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.

Monday 26 December 2011

Public Space: The square in the contemporary city

International Symposium, 13 and 14 January 2012 UAL Lisbon
Public Space:
The  square in the contemporary city

From its origins to the present time, the square has maintained its role as a public space of excellence in citizens' lives, a place where the streams intersect, influencing the more relevant social transformations. Given the awareness that the square is now consolidated as a city's heritage, what are the current trends and the different approaches for the redesign of squares? How do architects and designers respond to this challenge?

The symposium, consisting of one and a half days (Friday and Saturday morning), intends to open a debate on the role of the square in the contemporary city, taking case studies in Portugal, Spain and Italy. We will explore other areas of thought and research, such as history and philosophy.

The conversation model focuses on the exposure of several speakers per panel, followed by debate.


January 13, Friday
Opening of the Symposium
Flavio Barbini (UAL)
Filipa Ramalhete (CEACT UAL)
Paulo Tormenta Pinto (ISCTE IUL)

Panel 1
09h00 to 13h30

The Agora and the Roman Forum
Flavio Barbini (UAL, PT)
Middle Ages and Renaissance, the place of the square
Rogério Vieira de Almeida (ISCTE IUL, PT)

Coffee Break
The Enlightenment square
Miguel Faria (UAL PT)
Squares of the Empire during the Estado Novo
Ana Vaz Milheiro (ISCTE IUL, UAL, U.S.)

Panel 2
15:00 to 18:00

The "anti square"
José Manuel Fernandes (FAUTL, PT)

Public space, Banyoles, Girona
Silvia Brandi (MIAS Josep Mias Architects, Barcelona, ​​ES)


The Repugnant Stage
Eamonn Canniffe (Manchester School of Architecture, UK)

Piazza Ugo Dalló and S. Luigi Casiglione delle Stiviere, Mantova
Alberto Ferlenga (Naomi Architetti, IUAV, IT)

Debate moderated by Paulo Tormenta Pinto (ISCTE IUL, PT)

January 14, Saturday

Panel 3
10h00 to 13h00

Public Space
Nuno Crespo (UAL, PT)

The square of the Abbey of Santa Maria de Alcobaça Alcobaça
Gonçalo Sousa Byrne (FCTUC, PT)


The Ambivalence of the Public Square
Malcolm Miles (School of Architecture, Design & Environment)
University of Plymouth, UK)

Intervention in the neighborhood and Contumil Pius XII, Porto
Cristina Guedes (FAULP, PT) and Francisco Vieira de Campos (FAUP, PT)

Debate moderated by Ricardo Carvalho (Department of Architecture UAL PT)

Organised DA-UAL - CEACT ISCTE-IUL - CIAAM and dynamic CET

Friday 16 December 2011

MA A+U Christmas Dinner

The 2011-12 MA A+U cohort brought Michaelmas Term to a traditional close with a festive Christmas dinner at sandbar, a local venue created in 1996 by its patron 2011 MA A+U graduate Stephen Gingell and current MA A+U student Simon James Gonzalez. Many thanks to Damien Woolliscroft who acted as mein host for the evening.


Monday 12 December 2011


Ketki Tendolkar, Supriya Pundlik and Natalie Macbride
with Eamonn Canniffe

The first trio of graduates of the 2010-11 MA A+U cohort received their degrees at a ceremony held in the Whitworth Hall at the University of Manchester on Monday 12 December. In his speech the Head of the School of Environment and Development Professor Simon Guy praised the excellent quality of the year's work, and wished them all well for their future careers in the UK and around the world.

Also on the dais and participating in the ceremony were Dr. Albena Yaneva, Head of the Manchester School of Architecture Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr. Leandro Minuchin and Dr. Isabelle Doucet

Thursday 8 December 2011

Alison and Peter Smithson: The Charged Void: Urbanism (2005)

Discussed by Zoe Mason

Alison and Peter Smithson met at the school of architecture in Newcastle; they then married and set up their own practice in London after winning a competition to design Hunstanton School in (1950 - now a Grade II listed building). After completion of the school, the Smithson’s began to move away from modernism and establish ‘new brutalism’; a style evident in much of their own work, as well as the numerous projects that they have influenced. They disagreed with the ideals of Le Corbusier and the Athens charter; what they felt was lacking was identity, a concept discussed at length throughout the book. ‘The Charged Void: Urbanism’ is one of two volumes by Alison and Peter Smithson, published in 2005, four years after their first book ‘The Charged Void: Architecture’. The book is a series of case studies in roughly chronological order. Each project is thoroughly illustrated and described in relation to a number of themes, which form the 14 chapters of the book. Some of these themes are reiterated in the chapter titles, showing consistency to the principles followed by the Smithsons throughout their working life. 

