The MA Architecture + Urbanism course is the Manchester School of Architecture's taught postgraduate course which conducts research into how global cultural and economic forces influence contemporary cities. The design, functioning and future of urban situations is explored in written, drawn and modelled work which builds on the legacy of twentieth century urban theory and is directed towards the development of sustainable cities.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

A New Residential Typology, Hangzhou

2015 MA A+U graduate CHANG CHEN presents his thesis project

'As an important city in south east China, Hangzhou has experienced a rapid urbanization process in recent years. Although the living condition of citizens has been improved in recent year, a lot of issues still remain or new issues are exposed. Such a situation has occurred because of a combination of reasons. On the one hand, the authorities did not conduct effective research before the urban design process, which has lead to a misdirection in the project. On the other hand, under pressure from stakeholders to make more profit and exercise cost control, designers are unable to implement the best design for citizens. Therefore, this project is an attempt to design a single apartments for young people who work in the High-Tech district in west Hangzhou. The project aims to solve the current issue in Chinese real estate of high-price, homogenization and poor green space. With in-depth investigation and proper design, the building complex proposed can provide a much more comfortable ‘place’ for young people to live and socialise.'

Friday, 18 December 2015


Congratulations to all our new MA A+U graduates several of whom received their degree certificates at a ceremony in The Whitworth Hall at the University of Manchester on 17 December 2015. Pictured below (from the top left) are Chang Chen MA, Peiwu Fang MA, Honghao Zeng MA, Eamonn Canniffe, Professor Tom Jefferies, David Chandler MA, Meisoon Jumah MA, Aissa Sabbagh Gomez MA, and taking the selfie Preethi Madhana Kumar MA. We wish the new graduates well as they embark on their new careers.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Justin McGuirk: Radical Cities - Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture (2014)

Reviewed by Selma Ayduz

In RADICAL CITIES Justin McGuirk takes us on a journey through Latin America outlining some of the most inspirational projects carried out by the new generation of architects striving to make a meaningful difference. He highlights the shift in attitude towards informal settlements throughout the years, and how different approaches were attempted to deal with them. McGuirk chooses to observe cases across Latin America as this is where the largest development and housing schemes in the world took place, ‘where modernist utopia went to die’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp.8). The earliest forms of this mass urbanisation took place in Latin America, long before China and Africa.

The book begins by giving an example of one of the largest modern urbanisation projects in Latin America. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s plans for cities, Mario Pani wanted to clear out the slums in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, by matching the density of them with high rise buildings surrounded by public space. However, the project did not succeed in its intentions as it was inhabited by middle class citizens rather than the poor. McGuirk describes this project as the ‘birth and sudden demise of utopian modernist planning in Mexico’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp.6). The social housing projects in Latin America often followed the same pattern and were inaccessible to those most in need.

Housing projects started to be criticised in Europe and America. However, due to construction companies cutting costs, poor maintenance and poverty, people started to generalise about the problems and blame architects for ‘treating people like ants, making cities ugly, replacing variety with standardisation, repetition, repetition, repetition’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp.7 ). Conveniently governments started to take note of the research of John Turner, an English architect, who believed the slums were ‘creative and efficient solutions to the needs of the poor’ (Turner, no date, pp.10). He suggested that the governments could not possibly finance the total demand for housing and that the poor building their own houses should be seen as an advantage. As a result, governments stopped building housing estates and opened the door for the private sector, leaving the poor to their own devices and to be pushed further and further out of the cities. With social housing no longer a government priority, there was a loss of social purpose in the professions.

Amongst the new generation of architects in Latin America however, there are signs of hope. They brought new ideas and worked with determination to address the various problems threatening the cities of Latin America, and the ideas they brought forward could be an inspiration for transforming other parts of the developing world. One of those is Urban-Think Tank, who brought innovative solutions to improve conditions in slums. They designed vertical gyms to replace football pitches, which went down very well with the communities and were used intensively. They also introduced a cable-car system connecting the hillside slums with the city centre and thus improving the mobility of the residents. They proved that small interventions could have a much greater impact on the surrounding community.

