ADS2 CPD#3 visiting Westminster’s Planning Committee

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 third workshop, Politics, began by attending a Planning Committee meeting at Westminster City Hall on 16 May, with the workshop session happening the following day, aided by presentations by Ben James (ING Media) and Leo Pollak, Chair of the Southwark Council Planning Sub-Committee.

Using only Microsoft PowerPoint, students prepared planning committee presentations of their (not yet complete) thesis projects and presented them to a planning committee made up of the rest of the group and ADS2 graduate Sohanna Srinivasan. What they were not told until the end of the session is that some would be asked to verbally oppose, rather than support, their projects.

* ‘Critical Professional Development’