The first chapter considers house types and their context, a result of the studying the Valley Section created by Patrick Geddes; a biologist, sociologist and urban planner who was interested in the relationship between life and its environment. The Smithson’s used Geddes’ Valley Section to devise a range of house types to suit different communities; the hamlet, the village, the town and the city. These designs were hugely influential, with a number of housing schemes taking inspiration from them. The term ‘Cluster’ is used to avoid association with the concept of the ‘street’; a place that the Smithson’s felt was outdated, since the use of cars prevents the street from being a place for a resident to identify with their environment. This led to their project ‘Golden Lane’, designed in 1952, a multi level project with housing occupying one side of wide ‘streets in the sky’, designed to provide residents with direct pedestrian access to activities intended to give the community a strong sense of identity.

The Smithsons' house type designs appear in a number of urban planning schemes, most notably ‘Hamburg Steilshoop’. This project is discussed in one of two chapters entitled ‘Connection allows scatter’, along with ‘Berlin Haupstadt’. Both were large utopian masterplans for development, designed with similar basic concepts; allowance for maximum mobility, which was done by separating pedestrian and vehicular movement as much as possible with pedestrian ‘streets in the sky’; the creation of an inverted profile to allow for open space in the centre; allowance for growth and change and the inclusion of green space. Both schemes are designed with transportation networks forming the primary structure; connections and routes, whether vehicular or pedestrian, are the main focus for much of the Smithsons' urban planning. 
‘Connection allows scatter’ is a concept that is also reflected in the projects studied in the chapter ‘Cohesion’; which concerns the ‘poetry of movement, the connection of the city’. In this chapter we see plans for a triangulated net of urban motorways, as well as ‘greenways and land castles’; intended to allow London to develop as a motorised city while maintaining safe, green pedestrian and cycle connections. Similar to the ‘Greenways’ of London are the ‘Wild Ways’ of Berlin; a leisure network of green routes created using the disused railways in Berlin. Alison and Peter Smithson also briefly introduce their ‘ideal city’ as an infrastructure of motorways connecting scattered points of intensity which are three miles apart; the ‘3 mile measure’. These proposals are illustrative of a recurring concept in the book, ‘Pavilion and Route’. The Smithson’s idea was to separate the two, and allow them to develop independently. 

A particularly interesting scheme which reflects many of the ideas already discussed is the Kuwait urban study; a project intended to give the city its own Arab identity, which they felt had been destroyed by fragmented Westernised development. The outcome was logical with interesting research and development, which resulted in the design of a low level ‘MAT’ building on stilts across the city. This ‘MAT’ building was to be divided on various gridlines to create a ‘Galleria’, which allowed for sight lines between the ‘fixes’ in the city; the mosques. The design was proposed to create shade across the city for freedom of pedestrian movement in the hot climate. Cars were to be separated from the pedestrian movement and lead to covered car parks, or into the multi-storey car park built along the boundary of the old city, where the earthen rampart once stood. 

The book mostly consists of Urban Planning schemes which were designed but never built; however it does also cover the Smithsons' most successful built project, the Economist Building in London, a small cluster of towers with a public plaza (which is now also Grade II listed). This contrasts enormously with the failure of another of their built projects, ‘Robin Hood Gardens’; a housing estate in London built around a central green mound referred to as the ‘stress free zone’, which was to be overlooked by the surrounding flats and their ‘streets in the sky’. This building was a physical representation of the Smithsons' ideals of community, an arena for social interaction with visual and physical connections encouraging expression of identity; but in reality it was vandalised and neglected by its unhappy residents. The project (but not its failures) is discussed briefly in the context of ‘Holes in the cities’.

The book is concluded with a range of much smaller design projects such as the Yellow lookout; a small installation intended to be one of many ‘Signals’; or the leafy arbours over the Verbindungskanal in Berlin, designed as a ‘Minimal Intervention’. These smaller projects perhaps show the damage that the failure of Robin Hood Gardens did to their reputation, which never fully recovered.

