Our MSA Live event offers the opportunity for children to learn about post-war infrastructure through a fun and engaging virtual school trip. A normal school trip is an opportunity to break with routine and learn about somewhere new. Admittedly, we can’t recreate the atmosphere of excitement as you wait for the bus, but we can give the children a chance to work with their friends to discover interesting stories through interacting with a new space. BArch students will design this new virtual space and create online games for the children to play on their “day out”. It will also give an opportunity to get architecture into the curriculum and show the positive affect architecture can have. Architects were not commonly involved in the design of industrial buildings but you can see the aesthetic and social improvements they made when the National Coal Board started using them. The huge, potentially overbearing forms were made monumental and iconic while hiding the messiness of the industrial day-to-day work. Amenities also played a large role, and the public was receptive to these industrial monoliths in their area because of these benefits to the community, despite the pollution. These structures are steadily disappearing as we gradually switch to a fossil-fuel free energy system but their historical importance should not be understated. By educating children we are ensuring that these iconic buildings live on through in the next generation, even if their physical presence has faded.
The Circus House are an inspiring organisation dedicated to bringing smiles to the communities of Manchester. The organisation is made up of 15 different teachers and technical staff members each with their own amazing talents and skills.
The Circus House host classes and workshops for all ages and skill sets, making for an inclusive and fun environment. Workshops include aerial silks, juggling, unicycling, acrobatics and much more!
We are working with one of the directors of the company, Sian. She deals with the performance bookings and the aerial programme for the organisation. Sian is a great character to be working with.
Throughout the 2 weeks of MSA Live, we are looking to introduce some new skills to our students as well as improving on existing ones. Technical knowledge such as software skills will be one of our focus, but we believe there is also a huge advantage in improving soft skills such as group collaboration as well as presentation skills that can often be overlooked.
As such, we will create a safe and conducive environment for students to feel more confident during presentations as well as group sessions while gathering tips and constructive feedback for everyone to improve.
For software skills, workshops will be conducted to improve workflow as well as introduce some new programmes. QnA sessions are an integral part of these workshop and will be invaluable for students to ask anything in order to further familiarise themselves.
Softwares in the workshop include:
Our social agenda is all about utilising our creativity to add further value to rejuvenate play areas and reinvent the entire concept of play so that it mirrors that of a child's imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. We are aware of Chorlton’s tight knit community so we would personify that image in a safe yet playful environment. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the community around them, and we have been given this special opportunity to enhance this experience for them.
By looking at ‘play’, we would be discussing, collaborating and designing four themes that revolve around nature, inclusivity, adaptability and sustainability. These concepts would be developed into play areas, tailored for the users of Beech Road Park.
Meet our lovely collaborators - Friends of Beech Road Park Chorlton!
Friends of Beech Road Park is a community-led group of like-minded residents living in Chorlton who are passionate about and recognises the importance of green spaces access for everyone, especially in current times with the COVID lockdown. They play an active role in managing and maintaining the park, as well as plan events such as the recent Beech Road Park Mosaic, a home-based art project which is in partnership with Unity Arts, to foster a strong community spirit, not letting the lockdown hinder their enthusiasm.
Our main contact working alongside us is MSA’s own Laura Sanderson, a senior lecturer and a familiar face for those in the Continuity in Architecture atelier. Other Friends look forward to joining us periodically through MSA Live to participate and view our projects.
All of us here and our Friends cannot wait to meet everyone, and see all our creative ideas for unique play spaces for the kids in Chorlton and elevate the already important Beech Road Park to the next level for this tightly knit community!
Dr Richard Brook & Dr Luca Csepely Knorr ran the Year 5 MArch Research Methods Workshop titled: The Landscape and Architecture of post-war British Infrastructure: Coal- which this events group works within. Both are experienced historians with extensive knowledge on post-war infrastructure and landscape, and used their expertise to help the group research five power stations and one coal mining complex in the Selby Coalfield. They will be working with the Power Trip team in the organisation of the website and exhibition, and offer a great perspective on the presentation of our research. They collaboratively run an AHRC funded research network: ‘The Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure: Cooling Down’, which this project will be a part of. The projects hope to reveal the value of these infrastructural monuments both in terms of their design, and their social and cultural contributions to the mining communities they have grown alongside. Many of these buildings are facing demolition, and we are working to highlight their importance both in explaining our past, and informing the future of energy production in the country.
Dr Richard Brook is the MSA Infraspace atelier leader and is a registered architect. He is particularly interested in post-WWII British modern architecture, infrastructure, and the impact of government planning and regulation on the built environment. Richard is an experienced architectural historian who is currently leading a project called ‘The Life of Buildings’, where he and his collaborators are creating interactive virtual reality models of historically important buildings from archival drawings and oral histories. The project’s long term aim is to create ‘mixed reality’ cities that co-exist with real cities to educate people on our lost architectural heritage.
Dr Luca Csepely Knorr is the Joint Programme Leader of the Master of Landscape Architecture course and is a chartered landscape architect. Her research focuses on the histories of landscape architecture, architecture and urban design between the late 19th century to the 1970’s. Luca is experienced in co-ordinating multi-disciplinary teams within and outside of the university. She is also currently co-organising an interdisciplinary network ‘How Women Build’ exploring the role of women in the construction industry amongst involvement with many other research projects.
View Luca’s work here: msa-uk.academia.edu/LucaCsepelyKnorr
The National Coal Mining Museum for England hosts a range of exhibitions on the site of the decommissioned Caphouse Colliery- where many former miners tell their stories of life down the pit. Activities and events preserve the valuable social and industrial history of the mining industry, which came to an end in the UK in 2015 with the closure of the last deep coal mine. The museum is also home to an extensive archive. During the event week we will prepare a series of images for a future exhibition at the National Coal Mining Museum for England (details TBC).
In this project, we are focusing on visually communicating and broadcasting the goals, motivations and projects from WOAH + GMHAN. We are producing a website as the primary output, as such, our skills are related to those needed in building a successful website.