A further example of activist architects McGuirk followed is Alejandro Aravena with his Quinta Monroy houses. Faced with the challenge of settling ninety-three families legally in houses with only $7.500 per house, Aravena came up with the solution to build half of a house and allow the families to develop their houses as their situation improved. The half of the house provided families with the essential base, a concrete structure, a kitchen and a bathroom. The gaps left in between houses allowed families to expand further in time, and potentially sell their houses later and move on to better housing. This made Quinta Monroy houses an investment. According to John Turner, this scheme was a success as ‘people derived a great deal of personal satisfaction from self-building’ (Turner, no date, pp.86 ). Although there was also the conflicting opinion that the government should provide people with proper housing rather than half-houses, when put into perspective that the majority of housing in the world is self-built, the solution offered by Aravena is very positive.

In the 1990s there was a change in attitude towards the slums as they were no longer seen as a disease to be cut out of the city, but an urban condition part of the city and this started the Favelo-Bairro programme in Rio. The programme’s aim was to upgrade the slums’ conditions by connecting them to the rest of the city, building roads and stairs, and therefore improving the mobility of the slum-dwellers. Installations included new public spaces and community buildings. The new improvements aimed to remove the stigma attached to the favelas, and connect neighbourhoods by softening the boundaries and therefore raise the ‘perception of the favelas in the urban imaginary’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp.118). During this process the favelas were added to maps, and started to be recognised as neighbourhoods thus ‘breaking down the barriers of a divided city’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp. 116). The Favelo-Bairro went beyond upgrading, as their ideal was to integrate the slums into the city without loosing their identity or displacing residents. Similarly, Alfredo Brillembourg argues that, in an upgrading scheme, communities need to have a plan for the whole area rather than become individual owners upgrading their own buildings with no profound effect on its surroundings.

Previous to the Favelo-Bairro programme governments refused to improve the slums regarding them as places that should not, and even did not, exist. However, with the realisation that the slums were part of the urban condition they were awarded with innovative public architecture such as the Espana library park in Santo Domingo Barrio of Medellin, former murder capital of the world. These installations made the slums become prominent neighbourhoods, and broke down the stigma about them.

In conclusion, McGuirk suggest that the most important lesson for this generation of Latin American architects to offer is to accept ‘the informal city as an unavoidable feature of the urban condition, and not as a city-in-waiting.’ (McGuirk, 2014, pp.26). He says that an activist architect must find a difficult context and intervene, using the support of the local community, as those most in need can neither come to them nor afford them. Tiny interventions can be an uplifting cause for the whole community, a process which integrates them into the city as well as improving the quality of life and addressing poverty and inequality. In order to handle unplanned change, McGuirk suggests urbanism has to be flexible and involve the communities who live in the informal city. McGuirk argues that we must accept that favelas are not a problem of urbanity but are the solution. He says the favela IS the city, and by coming to terms with this the activist architect can make interventions that have social and political meaning and revitalise architecture and urban design.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends "We Built This City"

We built this city: Manchester Architects at 150
Celebrating generations of innovation
30 November 2015 - 18 March 2016

MMU Special Collections Gallery
3rd Floor
Sir Kenneth Green Library
Manchester Metropolitan University

WE BUILT THIS CITY profiles architectural drawings of key members of the Manchester Society of Architects alongside the historic Library collection, promoting the rich architectural history of Manchester. The exhibition charts the influence of the Society on the cityscape and architectural design in Greater Manchester through original drawings. Rare folios from the Manchester Society of Architects Library at MMU Special Collections will show the wealth of material on offer to members who frequented the Society's rooms. Highlights include work by W and G Audsley, Owen Jones, William Kent, Palladio, Piranesi, and Stuart and Revett.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Ben Kelly - International Orange, Pigeon Blue and the Red Curtain'