Monday 5 December 2011

Flaminio Film and Book Launch

Recent MA A+U graduate Kathryn Timmins will be holding a book launch and showing her project film on the Flaminio quarter in Rome at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 7 December in The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street, Manchester.

You can see her film here

You can follow her tumblr on the project here

Thursday 1 December 2011

Interim Review

On Tuesday 29 November MA A+U held an interim review for full and part time students, a chance to discover to what extent they were still Lost in Space. Guest critics at this event were Isabel Britch (Architects Britch), Gavin Elliott (BDP) and Steve Parnell who contributes regularly to the architectural press.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Camillo Sitte: City Building According To Artistic Principles (1889)

Reviewed by Jack Penford Baker


Written in 1889, Camillo Sitte’s book City Building According to Artistic Principles, is seen as the first publication to discuss the concept of Urban Planning. Cited still to this day, his critical analysis of the then modern planning principles and historical precedents paved the way for a new breed of theoretical practitioners in the art of Urbanism.

The book informally breaks down into three apparent sections. Initially Sitte outlines and documents what he perceives to be worthwhile paradigms of historical public spaces. Next he looks to the present, and systematically reveals the failures of the then modern city planning principals before finally outlining a set of solutions, presented in the form of a case study of Vienna’s own plazas, compiling the first significant documentation on what is now a global practice; Urbanism.


The early parts of the book look towards the analysis of Sitte’s depiction of successful urban space. Through decades of travelling across Italy, Germany and other central European countries he discovered what he understood to be the epitome of city planning. Italian cities with Roman and Medieval influences portrayed Sittes’s ideology, an ideology that looked at the personal experience of individuals within the spaces of the city, not of the city as a machine. To him Roman spaces worked and still work, and it is with the past’s understanding of urban space that is fundamental in the understanding of the problem with modern city planning.

Piazza Della Signoria in Firenze, Italy, displays a crucial element of piazza design. Within the square Michelangelo created the infamous statue of David, originally planned to sit upon the cathedral, Michelangelo argued for it to be positioned in the square. Instead of positioning it in the centre for all to experience, Michelangelo insisted for it to sit adjacent to the palazzo entrance. A somewhat odd request, however the choice resembled an element of town planning that Sitte believes is crucial in modern times. By sitting the statue away from the central axis it removes any interference with circulation, and views to the entrances and buildings. The concept is taken further with the principle addressed to the positioning of churches. As an Englishman, one would always assume that churches be isolated and monumental in their context. However Sitte believes that churches within a square should sit not in isolation, rather on the contrary, as part of the perimeter. By referencing Rome he outlines how some 6 out of 255 churches sit on their own, a striking difference. “That the center of plazas be kept free”.
He further progresses to outline other key principles of ancient urban spaces that he believes have been lost in modern planning. With his reiterated reinforcing of the pedestrians experience as the true factor of success, Sitte states how the design of streets in successful precedents always revolves around that of the experience. Their designs follow key formulas, for example he believes that all entrances views into a plaza should not infringe on each other, and should enter from an obscure angle. Other such rules relate to the dimensions of the space, for example the squares width must be greater than that of the focal building’s height, but not be anymore than twice its size in order to create a welcoming space.
Upon all of the guidelines that Sitte mentions through the use of precedents, he emphasises the natural growth of such squares, and the passing of time as a fundamental key to generating the ideal plaza. A natural selection, whereupon cities develop and through time the failing are removed and the successful remain.


Sitte believed that the approach of the then current town planners was a problem. To him the key shift in modern city planning was from an Artistic led ideology to that of a Service led, technocratic thought of mind. A city designed for machines, not for human beings.
The grid represented a critical failure in town planning. Sitte thought that the use of a grid led to inefficiency and hierarchically placed a critical element of town planning at the bottom of the list, public open space. The ‘grid’ is a service orientated approach. It concentrates on plumbing, hygiene, and the vehicle as the important elements, the public are seen more of a secondary if not tertiary component of the city. The ‘grid’ behaves in plan, but not section. It does not deal too well with difficult topography and land formation. The result leads to unused, unwanted space in the city that is normally deemed as suitable public open space. This idea frustrated Sitte, where the open space does not derive from anything, other than the offcuts, those irregular elements inappropriate for the built form. The open spaces should be around the activity, as in medieval squares, next to public buildings / markets / theatres. People flock to activity, the ‘grid’ eliminates activity.
Artistic principles were missing. It is those principles that generate a greater experience for the pedestrian and lead to the success of open spaces within cities. Sitte saw that the life of the common people has, for centuries, been steadily withdrawing from public squares, especially so in recent times. The lack of art acted as a catalyst for the transformation of the city into a machine.
Sitte saw the importance of the relationship between class and the public space. He outlined that the wealthy will always have other experiences driven by economy, the theatre and concerts for example, regardless of open space. Whereas the lower classes are affected significantly by those open spaces, ungoverned by their wealth. It is the parceling of plots, purely for economical considerations, that has become a problem in modern society and city planning. Sitte believed that the participation of art above all else affected those within a space.


