Even though harsh criticism (1), Dezeen has launched its Virtual Design Festival. As part of the event, Manchester School of Architecture gave an insight into the ateliers that make up its Master of Architecture course. This year’s ateliers range from the experimental Advanced Practice studio and all-female-led feminist Praxxis unit to the Continuity in Architecture group that “pursues a future for the already built”. All the student work produced as part of the Master of Architecture course is now live and can be seen in more detail on the websites listed below, linking to the school’s online degree show.
“& is a powerful little symbol – it opens out into the next step, argues for inclusion and demands to be followed. Rather than starting from within the discipline and moving outwards, &rchitecture emerges from what already is different in the world.
&rchitecture is brought into existence through the participation in and inhabitation of material space by the subjects of the city. This is a key way of discovering what the power and potential of architecture is to create inclusive cities and societies.
&rchitecture argues that difference is not an error, but the central means of creative practice. &rchitecture embraces difference in order to be effective and affectable.”
Image: To Act in the Arena of Masculinity by Tobias Corry
Atelier Advanced Practice
“The atelier is conceived as a think tank and testbed – a platform for research and experimentation in architectural design, concerned with holistic understandings of design and sustainability.
Within the evolving context of advanced architectural practice our interest lies in the interaction between technology and people, in the design and delivery of environments that support the needs and activities of contemporary and future society, in a creative, positive and equitable way.
We engage and collaborate with specialist consultants and local community groups in response to live briefs as well as international competitions. All projects explore contemporary and novel design methods and material performances in tectonic and spatial propositions.”
Image: Experience and Emergence by Will Horn and Tamara Keoshgerian
Atelier Complexity Planning and Urbanism
“Complexity, Planning and Urbanism develops new theoretical approaches and computational tools using a complexity science framework.
These are intended to affect the design, management, governance and understanding of future cities related to climate change, citizen participation, development strategies, resilient interventions, policy-making and urban morphology.
Computational processes are used to augment conventional static design methods and theory by enabling a temporal and dynamic process. The MArch atelier is strongly linked to the CPU_Lab where research into frameworks enabling the development of new approaches takes place.”
Image: The Forge by Yaseen Bhatti, Mike O’Reilly, Carol Sun and Maxine Zhou
“Praxxis is an all-female-led feminist studio atelier and research collective. Praxxis takes an explicitly feminist approach, in particular intersectional feminism, to explore the inequalities in society and what that may mean for the built environment.
Intersectionality takes the position that the various layers of social and human characteristics – class, race, sexual identity, religion, age, disability, marital status and gender identity – do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven.”It is a platform where theoretical transdisciplinary practices are set up, a studio space of exchanges and dialogues where you can ask the questions that are not comfortable in other ateliers. We are not afraid to use the F word – by this we mean Feminist.”
Image: The Threshold between Trans and Transed Spaces by Annie Sibthorp
Other ateliers are: Atelier Continuity in Architecture, which pursues a future for the already built; Atelier Infrastructure Space that operates as a design and research studio using data mapping and spatial analysis to develop design proposals that test possible spatial futures. Atelier LULU Landscape and Urbanism‘s approach integrates public realm and landscape methodologies, exploring how these interact with built form and architecture. In the Atelier Urban Spatial Experimentation (USE) each student is encouraged to form an individual concept based on thorough site analysis. The course has also two research units, Research 1 & 2 – Methods & Dissertation and a class named Professional Studies, developed through two projects, PS1 and PS2, which directly address two of the most salient issues of today, namely housing and building re-use.
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