An MSA Open Lecture

5.30 pm Tuesday 8 December
Lecture Theatre 403 Benzie
Manchester School of Art

Manchester School of Art is delighted to host this talk by the esteemed Manchester School of Art alumnus Ben Kelly, one of the UK's most influential interior designers, and renowned for his design of Manchester's Haçienda club (1982) for the record label Factory Records. Kelly's multidisciplinary research engages in the capture and interpretation of specific periods of time, the results of which he applies to the design of interior and exhibition spaces. His practice links the materiality of aesthetics, through examination of shape, lighting, colour, materials, spatial and structural arrangements, which has attuned Kelly to certain synesthetic concepts that both reference and create highly considered atmospheres.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

An Open Call

The students of the MA Architecture + Urbanism invite contributors to participate in their forthcoming symposium FRONTIERS OF RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURE to be held in summer 2016. If you feel that your Research / Practice responds to the mission statement outlined below we would love to hear about it from you.

Submission requirements:

300 word abstract in English

2 Images of the work (Max file size 5 mb)

100 word brief biography of the authors

Contact details


Deadline: 6th december 2015

In a world where urban inequality presents itself as an insurmountable problem there is no question that a transformation of our cities is needed. Can we continue to live our lives in naïve serenity and rely on our local and national governments to change these circumstances? What role does architecture play in this dilemma?

Urban challenges of underutilized space and irrational overbuilding have created a global divide for shelter which should be addressed with resourcefulness. To build homes quickly, local materials and plans for shelter need to be identified before an emergency arises. The potential for future re-use should always be considered. Is this agenda a sufficiently high priority for architects?

An initiative towards innovative but reliable architecture offers one solution. To simplify the conflict between social need and the existing infrastructure requires a mobilisation of solidarity. Should we be standing at the front of this battle not as reporters but as engaged architects addressing issues of resilient urban design?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'James Corner: Intimate Immensity - Public Space in the City'

A Landscape Architecture Open Lecture at Manchester School of Architecture

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Lecture Theatre BZ403
Benzie Building
Boundary St West / Higher Ormond St
M15 6BR

James Corner is a leading-edge landscape architect and founder of James Corner Field Operations, based in New York City. He is also professor of landscape and urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. His work has been recognized with the National Design Award, the Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the D&AD Black Pencil Award.

As an alumnus of the MMU landscape department, James returns to Manchester to discuss current ideas about the design of vibrant urban public spaces, the importance of seeing cities as landscapes, and the capacity for landscape to create new forms of city-making. He will present his designs for New York’s High Line, Santa Monica’s Tongva Park and London’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, among other innovative public realm projects around the world.

His new book, THE HIGH LINE, published by Phaidon, will be available for signing after the talk and can be ordered at a 35% discount on registration.


Please book your ticket online using the links on the website

Manchester School of Architecture Students only
Free Admission — Get your ticket on Eventbrite

Other Students and External Visitors
£10 Admission — Please pay using BuyOnline

Friday, 6 November 2015

MA A+U Dissertation Titles 2015-16














Sunday, 1 November 2015

Announcing the Sixth International MA Architecture + Urbanism Symposium FRONTIERS OF RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURE 2016

MA A+U are very pleased to announce the theme of the 2016 International Symposium

Frontiers of Responsive Architecture

In a world where urban inequality presents itself as insurmountable problem there is no question that a transformation of our cities is needed. Can we continue to live our lives in naïve serenity and rely on our local and national governments to change these circumstances? What roles does architecture play in this dilemma?

Urban challenges of underutilized space and irrational overbuilding have created a global divide for shelter which should be addressed with resourcefulness. To build homes quickly, local materials and plans for shelter need to be identified before an emergency arises. The potential for future re-use should always be considered. Is this agenda a sufficiently high priority for architects?

An initiative towards innovative but reliable architecture offers one solution. To simplify the conflict between social need and the existing infrastructure requires a mobilisation of solidarity. Should we be standing at the front of this battle not as reporters but as engaged architects addressing issues of resilient urban design?

