ADS2 CPD #1: Law

gDSC_3923.jpgPhoto: 16 current laws and 16 transformations, Gilbert Leung at DK-CM.

This year, whilst on sabbatical, ADS2 is holding a series of three CPD* workshops, one per term, open to all MA Architecture students.

Based on the sessions that ADS2 has run for several years, the workshops will be opportunities to ground projects in the realities of practice – law, economics and politics – and see these not as constraints but as fields for critical and creative design.

Each workshop will involve developing students’ thesis projects through an unfamiliar lens, and an unfamiliar format, to produce potentially profound and surprising design outputs.

Workshops will start with an evening briefing, a day-long working session with tutorials, and then an evening review, each framed by talks and criticism from invited special guests from outside of architecture: politicians, activists, economists, lawyers, policymakers, developers.

Each workshop will be run by David Knight and Finn Williams, with support from Asif Khan and Charles Holland and from invited guests.

The first workshop, Law, happened on the evening of 21 November and all day on the 22nd, with guests Cat Drew of the Cabinet Office Policy Lab, Asif Khan (ADS2) and Phineas Harper (The Architecture Foundation). Using only the Comment and Track Changes functions of Word, students explored the possibilities of 16 existing pieces of legislation and then developed interventions in each law, teasing our latent potentials or transforming them to achieve new ends.

* ‘Critical Professional Development’


Sam Brown: London Coventry












London Coventry is a blueprint for how industry can play a productive role in the future of mixed-use development and an antidote to the monoculture of urban peripheries.

Remixing edge and centre, luxury and popular, mobility and comfort, emerging manufacturing techniques sample the post-war city to create a poly-centric aerotropolis edge-city structured by a series of industry-enticing ‘enterprise zone market crosses’.

With emerging manufacturing techniques come new and difficult labour and social relations. As people’s behaviours alter through the inception of autonomous travel, and Coventry modifies its relationship with London, tensions begin to arise and are played out through the project.

Cecily Chua: Murky Waters



Murky Waters proposes a counter-regeneration strategy for London’s Docklands, a heavily overwritten area littered with the results of late twentieth-century masterplans and economic zoning. Drawing on a rich history of conflict (including between Thatcher’s London Docklands Development Company and The People’s Plan for the Royal Docks, a popular movement aided by the GLC in coalition with local campaign groups) the project is an experiment exploring the possibilities unlocked by embracing conflict as a creative and necessary design agent in the planning of contested sites.

Sited within the LLDC ‘site’ boundary, the project uses real tensions present in 3 large-scale proposed developments as the catalysts for creating new democratic typologies which reflect multiple desires.

Catherine Mollett: Hull City Region





Gentlemen's Public Lavatory, Market Place, Hull, 1901 - 1902. Urinal stalls with glazed ceramic columns.











Cities, like people, vie for popularity and friendship. Current Devolution proposals will lead to Hull being the only city of the North not part of a wider City Region – a form of social isolation at planning scale. Hull’s physical and social isolation is an opportunity for the city to challenge traditional notions of success. Refusing to play by George Osborne’s rules the city applies to devolve as a City Region of one, and uses these devolved powers to rethink the top-down regeneration strategies normally pushed onto ‘failing cities’.
The new strategies are rolled out across Hull in varying intensities, explored through the story of what happens next on two contrasting sites and how these evolving narratives feed back into the strategies – city planning through the messy reality of the human scale. All the narratives are taken from reality but contain a possibility, sometimes absurd, but no more absurd than real life.

Catarina de Almeida Brito: Escudo de Comporta








Escudo da Comporta is a rural masterplan of an agricultural estate in Alentejo, Portugal.

Comporta is an area in Portugal whose landscape and population have been subject to various pressures and epic injustices. In the past three centuries the area’s value has been claimed by its owners, the Portuguese Crown at first, rice farming enterprises after, and, finally, the largest banking dynasty in Portugal, the Espírito Santo family. The latter became insolvent in 2014.

Escudo da Comporta uses the situation of bankruptcy to, for the first time, design the landscape and design it towards a democratic rural environment.

By combining agricultural and urban design processes the project creates a civic landscape that satisfies global pressures while fulfilling the social and civic needs of an area in great distress.