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Student Showcase Archive
Show RCA 2019

James Powell

Show RCA work

Major project:

My Neighbour the Wolf

Rewilding Britain proposes returning a quarter of the UK to wilderness. By redirecting farming subsidies – the campaign claims – lost woodlands, meadows and wetlands can return, along with native wild species removed by humans over the centuries, from wild boar to wolves.

Over the course of the last year, this vision has shifted from utopian to urgent in order to mitigate carbon emissions and global biodiversity loss. It now appears likely that Britain's landscapes, for long some of the most depleted of wildlife in the world, will become wilder over the next few decades than they have been in hundreds – even thousands – of years.

This project explores roles for architecture within this future, whilst aiming to shift the focus from rewilding landscape to a more holistic rewilding of the human.

The government has identified the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge development corridor to receive new transport infrastructure and more than a million new homes by 2050, each of which will be subject to new 'net gain' biodiversity targets. This site and policy context is imagined as the crucible for new wilding development models, set out from a pilot project and wilding experiment at the RSPB's headquarters in Sandy.

This housing provides the model for an alternative form of rural development that follows field boundaries, restoring hedgerows through wilding common land. This linear housing for more than human residents thus aims to be an empowering project for public re-engagement with other species, whilst providing lifelines for the flourishing of wildlife.


  • School

    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture



  • Contact

  • Having worked within architecture at Gort Scott and undertaken freelance projects in London, my studies at the RCA have focussed on the convergence between architecture and ecological practices.
  • Previous degrees

  • BA Architecture, University of Cambridge, 2015
  • Experiences

  • Architectural assistant, Gort Scott, London, 2015-18
  • Awards

  • RIBA Anderson Webb Prize, University of Cambridge Faculty of Architecture, 2013; Purcell Prize, University of Cambridge Faculty of Architecture, 2015
Royal College of Art