Frontiere per un’Architettura Responsiva

In un mondo nel quale la disparità urbana sembra essere un problema insormontabile, non c’è dubbio che le nostre città debbano trovare un modo per evolversi.

Possiamo continuare a vivere le nostre vite serenamente ed ingenuamente e affidarci al governo locale e nazionale per dare una svolta a questa situazione? Quale è il ruolo dell’architettura in questo dilemma?

Sfide urbane di spazio sotto-utilizzato e di eccessiva costruzione irrazionale di nuovi edifici hanno creato una divisione globale per quanto riguarda il concetto di ‘rifugio’. Questa situazione deve essere trattata con ingegno. Prima che scoppi una vera e propria emergenza, dobbiamo trovare un modo per costruire case velocemente, utilizzando materiali locali e pianificando la creazione di ‘rifugi’, sempre considerando la possibilità per un riutilizzo futuro. È questo un programma di sufficiente primaria importanza per gli architetti?

Un’iniziativa per un’architettura innovativa ma affidabile potrebbe essere una soluzione. Per semplificare il conflitto fra necessità sociale e infrastrutture esistenti bisogna creare una mobilizzazione solidale. Non dovremmo forse essere in prima linea non come giornalisti, ma come architetti dedicati a risolvere il problema di una progettazione urbana resiliente?

Symposium website where further information will be posted as it becomes available

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'The World of Charles + Ray Eames'


On show at Barbican Art Gallery, London until 14 February 2016

Charles and Ray Eames are among the most influential designers of the 20th century. Enthusiastic and tireless experimenters, this husband and wife duo moved fluidly between the fields of photography, film, architecture, exhibition-making, and furniture and product design.

The Eames Office was a hub of activity where the Eameses and their collaborators produced an array of pioneering designs, communicating their ideas with a boundless creativity that defined their careers. The Eameses embraced the joy of trial and error and approached design as a way of life.

From personal letters, photographs, drawings and artwork, to their products, models, multi-media installations and furniture, 'The World of Charles + Ray' includes not only the designs for which they are best known, but provides an insight into the lives of the Eameses, the Eames Office and the breadth of their pioneering work, bringing their ideas and playful spirit to life.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'RUSKIN / ROCKS'

Ruskin/Rocks: Architecture and the Geology of Morals
Professor Andrew Ballantyne, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Benzie 403
Manchester School of Art
5.30pm 20 October 2015

Drawing on his new book on JOHN RUSKIN Professor Ballantyne examines a crucial aspect of Ruskin’s thinking: the notion that art and architecture have moral value. Telling the story of Ruskin’s childhood and enduring devotion to his parents—who fostered his career as a writer on art and architecture—he explores the circumstances that led to Ruskin’s greatest works, such as 'Modern Painters', 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture', 'The Stones of Venice', and 'Unto This Last'. He follows Ruskin through his altruistic ventures with the urban poor, to whom he taught drawing, motivated by a profound conviction that art held the key to living a worthwhile life. Ultimately, Ballantyne weaves Ruskin’s story into a larger one about Victorian society, a time when the first great industrial cities took shape and when art could finally reach beyond the wealthy elite and touch the lives of everyday people.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Where are they now? Seen in 'New Light'!

2015 MA A+U graduate David Chandler has been shortlisted to exhibit his close reading of the urban structure of Stockport 'LITTLE UNDERBANK' in the forthcoming 'New Light: Real Northern Art' exhibition which is on show at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle 17 October 2015 - 7 February 2016. The acrylic on canvas painting (127 x 305 cm) records the view from David's window in the Manchester School of Art Marketplace Studios in Stockport, and represented his research process for his Master's thesis, uncovering hidden aspects of the town, a theme which chimes with the intention of the exhibition. As one of its judges, Laura Gascoigne, commented: “True to its name, New Light is a revelation. None of the open exhibitions I’ve judged in the past has tapped into such a pool of undiscovered talent. There are always a few established artists whose work one recognises, but nearly all the artists here were new to me and there were several I was astonished – and rather ashamed – not to have come across. I hope this exposure will make them more visible in future. The sheer variety of work, at all levels, was heartening – it bolstered my faith in the vigour of British painting.”

