Assemblage, Incrementalism and Infrastructures
Over half the world’s population lives in urban areas occupying just three per cent of the earth’s surface. A consequence of such rapid global urbanisation leaves rural regions facing an uncertain future. In our increasingly interconnected world, can rural space offer a viable alternative to the inequalities of the neo-liberal city?
Through a framework of participatory mapping and an incremental approach to design, students will address this question through projects based in Uckermark, a rural region north of Berlin. Although in economic decline, some places in the Uckermark are experiencing an unusual demographic shift, attracting young people from nearby cities. This dynamic throws up many challenges but also much-needed opportunity for a region traditionally suffering from a declining population. Regeneration, whether in rural or urban locations, is a provocative debate. Timeframes, economics, land pressures, social and spatial organisation are different in rural locations, but it is these factors that offer a frame of reference to consider new forms of settlement, one that finds a balance between an existing context and twenty-first century infrastructure.
In November the studio will visit Germany. Based in Berlin, we will undertake field work in Uckermark where your projects will be sited for the remainder of the year. The work undertaken in the studio will contribute to an EU Horizon 2020 research programme, in partnership with a Berlin-based research organisation, Leibniz Institute for Research on Space and Society, and the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin). During the field trip, you will participate in workshops with students and staff from TU Berlin.
The photograph above is from an exhibition of work by Fred Scott. Scott, an architectural theorist, author and educator, also makes montage. In this image, Scott’s montages are hung loosely on a gallery wall, as if being reviewed midway through their construction. Providing further meaning to the overall work, a model and framed photograph are added to the collection, creating an assemblage of constituent pieces, each with their own qualities and characteristics. Students are invited to consider assemblage as a form of map making and as a conceptual framework for your proposals. The process of mapping, which includes reviewing through collaborative workshops, is on an equal footing to the artefacts made. In a sense, you will reconstruct the site in the studio, and as a group you will derive new insight into the location. This process will lead to your individual design proposals which will explore domestic space in relationship to a wider and shared landscape.
Studio 01: The Gesture of a Building
Alex Bank and Sam Casswell
Studio 01 is looking at the contribution architecture makes to the life of a place.
Studio 02: After City: Assemblage, Incrementalism and Infrastructures
Colin O’Sullivan and Charlotte Harris
Studio 02 will examine and propose design interventions in Germany this year.
Studio 03: Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus
Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister
Studio 03 is concerned with architecture as a form of agency, involving civic making through practice.
Studio 04: Place for Play
Anna Ludwig and Rufus Willis
Studio 04 is looking at how the space of play has coexisted and still coexists with spaces of exchange and circulation, political space and cultural space.
Studio 06: Collaborations
Andrew Jackson, David Leech and Martin Nässén
Studio 06 will focus on the theme of ‘Collaborations’ and continue to investigate the ideas established by the studio in recent years and will again work with good examples of historic and contemporary architecture.
Studio 07: FIT
Robert Barnes and Bo Tang
Studio 07 will be basing this year’s work in Athens, Greece as both a continuation and new departure for the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources.
Studio 08: good growth
Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven
This year Studio 08 will be responding to the Mayor of London’s call to create a ‘City for All Londoners’ based on the principles of ‘good growth’ – ‘development that is socially, environmentally and economically inclusive.’
Studio 09: Public Rooms, Convergent Spaces
Jillian Jones, Ewan Stone and David Howarth
Studio 09 will look to how new spaces for cultural and community provision in London’s East End can be more locally generated.
Studio 10: Old, New, Hot and Cool
Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams
Studio 10 will propose buildings which are old, new, hot and cool and develop architectural projects which sit between these definitions to explore the role of the architect as a critical agent in society.