MA Architectural and Urban Design
In a time of environmental crisis and pandemic there is more than ever a need to rethink the city and our architecture. How we live and work, the very nature of the city and the feasibility of a continuation of the pre-pandemic norm are all being called into question opening very real opportunities for change.
Increasingly we are separated from the reality of our embodiment in the environment, fictious priorities guiding our interactions with catastrophic consequences – biodiversity loss, environmental damage, pollution, climate change. We live suspended between the digital and the physical, in a liminal space, unable to fully enter the digital yet increasingly denying the physical. As we increasingly inhabit social political constructs we retreat yet further from reality as their digital landscapes stretch into our most private spaces unfettered by physical constraints. We no longer solely inhabit the physical world.
There is a vital need for change, for a rethink of the city, our architectures and the beliefs they reflect. The current crisis has torn away our fictions, revealing the uncomfortable truths beneath. In so doing the reality of our integration within the world is laid bare. This year we begin to explore the potential of these challenges, exploring spatial conditions from the intimate to the urban to evolve speculative propositions to construct new routes forward offering visions of alternative sustainable futures.
Our teaching this year is threaded through with workshops bringing a wealth of experience to the challenge; Fionn Stevenson, Professor of Sustainable Design at Sheffield University, Dr Paola Sassi practitioner, academic and author of Strategies for Sustainable Architecture, Rob West urban designer and architect with over 25 years of practice experience, Mriganka Saxena founding partner of HTAU, TEDx speaker with over 18 years of experience working within urban design in both the UK and India and Dr Marcus Winter, ubiquitous computing and augmented reality specialist. We will be critiquing and developing new routes forward, exploring and rethinking the city and its architecture across scales utilising an experimental approach to evolve our work and identify alternatives.
The following work has been produced by the course over the last few years.