Following its run at the Bowes Museum, the exhibition tours to the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate, and finally the Panter and Hall Fine Art Gallery, London.

The exhibition website is

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Teresa Stoppani: Architecture as Paradigm - Notes for a Relational Architecture'

Professor TERESA STOPPANI, Head of Leeds School of Architecture will be talking at Manchester School of Architecture at 5.30pm on 6 October 2015 in Benzie 403, Manchester School of Art.

Teresa Stoppani (DrArch IUAV, Architetto IUAV, PhD Arch & UD Florence) is an architectural theorist and critic. She has taught architectural design and theory at the IUAV in Venice, the Architectural Association in London, the University of Greenwich, RMIT University in Melbourne, the University of Technology of Sydney, and the University of Brighton. She is Professor of Architecture and Head of the Leeds School of Architecture at Leeds Beckett University, and Adjunct Professor of Architectural History and Theory at UTS Sydney.

MA A+U fondly remembers her visit for a seminar in 2010


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Where are they now? On track.

Recent MA A+U graduate HONGHAO ZENG has now returned home to China to continue his architectural studies at Central South University in Changsha, where he will be working on a design project for the reconstruction of a district of Tianjin damaged in the recent fatal explosion.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


MA A+U is very pleased to announce the results for the 2015 Graduating cohort.

DAVID CHANDLER M.A. with Distinction


THISVI CHRISTOU M.A. with Distinction




AISSA SABBAGH GOMEZ M.A. with Distinction

HONGHAO ZENG M.A. with Distinction

The Graduation Ceremony will take place in December at the Whitworth Hall, University of Manchester. As the photographs below indicate 2014-15 has been a very special and enjoyable year and, as always, we wish all our new graduates success in their future careers.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Protection of Hubei Village, Shenzhen

MA A+U student Peiwu Fang has completed his thesis project 'The Protection of Hubei Village'. Peiwu writes

'Hubei Village is a small village in Luohu District, Shenzhen. It has a history of more than 500 years, with a special status in the development of Shenzhen. After research on the houses of the village, including old and new ones, a strategy was developed to reflect the heritage value of the houses. The old houses were divided into four classes for their value for preservation o reconstruction. Many of the old houses are rebuilt or transformed a lot. However, the footprint of the old village, its morphology, was preserved well. In the project, I demolish the new intrusive residential buildings in the whole village and create a big ellipse of residential and social accommodation around the old village, as a strong protective barrier against the encroaching development of the city.'

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Palladian Design: The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected'

Andrea Palladio is the only architect who has given his name to a style – one that is still in use around the world after nearly 500 years. From the US Capitol to a 21st century Somerset cowshed, 'Palladian Design: The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected' introduces Palladio’s design principles and explores how they have been interpreted, copied and re-imagined across time and continents from his death in 1580 to the present day.

On exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London 9 September 2015 - 9 January 2016

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

'Slow' Larnaca

MA A+U student Thisvi Christou has completed her thesis project entitled "‘Slow' Larnaca: a future development based on the history of the town." Thisvi writes

"The aim of the ‘Slow Larnaca’ urban design project is to improve Larnaca’s economy, to reduce the level of unemployment and to increase tourist traffic in the town by protecting Larnaca’s special character and its peoples’ lifestyle. Larnaca is a historic Mediterranean town that played a major role in the island's history through different historic periods, because of its location, natural resources and intense trading activity. The history and architecture of Larnaca were points of reference and were used as a base for the ‘Slow Larnaca’ urban concept.

The project title refers to the ‘Slow City’ and ‘Slow Tourism’ concepts, which are branches of the ‘Slow Food’ movement. The ‘Slow City’ theory works as a guideline for a new urban development in Larnaca, where locals and temporary visitors participate in production and consumption activities. The key area of the 'Slow' urban development is the former Refinery area of Larnaca which is abandoned and a new design for this area is proposed. Furthermore, the former Refinery of Larnaca is located between the town centre and the tourist area of Larnaca, which is a significant point of the town. Larnaca, through this new urban development may potentially enhance its economy and improve the prospects of its people."

