Group Research Project
Collaboration is central to research. The second term of the MRes Architecture Pathway at the RCA centres on a group research project addressing contemporary political and social issues connected to architecture and urban life. Students receive a brief, however the group takes an active role in shaping the research questions and methods. At the end of the term, work is made public through a variety of means ranging from an exhibition to performative work, publications or research symposia.
2019: The Architecture of Care
In 2018/19, the MRes RCA Architecture Pathway contributed to 'We Cannot Work Like This'. It is a transnational alliance of artists, architects, scholars and activists that asks what does a charter for decolonisation and degrowth look like in cultural and academic institutions? Starting from an anti-racist, anti-capitalist perspective, the alliance confronts questions of labour, of mobility and migration, of language and privilege, and enables students to work together on a proposal for new ways of working. The contribution from MRes RCA students focusses on 'The Architecture of Care', asking what urban planning would look like if it began from an ethic of 'care' rather than the assumption of 'growth'.
The launch of the seminar took place at the Swamp Pavilion, in the frame of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in September 2018. This was followed by workshops in London and Brussels in January 2019, and is due to conclude with participation in the Contour Biennial 9 in Mechelen, Belgium in May 2019.
Collaboration with Coltan As Cotton, Contour Biennial 9, Mechelen. Curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, organised by Nona Kunstencentrum with Hong Kong University; École européenne supérieure d'art de Bretagne, Rennes; École de recherche graphique, Brussels; Academy of Arts, HISK, Ghent; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp; St Lucas Academy, Antwerp; Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Mechelen, Open Design Course, Royal College of Art.
2018: After the Creative City
In 2018, MRes RCA Architecture Pathway students asked what comes after the creative city? In cities like London, financialised land and housing markets contribute to culture’s expulsion from the city. 35% of grassroots music venues have closed since 2007, 58% of LGBTQI venues since 2006, and a projected 30% of artist studios by 2019. This group research project looked to two sites in the north London Borough of Haringey. The Wards Corner Regeneration plan to close a Latin American market sparked a UN Human Rights investigation that warned this closure 'represented a threat to cultural life'. Less than 500m away, Tottenham is the pilot for 'Creative Enterprise Zones', an initiative intended to lure and retain creative industries in London. This research project asks what counts as culture in a site that both erases and props it up.
The exhibition After the Creative City was open 23–27 April 2018 at the New River Studios London.
Collaboration with New River Studios, London with contributions from We Made That, Theatrum Mundi, Terrence O'Rourke, and the Greater London Authority.