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Harman Bains

MA work

Title of dissertation: Industrial (Dis) Order: Responding to a City in Decline — Perspectives and Practices on Adaptive Reuse for Cultural Purpose in London 
(1975–2000)


Adaptation of industrial buildings in the landscapes and cultural foundations of London has marked a tangible moment in the alignment of creativity with wider socio-economic objectives. This study demonstrates changes in the mode and understanding behind different interpretations of industrial decay that contributed to the prominence of new creative milieus in the post-industrial urban environment. This is done by synthesising discourses of industrial decay and those related to a specific kind of adaptive reuse project, the post-industrial art space. This dissertation argues that the dramatic changes to London’s industrial landscape outlined a shift in attitudes towards the reuse of industrial sites. Significant attention is given to cultural debates that discuss these sites as creative interstitial spaces. Progressive outlooks emanating from architectural groupings, artists and filmmakers put forth the idea of creative potential in the fluid and universal space of industrial decay. Their contribution to ideas about the city in decline manufactured new meanings and values to it in the process. Through these alternative readings, the promotion and facilitation of new urban planning and architecture enabled new functions and agendas within regeneration and cultural policy. Analysis of two previously abandoned power stations, Bankside Power Station and Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, will demonstrate the emergent approach in the 1990s for permanent cultural exhibitions within ex-industrial buildings.


Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2011

  • Title of dissertation: Industrial (Dis) Order: Responding to a City in Decline — Perspectives and Practices on Adaptive Reuse for Cultural Purpose in London 
(1975–2000)


    Adaptation of industrial buildings in the landscapes and cultural foundations of London has marked a tangible moment in the alignment of creativity with wider socio-economic objectives. This study demonstrates changes in the mode and understanding behind different interpretations of industrial decay that contributed to the prominence of new creative milieus in the post-industrial urban environment. This is done by synthesising discourses of industrial decay and those related to a specific kind of adaptive reuse project, the post-industrial art space. This dissertation argues that the dramatic changes to London’s industrial landscape outlined a shift in attitudes towards the reuse of industrial sites. Significant attention is given to cultural debates that discuss these sites as creative interstitial spaces. Progressive outlooks emanating from architectural groupings, artists and filmmakers put forth the idea of creative potential in the fluid and universal space of industrial decay. Their contribution to ideas about the city in decline manufactured new meanings and values to it in the process. Through these alternative readings, the promotion and facilitation of new urban planning and architecture enabled new functions and agendas within regeneration and cultural policy. Analysis of two previously abandoned power stations, Bankside Power Station and Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, will demonstrate the emergent approach in the 1990s for permanent cultural exhibitions within ex-industrial buildings.


  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), Politics with Economics, Goldsmiths' College, University of London, 2009
  • Experience

  • Ceramics assistant (internship), Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2010