Studio Degrowth


Studio lead: John Sampson

Studio Collaborators
Jonny Anstead, TOWN
Neil Murphy, TOWN
Vicky Payne, URBED
Lauren Shevills, Mae / ACAN
Sarah Broadstock, Studio Bark / ACAN
Nick Newman, U Build / Studio Bark

The continual pursuit of infinite growth has led us down a dangerous path. As extreme weather events become more frequent and measures of wellbeing and prosperity continue to falter, the limits of a globalised economy based on the continuous pursuit of growth, to respond to the scale of the climate emergency have become abundantly clear.

As a studio we have taken as our starting point the concept of degrowth a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics, anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas that seek to address the limits-to-growth dilemma set out by Donella Meadows in her seminal text the Limits to Growth. Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not mean a decrease in well-being.

Working in collaboration with TOWN the studio developed strategies to make our cities more equitable and aid in the transition towards a zero carbon economy. Recognising that the response to the climate emergency is as much a social and cultural issue as it is a technological challenge, projects have embraced complexity, acknowledged scarcity and accepted uncertainty.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, Manchester has seen a significant influx of capital flow into the city over the past 10 years. The impact of this investment can be seen both in the physical changes and the ever increasing levels of inequality within the city. Looking through a degrowth lens the studio explored alternative futures for the Irk Valley across a multiplicity of scales that aim to showcase a socially and ecologically prosperous future for the city and offer suggestions on how the city can meet its commitment to being Zero Carbon by 2030.

Particular thanks to the Arrival City Alumni for their mentoring support:

  • Chris Cooper
  • Tom Cunningham
  • Jonny Foulger
  • Helen Galletti
  • Emily Glynn
  • Jamie Griffiths
  • Farhana Jiwa
  • Toby Mackrill
  • Clare Mckay
  • Yanni Pitsillides
  • Mark Stancombe

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