A group of mixed students standing in front of a barn with a wooden tiled roof.

Communities and Contested Spaces


Student Galleries

Communities and Contested Spaces encourages a design process focused on everyday experiences of architecture and engaged with contemporary political, economic and environmental crises. Architecture demands a negotiation of shared space and global resources; and is therefore a political practice. We nurture a responsible approach considering the impact of design decisions on building users and the global community. There is an emphasis on re-use, low-carbon materials and community-orientated clients. Projects are situated in a near future low-carbon economy allowing students to break away from business-as-usual approaches to design and construction incompatible with a liveable planet.  

Students began designing a Bee Education Centre in Sefton Park to support the diverse local beekeeping community, by researching a renewable construction material and designing a threshold A.K.A an architectural moment. Technology, environmental impact, architectural potential and human-scale experience were explored simultaneously by making large scale physical models in a reflective process. Eventually, the site is introduced and students zoom out to develop a full architectural proposal with many delightful results.   

Students researched the provenance of everyday objects exploring how sustainable alternatives could be made in Liverpool and accommodated in the creative re-use of Chadwick Tower 1959 by Basil Spence, intended for demolition. Setting up the brief in opposition to the university masterplan encouraged critical thinking and freed up students to imagine creative solutions outside of established damaging practices, redundant in a low carbon economy.  Students have demonstrated ingenuity in their ideas for both programme and re-use of the structure, creating unexpected architectural experiences. But, perhaps more importantly, they have visualised radical but feasible ways society can respond to the climate emergency.   


Emma Curtin 

Peter Mitchell
Michael Southern 
Hazel Weir

Special Thanks

Barnabas Calder 
Rowena Creagh
Dan Gibson
Carlos Medel Vera
Stuart Gee
Tom James
Andrea Ku
Sophie Percival
Ted Ruffell
Wei Shan Chia
May Tang
Alex Williams
Nick Webb
Richard Youdel
Cuerden Valley Park
Friends of Sefton Park
Manchester Craft Centre


Alice Antoszkiewicz
Bukunmi Awofisayo
Rowan Bradbury
Clara Chambers
Liwei Chen
Weilong Chen
Pedro Dala
Jiexuan Deng
Emily Dodd
Eleanor Drever-Mar- shall
William Edwards
Phillippa Frazer
Catriona Gorton
Rebecca Hart

Jinyang Huang
Oliver Langdown
Li Liu
Seb Lloyd-Thomas
Dylan Luck
Xiahan Ma
Louise Mongan
Alexandra Neal
Daniela Nunes
Sofia Ponton
Bethany Preece
Matthew Richardson
Oliver Roberts
Dominic Secker
Siyu Shen

Zuzanna Squires
Theodora Townsend
Kira Wait
Husheng Wang
uan Wang
Yiqing Wang
Yefan Wei
Joseph Westley
Xu Zhang
Zihan Zhao
Mi Zhou
Zhenghao Zhou
Ruohong Zuo