We kicked off our project with a day on site! Alan - our collaborator from the Chorlton Traders Association - gave us an insightful tour around our area of Chorlton. We identified the abandoned and derelict spaces we will focus on and chatted about the opportunities which introducing temporary use will unlock. It was great to have a chance to experience the atmosphere of the place and feel so close to the tight-knit community. We’re so excited to be working in Chorlton!!!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 10:46
As a group of 5, we are collaborating with the Chorlton Traders Association to address vacant spaces in Chorlton to start their regeneration with temporary architecture. We will be mapping out these vacant spaces and derelict pieces of the urban grain like buildings, shutters, electrical boxes etc; creating an argument for why a rapid intervention is needed. We’ve planning a variety of workshops, including working in-situ, giving opportunities to brush up on research abilities, surveying, AutoCAD, model making, Photoshop and Sketchup skills.
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:01
Team intro: Alice
Dissertation: How have post-‘Thatcherism’ housing and planning policies contributed to the UK housing crisis that is evident today? A case study of Manchester City Centre.
Architectural interests: I am interested in intersectional participatory design approaches that are focused on producing quality spaces for communities to thrive. I believe in engagement practices, over consultation, and like to embed this into the design process from the very beginning. In my Part 1 placement I worked on several community schemes and social housing refurbishments, employing retrofit first perspectives to maintain the important fabric and character of existing buildings.
Spare time: I’m an outdoors person who enjoys hiking, cycling, and camping. I also enjoy attending music gigs, exploring local book shops, and making pancakes 😊
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:03
Team intro: Matt
Dissertation: ‘There’s No [Queer] Place Like Home’ Domesticity and Place Attachment Beyond the Heteronormative.
Architectural interests: I am interested in place-making practices, looking at how a queered view of architecture embodies an intersectional approach to design. In practice I worked on sensitive residential extensions to listed barns and bespoke house renovations in Cheshire. I enjoy working with light, shadow, material and texture in order to create specific spatial qualities for specific user experiences.
Spare time: I often paint when free or tend my allotment and am currently renovating a house for resale. I can be found in a Northern Quarter bar most weekends if not back in Essex seeing family.
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:04
Team intro: Padmaja
Dissertation: Urban morphology quantification: A case-based comparative analysis at Mumbai, India.
Architectural interests: I am interested in information about the system's functionality, data structures, interfaces, processing logic, performance characteristics. Throughout my architectural school, I have tried to make a conscious effort to approach design as a process rather an end product which has in turn inspired me to always try to look for the most holistic and cognitive solution to the design problem. In practice I worked on various large scale residential and commercial buildings.
Spare time: I’m a major book nerd when it comes to my spare time, but I also like to hike and maybe read a book on the edge of a mountain ;)
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:06
Team intro: Karol
Dissertation: Dematerialising space with the use of light: a study on James Turrell’s art shifting our perception.
Architectural interests: I am interested in site-specific schemes, really capturing the atmosphere of the place where they’re located. I find myself passionate about the user’s sensual experience of the structures I create. In practice I worked on various renovations and adaptive reuse of listed building in residential and retail.
Spare time: I enjoy cycling, hiking in the Peaks especially and analogue photography. I’ve recently taken up crocheting again, but adore a good music gig and a bit of a boogie!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:07
Action Plan: WEEK 1
We’ve developed a draft action plan for the 2 weeks of hands on work in May! Have a look at WEEK 1 and see if you’re interested! We want to work on site in Chorlton and get to model-making in the B.15 studio 😉
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:23
Action plan: WEEK 2
WEEK 2 timetable of the action weeks. We want to engage in lots of concept and design work to activate the neighbourhood!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 15:47
Heads up! We're presenting on Thursday 18th May!
This week we’re starting our MSA Live project and can’t wait to meet you all! At the end of the second action week are planning a final wrap up session at the Chorlton Central Church. We’d like to invite you all to join us there, to meet and engage in conversation with our collaborator from Chorlton Traders and a few other friendly faces from different community groups. It will take place on Thursday 18th May 4:30- 6:30pm in the meeting room (https://chorlton-central.org.uk/meeting-room/). Now, let’s get started with prep for Action Week 1!!
Posted 8 May 2023 14:57
We’re kicking off Tuesday morning, 9th of May, at 10am in Geoffrey Monton Building on the MMU campus, room GM306. We’ll be starting with some introductions about us, the topic of temporary use and area we’re working in! That will be followed by a 1-2h walk around Chorlton to immerse yourself in the site’s atmosphere. To get there, we’ll be taking the tram together. Please bring your laptops for some initial research, sketchbooks and pens/ pencils. You might want to bring a camera (phones are okay as well!) to gather some pics from the walk. We’re going to finish off at a local pub to get to know each other a bit better and chat about the following activities this week. See you tomorrow 😉
Posted 8 May 2023 15:12
Some background information!
