Studio (re)-Activist Architecture

Divided Cities 

Studio lead: Simon Baker

Studio Collaborators
Helen Stratford
Kieran Walker, Waugh Thistleton Architects
Mark Hacket, Hackett Architects
Matthew Forbes Yandi
Russell Light
Ruth Morrow
Samuel Myatt

When the Berlin Wall fell, there were two border walls in Europe; now, there are fifteen. Fracture isn’t only physical - different people have contrasting experiences of the same city. The studio explored the themes of a “Divided City” through the lens of Belfast, a city divided for fifty-one years where “peace” is materialised by walls up to six metres high that separate communities.

The studio adopts the spatial participatory practices of the situationist international, using the derive and constructed situation to explore specific places and identify different and diverse user groups. With the “voices” of divided-city residents, students redefined the architectural structures of separation to identify new speculative narratives of cohesive and collective social institutions. A celebration of being together as strangers’ - throwntogetherness (Massey 2005). We explored different conceptions of what it means to live in a “divided city”.

Students explored the future, re-appropriating the peace lines to tackle the social impacts of physical partition and precipitate intercommunal cooperation. Projects posit an architecture in the midst of life, interweaving functions which necessitate abandoning prevailing conventions, to discover exciting alternatives where the rights of the individual and the interests of community are in balance, a shared vision of the future

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.