Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University
This studio asked students to become a social actionist – an [insitu] ationist. To contribute to the field of architecture by intersecting design, social criticism and activism as a key ‘creative driver’ in the advancement of innovative spatial design processes. To explore a new generation of ideas and tools for innovating our physical and social infrastructure.
The insituationist is an architectural manifesto that instigates rebellious design collaboration at an interdisciplinary level. With a role as important in the verbalisation of architecture as that of its design, the ‘insituactionist’ either produces a new space or gives an existing one new meaning and uses contrary to established behaviour. In so, the architect’s action is tied together through a common sensory ‘fabric’ that arises from a shared distribution of the spectacle – defining the way of being together. Digbeth’s Terrain Vagues
This studio was interested in the form of absence in the contemporary city. The abandoned areas, on obsolete and unproductive spaces and buildings, often undefined and without specific limits, places to which Solà-Morales applies the French term terrain vague.
The studio proposed new urban situations that could be assimilated as a process of unfolding, of differentiation, and of a quest for information that is often not quantifiable and escapes the logic of analysis systems of traditional urbanism. Specifically the study aimed to investigate how architecture can develop design methods that negotiate with these vacant sites in Digbeth, in order to maximise opportunities for occupation and social involvement, while retaining the sense and potency of Terrain Vague qualities.
Synchro[city] by Saylah Hussain
RIBA Bronze Medal Nomination
The design is one that is multifaceted and complex. The concept of ‘pattern’ is one which covers how the city is an ordered series of arrangement and display of a particular thing. The conceptual form tries to embrace the contradictory features and qualities of the site in order to create an architectural form which is stimulating for all. Designed for migrants, the main objective for the architectural form is to allow people to write their own version of Je me souviens, recall memories, create a quasiautobiography to define Digbeth with their own unique configuration formed from their own set of recollections. Therefore, the framework is made from patterns of stories. How can the architectural form created become something that is sensitive to these recollections?
The Sequel by Thomas Rowntree
AJ Student Prize School Nomination BA (Hons) +
AJ Student Prize School Nomination BA (Hons)
Design is a puzzle, solving problems and providing solutions. Design resolution requires us to respond and resolve the information we gathered during our research. It is a continuation that will utilise the themes and approaches of our design exploration to be able to respond conceptually and contextually in forming a building. In resolving our research, we will work through the macro, meso and micro scales to develop a well-established solution. The thesis is an intellectual proposition grounded on design research. The questions posed should be addressed and the methodology must be precise.
Interstice by Sehama Nuur
Starting this project on terrain vague, I saw the beauty in one of the many abandoned lots in Digbeth. The fascination of mapping windows came about from all the broken windows and pieces within the building. As the project developed, I started to investigate words derived from windows and came upon interstice; the space between and with this concept, it allowed me to explore a lot of ways for my forms. In connection to the brief, at first, I was interested in the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners and their aftermath of being released so my semester 1 hybrid explored the play on scale and use of vast space to confuse but also confront the idea that the mind is never empty; it is filled with chaos. With the internal manifestation framing the scene. With a lot of consideration my topic steered towards the fine line between real and fake and exploring that on an urban scale and the final drawings produced through my resolution tried to capture the essence of navigating through the underground to escape the city.
The Obscurity of Women by Sadiyah Tijani
A architectural manifesto exploring the social issue of women in modern day society.
Following my studio topic that revolves around social issues my project narrative is about the idea of Women+ Obscurity. This Manifesto expresses how women’s minds are obscured from socialisation to internalise particular norms and values that can result in negative trauma and more extreme experiences leaving vulnerable women behind. This journey of my built form follows the life process of the woman with each definitive stage being a separate experience for users to pass through like a home, stacked with a lift that takes you to each level, passing through the Bordesley viaduct until reaching the Garden of Eden where they are able to hide and enjoy a biodiverse utopia above the viaduct and the evils of society as pure, healed and free women. By creating a safe haven for women with experienced trauma I am obscuring and camouflaging them into a safe, free space for them to exist.
Symbiosis by Alexandra Ayrton
My project is called symbiosis and it studies the absence of connection between nature and human, in the highly industrialised area of Digbeth, Birmingham. My project aims to resolve a symbiotic environment between the two. It is a study of biomimicry in Architecture and the use of mycelium as a new organic building material. Looking at mycelium as an organism, studying its growth and behavioural patterns to develop a skin that almost mimics this living organism to resolve a structure, that grows on the neglected viaduct of Digbeth. The final structure is an internal garden, with a composition of smaller inner elements accessible to the visitors, branching to one another mimicking the way mycelium grows. This gives the visitor a new experience and a gateway towards nature and ventures to restore the connection, right in the heart of the industrial city.
Views by Shanice Langford
My project was inspired by graffiti; more specifically the mixed responses it provokes. Some people view it as an act of vandalism while others see it as a form of art. For exploration, I analysed graffiti as a careless act of vandalism that led to the development of my thesis investigating the theoretical relationship between art and individual opinions. Inspired by artist Wassily Kandinsky’s theoretical process outlined in Points Line to Plane.
I have designed an urban park based on viewing towers that become the new urban realm within the city, a new skin upon the urban surface, where artwork such as graffiti can be enjoyed. To achieve the structure I approached the site as the ‘Plane’, forming a grid based on the field diagram from exploration that became the ‘Lines’ and suspended platforms that become ‘Points’ that lock to the grid. Therefore viewing the site as a type of composition and using the field diagram to apply compositional constraints and possibilities.