Design Studio (Two) One



Tutors: Dr Corinna Dean & Alison McLellan



The studio will focus on exploring processes and tactics for co-creation and co-production of spaces. It will address both the individual and the collective formation of social and spatial relationships through co-operations.

The seeds of the co-operative movement were laid on the island 1816 when a small group of dockyard employees, disenchanted with the high prices and sharp practices of the local purveyors of provisions, banded together to supply for themselves some of the essentials of everyday living. They formed themselves into a trading organisation, or society, clearly defining its objective.

We will explore how the practice of cooperative architecture is manifest in architectural typologies and space. We will analyse how spaces embody these ideas of sharing, and non-hierarchy to identify dynamics, practices and generate tools for architectural design.

In a society which predicts a surge in the use of Artificial Intelligence, which will reduce the hourly working week, society will have more time on its hands so what does this mean beyond the binary of work/leisure. How do we develop an architecture which will respond to needs and shifts in the ordering of our society? How does this influence our ideas for the civic and with this shared or public spaces? And finally how does this impact on domestic space. Already the bed is being touted as the new site of work, -and sleep as the last resort of time spent unproductively and offline (metahaven). Yoko Ono and John Lennon famously spent their honey moon in bed in room 902 at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel as a peace protest.

We will ask our students to think expansively about what type of uses in contemporary society will be fit for the co-operative space. It suggests a generosity and a spilling of boundaries, where behavioural types are fluid, and therefore typologies should respond to this.

All of this will take place in Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Islands have historically been seen as sites for experimentations (Orfordness), deviation (Alcatraz), utopia, because of their perceived physical separation. Sheppey is one hour from London, experiences extreme poverty but has a growing experimental creative scene, and the potential as a test bed for new models of society, this was borne out across the Thames in Essex with the Plotlands communities.

Sheerness has a historical naval dockyard, which is now a commercial port one of the largest in the UK. The Sheerness Dockyard Church which was severely damaged by fire undergoing restoration and the insertion of a startup hub. I am working with the trust as artist in residency to respond to the ideas of the project as well as look at designs to link the site with the centre of Sheerness. I have been commissioned to design a participatory model with secondary school children to engage with their concepts of identity on the island and it is envisaged that the Studio will take part in some of these workshops. The work will be exhibited in a public space on the island.

First Brief will be to design a building which embraces the idea of civic society. It will bring together different shared needs for example, a pub, local library/civic centre/café/ street/beach promenade/ Moot House/Music/Band stand, or contemporary needs for shared digital platforms, fact checking kiosk in the age of post-truths/disinformation.

  • What does democracy look like? Voting Booth/democratic furniture (Martino Gamper).
  • What other functions might be considered?
  • What activities are shared in public-beach promenade/play area?

Key Concepts and Methodology of Production

Our processes of design will incorporate intuitive and quick fire model making, experimental work, collaging not as a representational form but as a generative process of working. We will engage with ideas of architectural ethnography, drawing the relationship between observation of spatial practice and building, subjective cartographies. and be casting models of the site which includes the degradation of the island coast line to include the site.

Knowledge & Production, Transformation & Production, Material & Production.

Workshops & Collaborators

  • Brickmaking workshop with Takeshi Hayatsu
  • Casting Workshop Semester 2


What does it mean to research? Definitions of Primary and Secondary Research?

The purpose of this class is to inform yourselves about the history, socio-economics of Sheppey and a bit about the topography. Bluetown Heritage Centre in Sheerness is a good source of local history.


We will be discussing the power of representation and carrying out drawing surgeries.