The Conservation of the Alteño Identity

How can conservation be viewed as a process of political or social engagement? Rather than placing a culture in a time capsule, denying those that practice it agency and ownership over their own modes of living, can conservation practice be used to foster meaningful growth in evolving cultural identities?

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Sentinel Prime, part of a new architectural style emerging in the majority Aymara city of El Alto, Bolivia. Photograph by Nick Ballon, model by Jonathan Minster.

Through a case study of the indigenous Aymara culture in El Alto, Bolivia, this project aims to transform the architecture of preservation from static to fluid. By creating spaces for cultural, political and social engagement throughout the city the intention is to promote the Aymara culture, in particular the evolving alteño identity of the newly urban Aymara immigrants.

Lachlan McTaggart

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The Conservation of Quintessential Sound

Have you ever looked at an old photograph and found yourself more interested in the background than in the subject itself? “I didn’t know there used to be swans in that lake!” “Why is everyone wearing flared trousers?” We become attuned to our surroundings and often cannot comprehend the future importance of the seemingly mundane. This project aims to conserve this background ‘noise’, focussing on recording and preserving accidental glitches in soundscapes. The cough in a lecture theatre, the accidental scuffing of a shoe on the carpet, the under-the-breath apology as someone squeezes through a crowd – we won’t know how useful these quintessential sounds will be unless we conserve them.

Orchestral cover of John Cage’s 4’33” with soloist. When the primary element of a soundscape is mitigated, the background interference becomes the performance.

Edward Powe

Conservation of the Suburban High Street

My conservation topic examines the retention of the London suburban high streets. Conditionally, one must appreciate a need for a “town centre” as a melting point and gathering place of inhabitants as a strategy for social cohesion and prevention of alienation. Our current retail-centric economic model seems to be failing to gratify the needs of a changing suburban demographic with different choices regarding their delegation of time and resultantly it’s sustainability is pulled in to question. If we could imagine a new model appealing to a 21st century structure of living that does not nostalgically prop-up a failing system, what form would it take? Could we revive the suburban high streets?

Arcade Fire : Sprawl II  – A crude representation of Suburbia of a place where everything and everyone is dying yet a large proportion of society lives there ,  perhaps we instead see it’s unique set of circumstances as an exciting opportunity to design an alternative way of living.

 

Lucy Stone 

ADS2 CPD#3: POLITICS

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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’

ADS2 CPD #2: Economics

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Photo: 13 proposals expressed in Microsoft Excel

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 second workshop, Economics, happened on the evening of 28 February and all day on the 1 March, with guests George Turner (campaigner and journalist), Michelle Hannah (Cast), Euan Mills (Future Cities Catapult) and Charles Holland. Using only Microsoft Excel students explored the possibilities of their proposals in the context of viability and expressed their financial models – again solely using Excel – in A4 diagrams for presentation to the rest of the group. The results can be seen above.

* ‘Critical Professional Development’

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’

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