Camillo Sitte concludes the book with his methods put into practice. Using the backdrop of his home city of Vienna, he adapts several existing spaces within the city to correspond to his beliefs. The Votive Church in Vienna sits isolated on it’s own, a characteristic deemed unsuccessful. He chooses to populate the plaza that envelops this extraordinary building. The building looks to create a series of smaller openings, looking to emphasise specific façades of the grand church, and concluding by manifesting itself into a comfortable experience for those that visit. 
His ‘Artistic Principles’ do not take that of a rudimentary lateral form. There is no list of rules to follow, on the contrary, Sitte’s book, for all of it’s accounts of modern problems, is rather chivalrous to the current state. For all the magnitude his practice today has become, he study was one of modesty. His work is that of the ‘Human Condition’, it utlises the terminology and practice of what we know perceive as Town Planning, to improve the urban form in which he lived. Using the backdrop of his home city of Vienna, he adapts several existing spaces within the city to correspond to his beliefs. The Votive Church in Vienna sits isolated on its own, a characteristic deemed unsuccessful. He chooses to populate the plaza that envelops this extraordinary building. The building looks to create a series of smaller openings, looking to emphasise specific façades of the grand church, and concluding by manifesting itself into a comfortable experience for those that visit. 
His ‘Artistic Principles’ do not take that of a rudimentary lateral form. There is no list of rules to follow, on the contrary, Sitte’s book, for all of its accounts of modern problems, is rather chivalrous to the current state. For all the magnitude his practice today has become, the study was one of modesty. His work is that of the ‘Human Condition’, it utlises the terminology and practice of what we now perceive as Town Planning, to improve the urban form in which he lived.

Saturday 26 November 2011

MARC Conference: Multi-Faith Spaces - Symptoms and Agents of Religious and Social Change

Registration has now opened for the forthcoming conference, eponymously titled: Multi-Faith Spaces: Symptoms & Agents of Religious & Social Change, organised by the Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC). This two day event will bring together a wide range of contributions; from academics, policy experts, architects, designers, theologians, chaplains, and facilities managers. The conference will focus very specifically upon the materiality of multi-faith space – the shared places, buildings, rooms and locations within which dialogue, worship and faith related practice are increasingly taking place.

Increasingly, both public and private organisations are attempting to accommodate religious diversity via the provision of multi-faith spaces (MFS). Some are small and mono-functional (located in airports, universities, hospitals, shopping malls, etc); others take the form of dedicated buildings or complexes, where different religions inhabit and utilise their own sacred space(s), whilst sharing collective ‘secular’ facilities. Here individuals can, notionally, come together to pray, relax, discuss and learn.

Date: 21-22 March 2012

Location: The conference will be held at St Peter's House Chaplaincy & Church (Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester. M13 9GH).

Further details are available from the project website

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935'

Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935

Royal Academy of Arts, London until 22 January 2012

This exhibition examines Russian avant-garde architecture made during a brief but intense period of design and construction that took place from c.1922 to 1935. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from c.1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state.

Exhibition website

A 1:40 scale recreation of Vladimir Tatlin's 1919 Monument to the Third International is displayed in the courtyard of Burlington House

Friday 18 November 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Political Textures of the City'

Political Textures of the City
A Workshop on Word and Bricks in the Global South

Wednesday 23 November 2011

10.00am - 6.00pm
Room 1.69/1.70, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building University of Manchester

Keynote Speaker: Professor Matthew Gandy (UCL)

This interdisciplinary workshop will debate the production of material landscapes as political actions, referring to spatial tactics, architectural and material interventions, and the reassembling of urban imaginaries. Cities of the global south, characterised by acute inequalities, expansive popular urban mobilisations and frequently precarious and inequitable state policies, are particularly fertile spaces for discussing such territorial politics.

