Design Studio (Two) Three



Tutors: Shahed Saleem & Michael Rose

Shahed Saleem is a practising architect and researches and writes on architecture’s relationship with cultural identity, heritage and nationhood. He works regularly with Historic England and is a Senior Research Fellow with the Survey of London.

Michael Rose has been teaching architecture for over forty years. He explores how architecture can enhance human experience and well-being, from the physical to the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. He aims to instil in students a clear understanding of the design and making process.

The Intercultural City

The intercultural city is a place where ‘each of us gives up a bit of our private beliefs, desires and preferences when we are in the public realm, and where these boundaries are constantly negotiated through public debate..’ (The Intercultural City, Wood & Landry)

Cities succeed or fail on the basis of their infrastructure; power, transport, communication, governance. DS2.3 proposes that social relations are also a key component of a city’s infrastructure, and that architecture mediates such relations between diverse inhabitants; impacting positively or negatively on social cohesion and social sustainability. Our questions this year are; how do different communities and groups of people coexist in the city and retain distinct identities whilst sharing space and interconnecting. How and where do diverse groups interact and engage with each other? Can ‘meaningful contact’ between diverse communities be enabled through design? What is meaningful contact, what might this look like, and what is its architecture?

Semester 1

The first exercise of the term is for each student to measure, draw and describe a space that they inhabit and experience and which they experience and an ‘intercultural’ space. So it would be a space where they connect, interact, encounter and are exposed to difference through the other people within that space.

This is followed by a short introductory design project to propose an intervention in Ladbroke Grove that creates and enables intercultural encounter and contact. The student can take inspiration for their intervention from their own spaces of encounter that they have already drawn and studied.

The next project of the semester is to design a Human Library building. This is a place where people are the books, and where users enter the library, borrow a person and listen to their story. It is a space of engagement, dialogue, learning and encounter. Students introduce specific additional programmes into their Human Library buildings, depending on what their interests are and inspired by the work that they have already produced in the term.

Featured works:

Kenza Salmi El idrissi – Analysis of a boxing ring as her intercultural space of encounter

Larisa Manga – DS2.3 studio as her intercultural space of encounter

Leen Ajlan – Her family car in Jeddah as her intercultural space of encounter

Ryan Speer – Proposed Human Library re-introducing lost social spaces in Ladbroke Grove