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.

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

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