We welcome attendees from all disciplines. Places are limited, however, so if you would like to attend please send an email to Dr. James Scorer Places will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Thomas Mawson and Bela Rerrich'

Dr. Luca Csepely-Knorr (Manchester School of Architecture)
will be speaking on


as part of the prestigious seminar series on The History of Gardens and Landscapes at the Institute of Historical Research Senate House University of London Friday 18 November 5.30pm in the Court Room, South Block (First Floor).

Dr. Csepely-Knorr was the recipient of the 2010 RIBA Goldfinger Scholarship

Monday 14 November 2011

Raymond Unwin: Town Planning in Practice (1909)

Raymond Unwin's pioneering book in a précis by Ahlam Sharif

Sir Raymond Unwin lived between 1863 and 1940. He worked with his brother-in-law, Barry Parker and together they formed “First Garden City Ltd” in 1903, after which they were appointed architects of 16 km² of land outside Hitchin, purchased for designing a new garden suburb, Letchworth Garden City. Unwin was then asked to design Hampstead Garden Suburb in 1905, where he utilized the planning principles used at Letchworth. In 1906, he moved from Letchworth and resided in Hampstead and in 1909, five years after the Garden city at Letchworth was completed, he wrote his book of guidance, “Town Planning in Practice”.

Unwin started his book by mentioning the problem of the nineteenth century in England, which witnessed an exceedingly rapid growth, not allowing much time for town planning. This was accompanied by the decision on land usage being made by individuals on economic bases. The result of that was the extensive need for town planning. Although Building bye-laws laid a good foundation for healthy conditions of living, they lacked certain amenities such as art and beauty. It is important to attach art and beauty to town planning, which are expressions of community needs, life and aspirations. Studying old towns is useful for town planning because they provide good examples for works which were well done and visually successful. This study might help us to judge but not to copy what is likely to lead to the best outcomes.
Unwin mentioned individuality as a quality that characterizes and distinguishes each town from the other and provided examples of historic and even prehistoric cities to prove the existence and development of town planning throughout history.

After the nineteenth century, two schools of town planning were developed; the regular or the formal type and the irregular or the informal one, each side having its characteristics and arguments. Both of them had some results of marked beauty that highlighted the necessity of rethinking a combination and balance between them to work in a spirit of appreciation of the informal nature as well as the beauty of the formal human design. Unwin argued that in town planning, the planner needs to understand the beauty of old cities but also the changing conditions of today to ensure his or her design is realistic. They should also consider the requirements of the inhabitants and the circumstances of the site.

As the designer is responsible to find artistic and practical expressions for the requirements and tendencies of the town, without imposing a preconceived idea of his own, a survey is needed to collect and analyze as much information as possible that helps him/ her to have an image in mind of the town before being drawn on paper. This includes the collection of information from different parties, the interpretation of such information and the visualization of the site.

Unwin then discussed the main elements that shape the largely conceived framework of a town which he preferred to be of a size that introduces a sense of scale and proportion in relation with other parts. Those elements include the boundaries and approaches, the centers and the main roads. In order to study each element, he returned to the old towns as good examples that lead us to think of the importance and beauty of such elements, not by copying them but by using their ideas in modern shapes and requirements.
He discussed the main roads as highways for traffic and sites for buildings and emphasized considering them in relation to both these functions and in order of their relative importance. In his point of view, while the curved road is less monotonous and provides ever-changing direction and views, the straight road - besides being more comfortable for traffic - still has the ability to be beautified by either letting it lead to an important element or beautifying its sides by trees or by breaking the lines. Trees and grass can form natural decorations for streets and places forming avenues and adding further elements of beauty. While considering road treatments, street junctions are of extreme importance, as upon them much of the effect of the town depends. This entails trying to secure a terminal to the street picture, enclosure, easy line to traffic and maybe an open view from the building down the road.
After studying town planning, which focused on the general convenience of the town and the arrangement of the main roads, Unwin moved to study site planning as a smaller scale that considers the arrangement of buildings and the development of the site, and within that Unwin mentioned the relation with town planning and emphasized the required alignment between both. He also mentioned most of the treatments, which he applied earlier to town planning, as they were applicable to site planning.

