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.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Invisible (Manchester) Cities 2

Even as I landed in the capital of the North I am filled with expectation, the original metropolis awaits; the real deal. I come with a mind overfilled with ideas of high rise glass temples of the developed West.
I am shocked, and met with a rose-tinted nostalgia for greatness long past rather than architectural greatness of now or of time to come.
I meander through the smaller than expected centre, I start to understand this fondness for the past. The city speaks its history through its buildings, a collection, an almost random mixture of styles, sizes and quality all screaming and vying for attention, all in different ways like money men on the trading floor. Let's not forget this is a city with money and financial speculation in its DNA.
From its buildings its inhabitants spill out, they must be cooped up inside as the city lacks any free space for them. These are the things that tell The Rainy City's present, that make this city. Its people; a city of all peoples. A city of drunks and academics, of workers and families. Everyone is here.
Thats what this place is. A city of mixture. A mixture of styles. A mixture of people. A mixture of culture. A true metropolis. The original. The real deal.

Reece Singleton and Xiao Weng

Sunday 20 October 2013

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'INVITATION TO EXHIBIT'

Successful Designs for Making Cities Healthy for All Portland, OR, June 8-12, 2014 Urban designers, landscape architects, architects, planners, developers and cities are invited to submit proposals for an exhibit of Successful Designs for Making Cities Healthy for All. Projects in design or construction phase (eligible for inclusion in the Exhibit) must be real projects commissioned with the intention to build. Completed projects (eligible for inclusion in the Exhibit, AND the Awards Program) must already exist and be in use, having been completed or restored within the last ten years. Six categories of exhibits are eligible:NEIGHBORHOOD PLAZAS ACTIVE MOBILITY & COMPLETE STREETS FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOUSING HOUSING THE HOMELESS MIXED USE 10-MINUTE NEIGHBORHOODS All submissions must be made online. For more information, please visit: All selected projects in all categories will be exhibited at the conference. Awards will be made for outstanding completed projects already in use. Winning projects will be promoted on the IMCL website. The conference will bring together 350-400 delegates from around the world to learn from the most successful solutions for making cities healthy for all. Application Deadline: November 20, 2013

Thursday 17 October 2013

Invisible (Manchester) Cities 1

Lunch time, as we step out of the building, no different than the neighbouring one, we allow the city to guide us by its sheet metal barriers and follow the route allowing ourselves to discover the city once more, this time in sunshine. We know that this is quite a rare occasion when we bring ourselves to look up towards the clouds, the 23 clouds and not be battered by rain. Squinting to see the colours reflecting on sleek sheets of glass, we feel inspired. Following this colourful vision we find ourselves surrounded by the softer beauty of red brick, intricately carved stone and small paned windows acting as mirrors, reflecting its twin building on the other side of the road. Yet again, we get that shared feeling of freedom. Deciding to carry on this walk we come to an unexpected halt. Stopped by an enlarged glazed arrow. Feeling drawn in, our eyes are trying to find the point of focus, which the arrow might be pointing towards. We look down. We see a lightstrips shaped like an eagle ... with *rm*ni written underneath. We resume looking down, and hear a voice asking for money. Suddenly we can no longer see the rainbow reflected in the window but a man, sitting on the floor in front of a box on the wall, dispensing money. We can no longer see the clouds, but a massive tower block sheathed in glass. Then the rain comes, and our lunch is over. We find a quicker way to get back to work after lunch, through side streets. The smells coming from each twist of the route have removed our hunger. To our surprise these buildings are covered in cheap red brick and not elegant imported stone. The first appearance, as blinding as it might be sometimes, is not always the correct one. Anna Krysa and Zhenyu Yang

Saturday 5 October 2013

Cities and Urbanism: Ideologies and Futures

The new cohort of MA A+U students begin their literature seminars next week in the MA ROOM Chatham 809. All seminars begin at 2.00pm on the date indicated and all visitors are welcome.

Tuesday 8 October Reece Singleton (Sitte)

Tuesday 15 October Yubing Xie (Garnier)

Tuesday 22 October Aissa Gomez (Kopp)

Tuesday 5 November Zhenyu Yang (Jacobs)

Tuesday 12 November Wenhao Yue (Lynch)

Tuesday 19 November Aidin Ahani (Koolhaas)

Tuesday 26 November David Chandler (Rowe & Koetter)

Tuesday 10 December Xiao Weng (Mitchell)

Tuesday 17 December Meisoon Jumah (Lehnerer)

Thursday 19 December Anna Krysa (Aureli)

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Where are they now? Número doce

After his brilliantly successful year in MA A+U Juan Manuel Del Castillo Caceres has returned to Peru and is currently working for the Metropolitan Institute of Planning, part of the Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima, and is helping to elaborate Lima´s Urban Development toward 2035. Juan's blog is here.

Juan is pictured in front of "The Cabin", an old theatre where the offices are based, in the middle of the "Parque de la Exposición", the first great park of Lima.

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