YEAR TWO – DS2.2
Tutors: Natalie Newey & Richa Mukhia
Natalie Newey is a Senior Lecturer and SFHEA. She has extensive experience working in practice and is particularly interested in community engagement in the design process.
Richa Mukhia is a director of an award winning architectural practice M.OS Architects. She has extensive experience working in the private and public sector with a particular interest in housing design, public realm and community engagement.
The radical switch to home working, which is now the ‘new normal’, offers a unique opportunity for cities, citizens and architects to rethink the way we inhabit our neighbourhoods. This year’s studio focused on the 15-Minute City, an urban strategy based on research by Carlos Moreno. The idea is a direct response to issues of climate change, community building and the impact of coronavirus on our living and working rhythms.
City dwellers are part of a complicated and diverse ecosystem, one in which interdependencies between the natural environment, local infrastructure, streets, buildings and human occupation need to be considered. Can we radically change our habits of working and living in cities and the architecture that supports this? The studio considered this question over the course of the year, exploring local environments and our role within them, investigating and developing new concepts, practices and proposals for living habitat that is ambitious, inclusive, adaptable and responsive to current and future rhythms of life in cities.
Our investigations began with a day of visits to community lead projects in Peckham, south London, including Peckham Platform, Theatre Peckham and Out Of Order Design. Inspired by the visit and armed with extensive asset mapping of their chosen sites, the students spent the semester developing mean-while projects, designed to cultivate connections among locals, develop cultural activities, draw the residents together, and boost local economies.
Semester 2 began with a series of talks, a symposium on future trends and a memory model workshop. Student research into future trends generated speculations for a 15-Minute City of the Future. The students explored the many challenges we face – environmental, technological, political, cultural and societal. Proposals include: a cricket farm and bakery in Sète, France; urban mining a new Town Hall in Ealing: reclaiming the Westway for public use; skip diving in Reigate; carbon farming in Maida Vale; a Bioscape in Beckenham; and an algae forest on the Ground Union Canal.