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.

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

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


MA A+U student David Chandler will be holding a STOCKPORT URBAN FUTURES SURVEY on Sunday 14 June. 10 - 4 at the Manchester Metropolitan University Market Place Studios, Market Place, Stockport as part of his postgraduate research on the future planning of Stockport town centre, in particular Little Underbank, Royal Oak Yard, Great Underbank, Adlington Walk and High Bankside. The event is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, with other open studio events also running at the same time, while in the Market Hall itself the Vintage Village Concrete Fair featuring the Manchester Modernist Society will also be occurring.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure'

In June 2015, ARKDES, the Swedish Architecture and Design Centre, launch Reprogramming the City, a global collection of forward thinking ideas and projects curated by SCOTT BURNHAM that reuse and repurpose existing urban assets to meet the growing needs of cities and people.
From a billboard in Lima, Peru, that has been converted into a humidity collection system to provide clean drinking water for residents, to abandoned subway tunnels in London that have been repurposed as food growing areas, Reprogramming the City reveals the unrealized capabilities of existing urban assets when they are used in new ways.

The exhibition runs at ARKDES in Stockholm from 18 June until 30 August

Monday, 18 May 2015

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'ESTUDOPREVIO.NET'

Estudo Prévio is a digital journal from Centro de Estudos de Arquitectura, Cidade e Território of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa. Its recent edition #FIVE/SIX features papers from the International Symposium PUBLIC SPACE: THE SQUARE IN THE CONTEMPORARY CITY held in Lisbon in January 2012 and organised by Flavio Barbini. The journal may be accessed through ESTUDOPREVIO.NET and includes the following contribution.

Eamonn Canniffe


The subject of this symposium is timely. The periods when the piazza as a type has undergone sustained study as an urban phenomenon, in the latter half of the nineteenth century as exemplified by Sitte, and in the post Second World War period with the development of townscape, were both times of immense transformation in cities, when traditional forms of urbanism and society were under severe pressure. In contrast, the period of reassessment which took place from the mid 1960s to the mid 1990s under the leadership of figures such as Aldo Rossi and the Krier brothers, was one of relative stagnation. In the present time, the urban situation has experienced a dramatic transformation over the last two decades as new development encroached on urban centres, but once again the piazza features as an identifying characteristic of urban quality, a word which might be applied to the most unlikely open areas of hard landscape and ‘space left over after planning’, as if the name itself was a guarantee of sophistication and pleasure.

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