd
Dr Stuart Gee Environmental Consultant, LSA
Greg Beattie Engineer Consultant, LSA
FCB Studios London
Foster + Partners London
Heatherwick Studio London