Temporary architecture is the topic we’re going to be tacking for the next couple of weeks starting tomorrow. Recently, we’ve been experiencing more and more ephemeral examples of structures that show permanency isn’t the power of architecture. Community and collective identity of an area can be reinforced by action, reclaiming and redefining! The initiatives often seek to really understand the local needs and regional expressions of inclusivity and unique potential. To have a bit of a head start we recommend this article which features amazing pieces of community architecture that popped up just in 2022: https://www.archdaily.com/993876/community-and-identity-central-topics-in-ephemeral-architecture-in-2022?ad_campaign=normal-tag . The approach we will be taking is adaptive reuse of existing spaces, but it’s good practice to get inspired by a range of examples!
Images taken from the link source above overlayed over own photograph of Chorlton.
Posted 8 May 2023 17:20
Questions to get you thinking!
How can we bring this approach to Chorlton, in Manchester?
Who will this benefit?
What materials are most suitable for sustainable structures?
How does it increase the social, environmental, economic value of the re-used space?
Those are just a few questions, extremely relevant to contemporary architecture, which we want to answer during this mini- project.
We have been to one of the sites in Chorlton which we thought could benefit from temporary interventions. The Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre has recently been struggling a bit in terms of tenants pulling out and you can find a few empty units around there. This is because the proposed development has less commercial units than currently exist and are therefore no longer renewing leases when they end. We thought the precinct square, which has quite a significant footfall and is used by the locals. As a team we surveyed the area, to then draw it up in AutoCAD and populate with our design proposals of temporary solutions to improve the space.
Posted 11 May 2023 15:49
May 11th (Afternoon)
After coming back from Chorlton we’ve split into smaller groups working on a physical model, drawing the survey up in AutoCAD, researching the topic of meanwhile architecture, and creating design proposals. We’ve been working hard on making a good start on the outputs, simultaneously learning new skills and working both by hand and in different digital software.
Tomorrow, the plan is to continue working in groups but switching these over at midday so that we can all try out our skills in different stages of design. Remember to watch the health and safety video before going to B15 modelmaking workshop! Tomorrow, some of us are meeting in B15 and the rest in MTC at 10am, see you there! Hope you enjoyed today!
Posted 11 May 2023 16:07
Chorlton Arts Festival: 19-28th May!
We were looking at the Chorlton Arts Festival, which is a community arts festival run entirely by volunteers and featuring artists from South Manchester. Their aim is to involve artists from all backgrounds irrespective of their capabilities or their income. Any form of art is welcome: music, singing, visual arts, creative writing, poetry and more. This happens in cafes, bars, shops, open public spaces, churches and schools. This year the event will take place between the 19th and 28th of May. Potentially, the framework of our project involves the people and work that's already being contributed around Chorlton.
Can't believe we're starting WEEK 2 already! We’ve picked up where we left off on Friday and headed off to B.15 to finish our context model of Chorlton. Using reclaimed pieces and bits of materials, we’ve now got a base for our ideas and interventions to go on top of. We’ll be modelling our concepts and designs during the next couple of days for the final presentation of Thursday!
Posted 15 May 2023 14:36
May 15th (Afternoon)
The other groups were cracking on with proposals for the temporary interventions. Before the final meeting with our clients, we’re planning on having developed those ideas into collages, sketches and models. Our plan is to include a variety of potential designs that can be considered for physical interventions around Chorlton in the future.
Posted 15 May 2023 14:53
Work in progress!! We are continuously brainstorming to put together a range of temporary interventions that can be applied in the context of Chorlton. We are basing them around a general framework according to how quickly they can be implemented in real time. We are proposing the Shopping Precinct in the neighbourhood to be a central location for community engagement. As we are progressing with multiple ideas and initiatives the list keeps growing, changing and developing, we’re excited to see where the rest of the week takes us!!
Posted 15 May 2023 15:08
May 17th (Afternoon)
Today's all about the finishing touches to all the outputs we've produced during the past week and a half! The model team is working hard to get it finished for the presentation tomorrow. We've got other teams working on the presentation itself, maps, and visuals. It looks like it's coming together nicely and we can all feel that the end is in sight! Tomorrow will be all about preparing for the meeting we've got lined up in the afternoon in Chorlton ;)
Posted 17 May 2023 11:49
May 17th (Afternoon)
We've taken the model to the B.12 photography studio to introduce it to the students that haven't been to the space. We have managed to create a great model so we got a set of professionally taken photos of the interventions in context. This afternoon, we got the presentation ready as well as the AutoCAD scaled plan of the Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre precinct with our interventions to scale. It's been a busy day!
