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Studio Communities & Contested Spaces

Our design process focuses on people’s everyday experiences of architecture and how we 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 space and global resources; and is therefore a political practice. Our design decisions impact the health and experience of people that use our designs, and have implications for the wider environment and the opportunities of communities around the world. We want to design responsible buildings that work well and feel special for the people that use them.

This year our projects focused around the theme of food. Like architecture, food is intertwined into our everyday lives and intrinsically linked to spatial politics and the built environment. In semester 1 working with timber technologies students designed a community centre which would support an imagined donor apple cider making project for Sefton Park. In semester 2 we worked with existing 20th century buildings on our university campus exploring strategies for their creative re-use to support teaching and learning accommodation and sustainable food projects based on each student’s own research. We adapted our briefs and studio approach to support remote learning. This included investing in visitors to enrich the student experience, continuing our tradition of working with social enterprises. We had speakers related to timber technologies, the theory and practice of sustainable food, and people working on the current Campus Masterplan. Our established Practices and Precedents Trip evolved into an online event with talks and discussion with four architects from different types of practice and an academic context. These guests then joined us for crits, introducing an element of exchange which helped to contextualise their critique. In spite of the difficult circumstances and new modes of working students’ have responded, as ever, with an exciting range of intelligent, creative and delightful projects. 

Students

Emmeline Blellock
Siqi Chen
Xiaochi Chen
Sean Davies
Ryan Evans
Joshua Forrest
Jennifer Foster
Sophie Hicks
Zhenhao Jin
Samuel Kadiri
Thomas Leadsom
Ju-Young Lee
Stefan Lewis
Haowen Li
Yangxi Liu
Su Liu
Charlotte Lyness
Mengjie Lyu
Jiaru Ma
Kelly Morris
Dominic O’Dea
Katarzyna Piechula

Anamol Poudel
Zhichuan Qin
Zhixuan Song
Grace Stanton-Kenna
Simeng Sun
Yining Tang
Anan Tian
Junhao Wang
Shichong Wei
Amber Williamson
Kai Wu
Zipeng Xiao
Jiahe Yang
Yiran Ye
Xinyuan Yue
Jiayu Zhang
Wenyi Zhang
Xinyi Zhao
Jiaxin Zheng
Jianfeng Zhou
Dazhen Zhu

Studio Team

Emma Curtin (lead)
Ranald Lawrence Liverpool School of Architecture
Michael Southern Architectural Emporium
Hazel Weir Liverpool School of Architecture
Dominic Walker Witherford Watson Mann

Special Guests

Ulrike Eghartner Manchester Unversity
Patrick Fleming ETH Zurich
Dan Gibson Gibson Architects
Geoff Rich Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios
Carolyn Steel Author of Hungry City & Sitopia
Steve Taylor Liverpool University Estates
Becky Vipond Squash Nutrition Liverpool

Guest Critics

Dan Gibson Gibson Architects
Casper Jones Liverpool John Moores
Dan Hasler The Orchard Project
Andrea Ku Friends of Sefton Park
Peter Mitchell Fielden Clegg Bradley
Maurice Mitchell ARCSR, The Cass
Geoff Rich Fielden Clegg Bradley
Wei Shan Chia CW2
Laura Stafford 5 Plus Architects
Bo Tang ARCSR, The Cass
May Tang Heatherwick
Steve Taylor Liverpool University Estates

Events of Note

Timber Construction Lecture and Model Workshop with Patrick Fleming
Guided Tour of Sefton Park with Andrea Ku
Introduction to Donor Cider Projects with Dan Hasler
Environment Workshops with Ranald Lawrence
Carolyn Steel Guest Lecture
Introduction to Squash Nutrition Liverpool with Becky Vipond
Precedents and Practices “Virtual Field Trip”