In site planning, the residential roads, plots and the placing of buildings are of importance where Unwin provided different treatments and details, which mostly were applied in Letchworth Garden City and Hampstead Garden Suburb. His aim was to show how to beautify sites while providing the practical best advantage for inhabitants’ requirements, the local conditions of the site and the collective needs. He provided multiple examples of how to provide a variety of treatments for the street junction and residential building groups around green areas and subsidiary roads; among those treatments he emphasized the necessity of securing a combination and a balance between a sense of enclosure and an extended outlook.
Unwin then moved on to discuss the difference between suburbs in the past and his current time with regards to variety and homogeneity. In his view, earlier suburbs had more homogeneity in material amongst their buildings mixed with a variety in colors that made them distinct. This was later disrupted by the use of cheap rail transport that mixed different building material brought from outside the suburbs.
Setting out from the notion that city identity reflects its people, Unwin believed that the architect needed to plan the site based on the needs and requirements of its residents and by creating relations between groups of buildings. He argued that better development of sites would be done if they were owned by smaller bodies (neither the government nor individuals), as they will focus on building communities rather than focus on the economic aspects of planning.
Unwin concluded by discussing the building bye-laws in England, where he saw that some of such bye-laws were arbitrarily developed and resulted in what he called “bye-law architecture”, which was distorted in form. In his view, to develop realistic building bye-laws, they need to be discussed with a number of concerned parties before they are finalized.

Friday 11 November 2011

MA A+U in Lisbon

Several MA A+U students joined MMU Interior Design students for their fieldtrip to Lisbon this week. Here Wanxin Wu and Ahlam Sharif are seen at the workshop introduction. The fieldtrip tumblr is here.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Lost Industrial Manchester

_LOST_INDUSTRIAL_MANCHESTER from Jack Penford Baker on Vimeo.

MA A+U student Jack Penford Baker has made this short film for his 'Lost in Space' project. You can follow his work via his tumblr which is linked in the sidebar.

Monday 7 November 2011

PUBLIC SPACE - the square in the contemporary city - Lisbon 13-14 January 2012

The Department of Architecture of Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa will be hosting an International Symposium on the theme PUBLIC SPACE:”THE SQUARE IN THE CONTEMPORARY CITY” on 13-14 January 2012.
The aims are to celebrate the square as a public space of excellence and understand its value in the contemporary city.

The organisers, who include Dean Flavio Barbini can be contacted at

Eamonn Canniffe has been invited to deliver a keynote paper at this symposium.
Other speakers include Alberto Ferlenga and Gonçalo Sousa Byrne.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Tumblin' Twice

MA A+U students Damien Woolliscroft (above) and Jack Penford Baker (below) have both started tumblrs to document their progress during the academic year. Follow their work from the links in the sidebar.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Architecture+Urbanism recommends "Richard W. Hayes - Agency and Activism : The Yale Building Project"

Richard W. Hayes will be discussing his recent book The Yale Building Project: The First Forty Years as part of the MARC lecture series

Date 1 November 2011 2-4 pm
Venue Coupland 1 Pear Lecture Theatre University of Manchester

In the video below Mr. Hayes discusses the book at The Architecture Foundation

Agency and Activism: The Yale Building Project from The Architecture Foundation on Vimeo.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Useless in Lisbon

A group of MA A+U students will be visiting Lisbon in November, with other students from Manchester School of Art, to participate in a workshop for this autumn's design biennale. Useless is the proposed theme for EXD’11, the international biennale dedicated to design, architecture and creativity. The programme seeks to provide insight and incentive, challenging the audience to discuss and reflect on concepts and preconceptions connected to use and its absence. The theme is provocative and stirring and leads to concrete issues: questioning creative production and consumption from the point of view of usefulness, function and use of resources to answer problems; putting the production process within a framework of contemporary ethical and aesthetical concepts, in an increasingly global world. Likewise, Useless can inspire a more conceptual and symbolic reflection on the importance of things like beauty, dream and invention.

The 6th edition of the Biennale brings to Lisbon some of the most thought-provoking leading figures in graphic design, product design, social design and architecture, among others. The Portuguese capital will once again become the setting for an international multidisciplinary platform where curators propose new, bespoke content in the sphere of design culture and contemporary creativity. Mixing academic theorists and specialist practitioners, EXD addresses not only the creative community but also the audience at large.