Posted 17 May 2023 16:11
BA Team: India
As a wrap up session and a big thank you for collaboration ,we asked all BA students to submit a reflection on the past two weeks. These will be popping up on the blog throughout the day! Starting with India's...
I have enjoyed collaborating with a team across different year groups. I appreciated working with two members of Praxxis which is the atelier I would like to go into in third year. All the MArch leads have brought different expertise and I have learnt new skills from them. The project has been exciting and rewarding as it is based in the community that I live in, Chorlton.
I have learnt new skills in photoshop and illustrator, how to produce a site model from data download and AutoCAD. On site we were able to measure using a laser distance meter which I hadn’t used before. Most importantly I have learnt how to implement a client’s needs within a community setting in a creative way.
Along with my skills and positive experience, I will take forwards the advice and insights that the 5th years gave about part one placements.
Posted 18 May 2023 10:42
BA Team: Luana
Doing site analysis, sharing thoughts, and learning to structure a project as a team has been beneficial for me. I appreciate this experience, and will use these new approaches into my further work as a student.
Each member of our fantastic team showed engagement and enthusiasm for collaboration. Thanks for putting in the effort and good job everyone!
Posted 18 May 2023 10:46
BA Team: Joe
I've enjoyed meeting people in other years and the insight they have provided. It has been very easy to talk to everyone and the project was made more interesting due to the skills I learned with help from the masters students particularly.
I finally learnt photoshop after avoiding it all year. This was due to the help of the masters students. I've also learnt how to survey a site and delegate work to others when working in a team.
Posted 18 May 2023 10:54
BA Team: Jiacheng
I like the modeling part the most. From the initial plan to the implementation of the workshop. I really enjoy the modeling process. I also learned a lot about operating the machines and it was my first time making models in a workshop.
I learned a few tricks for fieldwork and modelling skills
I really appreciated all the knowledge and skills I have learned! And of course the spirit of teamwork!
Posted 18 May 2023 11:12
BA Team: Alessandro
I really enjoyed doing this project because it made me develop new skills. Thanks to this project, I deepened my knowledge in photoshop and discovered how to cut wood blocks using a bandsaw. It was quite unfortunate I didn’t start the project with much information but after the first day, I understood the task and as a team we worked brilliantly. I will definitely try to use bandsaws in the future for site models and make better collages with my newly acquired photoshop skills.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:13
BA Team: Ellie
Over the last two weeks, I have really enjoyed working with students from different years with more knowledge and experience than me. It was very helpful and insightful to be able to turn to them for guidance and advice throughout the project. I really enjoyed contributing to the site model in B.15 and learnt many skills there, using the bandsaw for the first time. I will definitely carry these skills into future projects. The community focus of this scheme has definitely helped inform my Studio 1.2 project. It has been very rewarding to work on a live project where you can visit and return to site, and I am excited to see the positive impact of future interventions in Chorlton’s vacant spaces.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:17
BA Team: De-Winton
I enjoyed collaborating with students with greater experience and skills. It was great to talk through my ideas and iterations with members of the group. I quite liked the broad project brief- it allowed us great freedom in decision-making. The subject matter was also quite intriguing.
I was involved in the making of the Laser cutting file and have therefore developed my knowledge of AutoCAD.
I want to develop my skills in digital design, so I aim to use Photoshop as well as AutoCAD in my next projects as I have only used PowerPoint up to this point.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:26
BA Team: Dominic
I’ve enjoyed the fact that community engagement has been at the heart of this project from the start. Developing concepts around temporary, playful architecture has also been a refreshing change of pace from the usual studio projects, and the framework we’ve developed here will hopefully allow the stakeholders of Chorlton to implement their own ideas, which feels like a genuinely useful tool that will serve the community in the months and years to come.
I think it would have been nice to create some more models or perhaps a 1:1 intervention as an example of what can be achieved.
I’ve learned a lot about how to structure community-led projects and seeing the impact small, cheap and/or temporary architecture can have on spaces has been very eye opening. I’ve also picked up some valuable tips for Photoshop and InDesign.
I definitely want to focus community engagement in my future studio projects and I now feel like I have the framework for achieving this. I’d also like to experiment more with this kind of low impact architecture as a means of creating interventions that do not require a large economic or carbon cost to implement.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:30
BA Team: Athina
I enjoyed learning about the context of the site in Chorlton and looking at examples of meanwhile projects. I also enjoyed exploring how different types of materiality can be incorporated into projects.
I have learnt new ways to express and illustrate concepts and iteration for projects and how to incorporate and evaluate precedents in my projects.
In future projects studio projects I will explore different types of materiality and concepts of meanwhile projects.