Friday, 21 August 2015

Renovation of Teahouse Block, Changsha

MA A+U student Honghao Zeng has studied the regeneration of a district of Changsha for his master's thesis. He writes

'In this period of large scale and rapid construction, architects as well as all citizens should participate in the tough task of protection of the ancient city, to leave a bit more historical space, more hisorical life, culture and heritage to the next generation. Taking Teahouse Block in Changsha as the research object, and after the analysis of the specific situation, the master plan for the district suggests that it be renovated as an open air museum, a sequence of cultural exhibition streets presenting significant local themes. It is recommended that tea culture be displayed here throughout the whole block, including the street facades, reconstructed buildings, retained buildings and the design of public space.'

Monday, 17 August 2015

Space and Memory in Post-war Aleppo

MA A+U student Meisoon Jumah has recently completed her thesis project 'Space and Memory in Post-war Aleppo' which develops a strategy for the eventual reconstruction of the city when the current war in Syria ends. Meisoon writes

'War and the city have shaped each other throughout urban and military history; in this project I will look at the effects of the war in Aleppo on the area South of Aleppo’s Citadel and propose a rebuilding idea by looking back at the memory of that space throughout many different ages. Aleppo has suffered a lot of difficult times and was the subject of many historic and natural disasters, yet it was able to recover and flourish every time. Such an ancient city should be able to raise again once the conflict is over. Finding an immediate strategy like the remote mapping of the destruction and the safeguarding of heritage by the many organisations involved as well as an early planning of a postwar strategy will help make a great difference for Aleppo. In this project I tried to propose an idea for change in a small part of the Old City, an idea that is not enough to rebuild Aleppo but at least is one step closer towards a very long rebuilding process.
My design proposal for the area South of the Citadel will include a proposal for each of the seven main buildings on the site as well as the redesign of the public areas between them.'

Friday, 14 August 2015

Where are they now? Minding the little one ...

2013 MA A+U graduate Gu Fang (Felix to his Manchester friends) has sent news of the birth of his beautiful daughter Vela.

Felix is working in Shenzhen for Tsinghua-Yuan Architectural Design Ltd.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'The School of Constructed Realities'


FRI, 12.06.2015–SUN, 04.10.2015

A collateral project of the Vienna Biennale 2015

As a collateral project of the VIENNA BIENNALE 2015: IDEAS FOR CHANGE, the British designer duo Dunne & Raby have been invited this year to present an intervention in the uniquely furnished study interior from the Empire and Biedermeier era. For many years, Anthony Dunne, Professor and Head of the Design Interactions Department at the Royal College of Art in London, and Fiona Raby, Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, have been considered spearheads of a conceptual and critical design movement that makes speculations about alternative ways of life. They mainly work with research and educational institutions such as museums to contemplate the implementation of new technologies and their impact. With their most recent publication Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming (2013), they propagate an approach that uses
design to illustrate and make negotiable plausible scenarios— rather than to simply visualize images of the future.

With 'The School of Constructed Realities'—the title references a short story by Dunne & Raby for the textile company Maharam—, the designers make use of the Geymüllerschlössel as a meeting place for the founders of a fictitious school that both researches and teaches unreality. The gathering could take place in the past, present, or future. In several workshop scenarios, works by the studio are treated as case studies, such as United Micro Kingdoms (2012/13), a speculation about the continued existence of the United Kingdom, and Not Here, Not Now (2014), a series of interface objects from an alternative society. In their analysis of fiction and reality, they explore among other things the Theory of Objects by the Austrian philosopher and psychologist Alexius Meinong (1853–1920), which is hardly known today.