While in Lisbon the students have also been charged with scoping out potential speakers for the third MA A+U Symposium due to be held in the spring of 2012.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends "Mario Carpo - The Alphabet and the Algorithm"

As part of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre Autumn Lecture Series Professor Mario Carpo will be talking about his research and his recent book The Alphabet and the Algorithm.

Date 2-4 pm Monday 24 October
Venue Coupland 1 Pear Lecture Theatre University of Manchester

Here he talks about his recent research

Watch this video on Vimeo. Video created by IKKM.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Corridor Manchester Design Competition

Setting an Agenda for Future Design Proposals for Oxford Road

This is a design competition for collaborating teams of MA students, and professionals to develop innovative and deliverable design proposals for two problem sites on Oxford Road.
Premise –
• Decisions on funding for the bus corridor in Oxford Road will be made in the near future
• Once the decisions are made there is likely to be a tight timetable for delivery and little time for reflection on options for difficult sites.
• There are two such difficult sites that need resolution if Oxford Road is to fulfil its potential.

o the Underpass under the Mancunian Way
o the Gateway area of confused pedestrian walkways, entrances and cycleways between Whitworth Park and Contact Theatre and including the pedestrian walkways both sides of Oxford Road, the entrances to Whitworth Park, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the new Eye Hospital Development and Contact Theatre, and the area in front of the existing shopping parade on Western side of Oxford Road between Denmark Street and Contact Theatre.

• Both of these sites are opinion forming entrance nodes on what should be one of the primary cultural destinations within Manchester.
• At present neither is living up to its potential.
• People are not encouraged to explore.
• The perception is that the area between these nodes is only offering local services rather than hosting such important learning and cultural resources :

Facilitating free and fluid movement towards and between all venues and attractions is a vital part of enabling the Corridor to fulfil its potential.
Once funding decisions are made there may well be an urgent rush to get finance committed and spent and opportunities for innovation may well be lost, hence our interest in progressing proposals now.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Running the City

New MA A+U student Pablo Estafanell has been running along the Rochdale Canal scoping out his design project

Saturday 15 October 2011

Beit Scholar Nicholson Kumwenda

One especially welcome new member of the 2011 MA A+U cohort is Nicholson Kumwenda who holds a Beit Scholarship. Nicholson studied previously at the University of Malawi and will be concentrating on issues of sustainability while at the msa. His scholarship was awarded by The Beit Trust.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends "Cities in Transformation ─ Research & Design"

Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Allegory of Good Government: Effects of  Good Government in the City.

Cities in Transformation ─ Research & Design
Ideas, Methods, Techniques, Tools, Case Studies

EAAE/ARCC Conference on Architectural Research
Milano 7-12 June 2012 - Politecnico di Milano

The European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) and the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) are holding their joint 2012 Architectural Research Conference Cities in transformation Research and Design in Milano, Italy.

Politecnico di Milano (University established in 1863) welcomes researchers, educators, practitioners and scholars in architecture, planning and landscape to become involved.
The Conference is to serve as a forum for the dissemination and discussion of architectural research issues, concerns, findings, approaches, philosophies, and potentials arising from the rich and complex themes related to urban Transformations.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends '61/11 Continuous Collective'

BDP's "Continuous Collective" fiftieth anniversary exhibition describes the practice’s ethos and early work, moving on to displaying its top projects over the last 15 years in a series of models, and features its approach to interdisciplinary design and its present and future projects internationally. It will be on show at the CUBE Gallery in Manchester from 8 October to 5 November.

The MA A+U degree show continues on exhibition in the adjacent RIBAhub until October 14.

The BDP exhibition will transfer to the Minster in Preston from 8-20 November - the city where the practice was founded and where they designed the iconic Preston Bus Station

Sunday 2 October 2011

MA Architecture + Urbanism Colloquium 2011

You are cordially invited to a celebration of the work of the MA Architecture + Urbanism graduating cohort of 2011 on the afternoon of
Thursday 6 October in RIBA hub

2.00 Luke Butcher MA
2.30 Preeya Vadgama MA
3.00 Carrie Bayley MA
3.30 Jack O' Reilly MA
4.00 Kathryn Timmins MA

The MA Show 2011 continues on exhibition until October 14

Thursday 29 September 2011

On with the show ...

