YEAR 2 – DS2.2
Tutors: Natalie Newey and Richa Mukhia
Natalie Newey is Senior Lecturer and SFHEA. She has considerable experience working in practice and is particularly interested in engaging students in community collaboration, localism and environmental issues.
Richa Mukhia is a director of award-winning architectural practice M.O.S Architects. She has extensive experience working in the private and public sector with a particular interest in housing design, public realm and community engagement.
This year the studio challenged students to reconsider the architect’s role in shaping our cities, and to imagine radical new ways to tackle the issues of our time. Our explorations began with student installations on site. Designed to engage the community in a dialogue, uncover local issues and generate ideas for re-imagining the built environment, each installation considered the environmental impact of their design and creation by responding to material scarcity while developing social value for the community.
City Island and the Leamouth peninsula was our area of exploration for the year. Recent local developments are changing the face of this forgotten backwater of London, transforming the character of the area and erasing its rich history as an industrial heartland. Proposals in Semester 1 were in response to the theme ‘Provocation Pavilion’, designed to highlight and promote local issues identified through group installations the students made at the site.
In Semester 2, the students’ proposals speculated about an alternative future to the generic housing developments sweeping the area. The students’ imagined community- centred projects which combined Industry and Culture, resulting in a series of inventive propositions including: redesigning the Thames embankment to create a habitat for otters and an educational space for humans; a proposal to reclaim the 10,000 trees cut down in London each year; and a 24-hour oasis for the vast number of local night workers.