In regard to the motto of the first VIENNA BIENNALE their speculative schooling is an invitation to contemplate the future, change, and the role of design

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

University of Bath Urban Design Workshop 2015: Manchester

Readers of this blog may well recall the April visit to Manchester by M.Arch students from the University of Bath for an Urban Design Workshop, in lieu of their customary continental field trip. MA A+U was very pleased to host the group, with the Manchester students acting as observers of the methods and processes by which several group projects were woven into a single strategy for an extensive site stretching from the NOMA regeneration project, along the Irk Valley towards Collyhurst, images of which are shown below. These observations will form a component of the MA A+U cohort's 'Research Methodologies and Events' submissions this August.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'MAIFINITO'

Architecture +Urbanism is pleased to recommend a new publication MAIFINITO by Professore Gaetano Licata of the University of Palermo.

"These essays, projects and original drawings, together with a survey of international artistic, social and architectural experiences, all gravitate around the phenomenon of maifinito. A way to describe, and make visible, an enormous quantity of unfinished buildings diffused throughout urban and extra-urban areas, mainly in the South of Italy. A phenomenological investigation which is bound to overcome ideological biases, in order to let reveal paradoxical and hidden qualities. What can we learn from this phenomenon? Are there maifiniti buildings or settlements, which, as architectures, urban areas, and landscapes, can propose positive elements from which to learn, concepts to absorb and complex practices to borrow, both for their own transformation and for new projects? Which hypothesis of future development is still viable for maifinito buildings? The degree of incompleteness of the maifinito is ever-changing and, given its entity, we may attempt to see it as potential heritage that can be reactivated at any time, starting from the meeting between today’s current needs and the new tangible and intangible conditions produced by the maifinito."

MAIFINITO is published in a bilingual Italian and English edition by Quodlibet Studio

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'FUTURE OF PLACES: Public Space in the New Urban Agenda'

438 individuals from 344 organisations ranging from 76 countries are participating in the Urban Thinkers Campus “Public Space in the New Urban Agenda” organized by the Future of Places 29 June – 1 July 2015 in Stockholm.

The campus will draw on the earlier experience and knowledge of the Future of Places forum for public space. In joining efforts with other World Urban Campaign partners (Citynet, INU and SDI), we hope the campus will provide a platform for discussing public space in the New Urban Agenda that will be decided at Habitat III in 2016, but also in other important global processes such as the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21/CMP11).

The World Urban Campaign partners have agreed to contribute to the Habitat III Conference by engaging the international community, public, private, and civil society partners to contribute to the new Global Urban Agenda through a consensus document that describes «The City We Need.»

The Urban Thinkers Campus is an initiative of UN-Habitat conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban actors who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations. It is also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Placemaking and the Future of Oxford Road

Placemaking and the Future of Oxford Road

A cities@manchester Urban Forum held in association with Corridor Manchester

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

June 23 5.30-7.30 pm

Oxford Road is the heart of Manchester’s knowledge economy and is rapidly transforming into an internationally renowned hub of culture, business, higher education, and innovation. In addition to the major transportation upgrades that will be undertaken in the near future, a wide range of organisations are working to create a vibrant, distinctive, and compelling destination that will attract shoppers, employees, students, and visitors alike.

In this Urban Forum, a panel of stakeholders will reflect on the opportunities and challenges of placemaking on Oxford Road and the transformation of this key district in Manchester over the coming years.

Panellists include:
Jo Beggs, Manchester Museums Partnership
Eamonn Canniffe, Manchester School of Architecture
Jayne Cartwright, Vinspired
Diana Hampson, University of Manchester
Toby Sproll, Bruntwood
Chair: Andrew Karvonen (Lecturer in Architecture & Urbanism, University of Manchester)

The panel discussion will be followed by complimentary drinks and nibbles and informal conversation.
This event also launches Stories From The Road - a collaboration between cities@manchester and UrbanWords - which maps Oxford Road via creative writing and celebrates the individual stories which inform, create and question our cities:
This event is free to attend but booking is required via Eventbrite:

images courtesy of MA A+U graduate Edward Cutler

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