You are cordially invited to the exhibition of the work of our new MA graduates at RIBAhub Manchester. The exhibition features the work of

Robert Aspray MA
Carrie Bayley MA with Distinction
Neven Buric MA
Luke Butcher MA with Distinction
Stephen Gingell MA
Christina Gregoriou MA
Rongxiao Han MA
Angad Kasliwal MA
Anastassia Kolpokova MA
Jonas Komka MA
Meliz Kusadali MA
Natalie Macbride MA
Laleh Mohammad Zadeh Faida Pour MA
Jack O'Reilly MA with Distinction
Supriya Pundlik MA
Ketkibharat Tendolkar MA
Kathryn Timmins MA with Distinction
Preeya Vadgama MA with Distinction
Chen Xu MA

and runs between 29 September and 14 October. There will be an open evening on Tuesday 4 October at RIBAhub and the exhibition is a part of the MMU Faculty of Art and Design MA Show 2011

Sunday 25 September 2011

Lost in space

The new 2011 cohort for MA A+U begin their year immersing themselves in the forgotten and forgettable urban spaces of Manchester. With the recent award of the Carbuncle Cup to Salford's very own MediaCityUK now is the time to propose new configurations for the public realm.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Forgotten Spaces Sheffield'

All that media fuss about stars of 'The Wire' reunited in Othello at The Crucible Sheffield shouldn't distract from the exhibition of shortlisted entries for the recent Forgotten Spaces Sheffield competition also on display in the theatre between 15 September and 8 October. Entries exhibited include Pigs Bees and Bells by the equally reunited 'retired group' of David Britch, Eamonn Canniffe and Stephen Martlew.

A press release from competition and exhibition organisers Sheffield Hallam University is available here

Wednesday 14 September 2011

MA Architecture + Urbanism 2011 Degree Show

With the examination process over for another year (and with an 100% success rate) the new graduates of the MA A+U course will be exhibiting their work at RIBA Hub Manchester between 29 September - 14 October. There will be an open evening on Tuesday October 4.

Thursday 1 September 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990'

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990

at the Victoria and Albert Museum London 23 September 2011- 15 January 2012

Of all movements in art and design history, postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial. This era defies definition, but it is a perfect subject for an exhibition. Postmodernism was an unstable mix of the theatrical and theoretical. It was visually thrilling, a multifaceted style that ranged from the colourful to the ruinous, the ludicrous to the luxurious.

What they all had in common was a drastic departure from modernism’s utopian visions, which had been based on clarity and simplicity. The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world. Postmodernism, by contrast, was more like a broken mirror, a reflecting surface made of many fragments. Its key principles were complexity and contradiction. It was meant to resist authority, yet over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, it became enmeshed in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle.

Postmodernism shattered established ideas about style. It brought a radical freedom to art and design, through gestures that were often funny, sometimes confrontational and occasionally absurd. Most of all, postmodernism brought a new self-awareness about style itself.

Monday 22 August 2011

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Designing Place'

Designing Place - International Urban Design Conference

5th & 6th April 2012

Designing Place is an International Urban Design Conference organised by the Urban Design Research Group at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Nottingham.

Over the past twenty years, place has emerged as the key concept for urban design. The concept of place is loosely defined as the interrelationship between the formal and spatial organisation of buildings, groups of buildings, streets, spaces and landscapes; the activities taking place within it and the meaning associated with it. The agency assigned to each of these components of place varies according to different traditions of thought and design theory. By definition, the triad of space, activity and meaning cannot be captured in a fixed theoretical framework.

The conference seeks to revisit and clarify place as a concept for current urban design theory and practice. It invites papers that examine the definition, scope and instrumentality of place as a tool for design.

Keynote Speakers:

Amanda Reynolds, Chair of the Urban Design Group

Ali Madanipour, Professor of Urban Design, Newcastle University


• Theoretical definitions and the conceptual components of place

• Methodological studies that suggest a form of analysis or pedagogy

• Case studies that examine the specificities of place

Contributions will be organised in thematic sessions. Selected texts will be published in an accompanying book.


Abstracts should not be longer than 400 words, and sent by e-mail as Word (doc) or Adobe Acrobat (pdf) files to by 30th September 2011. Abstract proposals will be reviewed by the conference advisory board. Abstracts need to indicate:

  • Paper Title
  • Name, Surname and Affiliation of all authors
  • 150 words biography of all authors
  • Email address for corresponding author
  • Keywords

Related Posts with Thumbnails