Urban Creative: Exploring A Manifesto Holly Peplow

Urban Creative Studio

Two years ago, I asked some first years why they wanted to be an architect

This year, in a time of extraordinary isolation when many found themselves only tethered together by technology they explored whether these same ideas still held true.

A challenge to practice and a celebration of ideas discovered along the way, the Urban Creative Studio was created to offer students the opportunity to explore their relationships to architecture, and to examine their positions within wider contemporary culture.

We seek to nurture each individual’s critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, creating a shared resource of new and frequently unfamiliar cultural creators. Not limited to traditional artists we talk of all people and movements active and responsive to the world we experience, amongst whom we want the students to begin to identify themselves.  We actively encourage the students to define their personal architectural agenda or manifesto, and push them to make these positions intrinsic to their design decisions.

In the first semester we responded to the postponement of the Liverpool Biennial by imagining a Festival in Prince’s Park. Each student designed a unique temporary pavilion, to stand for six months and then be removed, leaving no trace.  In the second semester, the focus moved from ephemeral to the permanent with a design for an art foundation in Toxteth, Liverpool. The design drivers were always their manifestos, and each had the freedom to evaluate and modify the brief, resulting in a rich and exciting diversity of design proposals. The students have come through a tough year with some creative individual projects.  We hope that they have learned things about design and about their own interests that they will be able to take with them on whatever path they choose to follow next. 


Hamaad Akram
Walid Al Jaber
Thomas Antrobus
Bai Zhongxuan
Chen Ming
Chen Nuo
Matthew Collier
Dominic Crump
Deng Yucheng
Jacob Downey
Fang Haotian
Fu Houwei
Gao Fan
Glenda Gaspard
Beth Gough
Luke Hickling
Elizabeth Hodgson
Wilf Horton
Hu Anbo
Hayley Kirui
Alex Knight

Will Lambert
Liu Zehao
Tom Lockley
Lyu Jiaheng
Niamh McNamee
Megan Mew-McAdam
Peter Mitchell
Ali Orchard-Mitchell
Jake Owen
Holly Peplow
Amelia Perez Bravo
Su Yangmin
Sun Puyuan
Tong Yan
Wang Hao
Zhang Jinyu
Zhang Zixuan
Zhang Xiaofeng
Zhao Zhujun
Zhong Yueying
Zou Dengyu

Studio Team

Ben Devereau
Luke Bushnell-Wye UoL
Anthony Mackay Mackay Architects
Martin Shutt unit3 Design
Keith Webber Keith Webber Architects

Special Guests

Giles Smith of Assemble
Anna Couch and Sean Swarbrick of Plan-it
Han Mei Chen and Ted Ruffell
Stuart Gee

Special Thanks

Rhianna Brady
Martin Winchester
Alex Dusterloh

The Technical Team
All the teaching colleagues who have made this year possible, against the odds.

Guest Critics

Adam Booth FCB Studios
Julia Burke Wattle and Daub Architects
Roisin Hanlon ABW Architects
Tringa Kelmendi Sarah Wigglesworth Architects
Matt King Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Keven Lester cb3 Design Architects
Tim Wenham Architecture519