YEAR 2 – DS2.1
Tutors: Corinna Dean and Ursula Dimitriou
Corinna Dean is a member of the Emerging Territories Research Group, UoW. She founded the Archive for Rural Contemporary Architecture, ARCA, publishing Slacklands. She works in collaboration with Leep Architects on public space projects and a wilding and adaptive project in Suffolk of a collection of former agricultural buildings, as well as projects for the Canal + Rivers Trust and creative engagement programmes.
Ursula Dimitriou is a practicing architect and researcher. Her field of expertise is Public Space, Commons, Design and Social Sustainability, Grassroots Urban practices, Theatrical and Ephemeral Practices in the Urban Space. She is the co-director of studio SYN.
Land/Water Interwoven Landscapes
Our first semester project explored the very real question of adapt, reuse and transformation, turning our focus on the 1980s’ colourful but now defunct arcaded structure, Stroudley Walk, Bow, London.
Through our studio themes – ecologies of care and performance – we engaged with activating the public realm through actions, observations and green strategies. Students were asked to observe and explore the site using different tactics to engage with how communities live together building in resilience, climate urbanism and programmatic creativity. Proposals for temporary uses through acupuncture / insertions / incisions / grafting were led by a focus on the public realm.
Semester two turned its focus to ecology and the relationship between nature and the urban-use of post- industrial sites which took us to Cody Dock in the Lower Lea Valley.
We analysed the conditions of wetland sites, local ecologies, flora and fauna in the Lower Lea Valley with an introduction by the ecologist on site. Cody Dock is undergoing a large-scale River Remediation programme, and observing and engaging with this project we focused on how design thinking responded to the degraded nature of the water and the original programmatic strategies of Cody Dock which create a resilient future with a unique land management system.
Working closely with Cody Dock, the organisation performed as real life client where students presented research, design and construction techniques to Cody Dock as part of their regeneration commissioning Floating Water Management Systems, FWMS. Designs were presented periodically and critiqued by the organisation.
Using the analysis of FWMS we began to work with land/ water based solutions to visibly interact with the water as an empathetic field of attention, rather than a space to be exploited or gazed upon.
Students worked tirelessly to expand this project, which acted as a microcosm for their design brief, to propose an ecological programme for Cody Dock as part of its citizen science, creative and dry dock utilities.