Robyn Poulson Year 6 Section


Our MArch programmes are based around a series of thematic studios. These studios investigate architectural themes in depth; the themes develop out of the studio leaders’ own research interests. The aim is to consider design within the context of rigorous and innovative research. This implies that the product of the studio courses will extend beyond the comprehensive design of a building and into other areas such as consultation, historical analysis, technical innovation or cultural investigation.

MArch Studios 2016-2017

Full studio descriptions can be found in the student handbooks.

Designing with Knowledge

Tutor: Irena Bauman

The studio will aim to create an ethos of substantiating design decisions with real knowledge. It will be set in 2045 (half way through your working lives) and focus on developing strategic framework for a large regeneration site on the north riverbank in Derby which suffers from increased flooding due to climate change. The generator of the identity for this new neighbourhood will be the Silk Mill- Museum of Making on the south riverbank which is currently being designed by multidisciplinary team led by Bauman Lyons Architects. The studio will design a future neighbourhood that caters for old and new forms of making and the new building typologies that will accommodate the process of production, the new economies and the new way of life associated with these.

Arrival City: Offenbach is nearly alright

Tutor: John Sampson

A great and final shift of global population is upon us. We will end the century as a wholly urban species. Seen by many in the West as a threat, this rural to urban migration will have profound implications on the lives and wellbeing of the migrants and the geopolitical landscape and perhaps most importantly, provide an opportunity to mitigate or even reverse the impact of global climate change. Cities, through their economies of scale, have the potential to reduce per capita costs and demands for resources.

As a studio we will explore the effect mass migration and urbanisation is having on our cities, focusing on the notion of the Arrival City. Operating as transitional spaces for those entering the city, Arrival Cities by their nature form repositories of social capital. In the words of Doug Sanders (author of Arrival City), these are the places where the next great economic and cultural boom will be born.

Temporal Places

Tutor: Mark Emms

The studio is concerned with dimensions of time, from the persistent to the momentary, and aims to explore the evolution, inhabitation and adaption of particular places through multiple time frames.

This year the studio will be situated in Stoke-on-Trent, focusing in particular on the town of Stoke, one of six towns upon which the polycentric city’s status was founded. Once a thriving industrial centre at the heart of the ceramics industry, with a cluster of potteries powered by the nearby coal mines and connected to the world by canal and then rail, Stoke is rich in heritage and industrial relics. Despite retaining key civic functions including its grand town hall, mainline railway station, minster and university, Stoke now has a struggling town centre as a result of successive pottery closures and, now severed by a road that takes people through rather than to, is ready for reinvention.

(re)-Activist Architecture

Tutor: Simon Baker

The studio is focussed on reinvigorating places through the stimulation of local cultures and distinction derived through temporary propositions and event leading to long term legacy proposals and lasting change cementing local diversity and difference.

The studio studies cities of culture, visiting European capitals of Culture (Marsaille) to understand their strategies of cultural relevance, reinvigoration and participation. We explore the nature of an ongoing participatory role which is neither top down or bottom up but a synthesis bringing together long term aspirations of city stakeholders, private investors and the immediate concerns of local residents and communities to establish vibrant, distinct, social and fun places to live and work to enhance the image of the city in the eyes of their inhabitants. Our intention is to define new forms of architecture through the amalgamation of unconventional partners to propose new symbiotic relationships of mutually beneficial situations questioning existing institutional separatist forms.

This year we will be working in Coventry, collaborating with Coventry City of Culture Trust as they make their bid to be UK City Of Culture 2021 (Bid process October – June 2017). We will design, build and operate a Kino-Cine-Bomber; a mobile cinema as an art intervention and as a contribution to an ongoing research project (disrUPt! Creativity, Protest and the City).

Learning Culture

Tutor: Leo Care

The studio will be exploring the notion of learning through the process of transduction, “the transformation of something from one form, place, or concept to another”. The term has a myriad of interpretations across disciplines, and we will be investigating this initially through the lense of early years development and learning pedagogy, but then testing this theory in an architectural and urban context.

This year studio Learning culture will be based in Barnsley. Having recovered from the post-Alsopian hangover, the town is currently engaged in its own process of transformation. But what lessons have been learned from previous initiatives and how can these help in the future?

Studio in Residence

Tutor: Carolyn Butterworth

2016-17 will be Studio in Residence’s third year in Castlegate, Sheffield, and, the longer we stay, the more fascinating the area becomes as it changes before our eyes. The closer we look the more ‘gaps’, the layers of history, the unwritten stories, and the latent possibilities reveal themselves. We can’t tear ourselves away…

The studio will be ‘in residence’ in Castlegate - working actively with site and the people we meet there, keeping our eyes, ears and minds open to new creative possibilities. The studio specialises in working between art and architecture in a variety of ways – collaborating with artists and arts organisations, borrowing site-specific techniques from art practice and speculating on the regeneration potential of arts and culture. The skills you learn will both challenge and enliven your approach to design, your understanding of architecture, the role of the architect and future practice.

Intergenerational Architecture

Tutor: Satwinder Samra

We will investigate how we can design and evolve an appropriate architectural response for our current and future intergenerational demographic. This will include exploring environments for play, education, living and healthcare.

As healthcare and well -being has improved so as the ability to live longer. Some have benefitted from healthy pension provision and rising house prices whilst others face a bleaker and more challenging existence facing reduced welfare provision and rising utility bills.

We shall explore the inevitable environments that exist for the young and the old and explore if these can be improved. We shall look at the provision at human, domestic and urban scales varying from the texture of electric blankets, the acoustics of leaning environments, the DIY adaptation of space, to the reliability and impact of bus timetables.

LANDSCAPE + URBANISM / Alluvial Ecologies

Tutor: Howard Evans

Our towns and rural communities are under pressure from a multitude of threats. Set in the low lying flood plane of the River Trent we will explore how our smaller towns can adapt to the shifting ground on which they are founded, both physically but also economically and socially.

The River Trent basin will witness a radical change in its landscape with an anticipated 60% of the land in East Yorkshire and North West Lincolnshire under threat of flooding. We will explore the landscape as an ‘agent of change, constructed from cumulative change rather than a rigid reality’1. This will lead to investigations as to how we might develop synergies between landscapes and how we live and work within the modern rural ecology. The studio will consider the changes within the demographics of the rural townscape and the impact that this has on the social needs of its inhabitants.

Histories of Place: Metro-Land

Tutor: Jo Lintonbon

The studio borrows from John Betjeman’s critically acclaimed documentary film Metro-Land (1973) and will look at the effect of transport networks on the evolution of place. In December 2015 and June 2016 two new stations opened as part of the West Yorkshire ‘Metro’ network, creating stops at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge in the Aire Valley between Shipley and Leeds. We will initially investigate this new “Metro-Land” as a journey in homage to Betjeman, documenting the settings, events and typologies that contribute to the history, memory and context of the Aire Valley, including Kirkstall Abbey and its industrial workings, Esholt – the former on-location set for TV soap Emmerdale – and the leisure route of the Liverpool-Leeds Canal.

Collaborative Production

Tutor: Daniel Jary

The prevailing economic model of speculation and market-driven change is broken. There is a need for greater recognition of interdependency, social capital and local value. Automation and robotisation are changing the nature of labour and production, and will change the way people engage with local governance, education and cultural exchange. How might an alternative model be realised, and what kind of built environment might it generate?

The studio will explore a future where a sharing economy becomes mainstream, promoting non-market production and social enterprise. Students will be encouraged to develop an architecture which supports the collaborative production of objects, processes and infrastructure; an architecture which utilises local resources and expertise and is responsive to local needs.