Henry Beech Mole
‘Longevity’ is an investigation into future higher-education typologies proposing the first phase of ‘The University of the Fourth Age’, a decentralised university situated along the former London Box Motorway plan.
In a speculative near future where developments in gene screening, made ubiquitous by technology companies, have produced significantly increased lifespans, increased longevity spawned population growth and subsequently youth unemployment. To mitigate the devastating social and economic effects of the ‘lost generation’ of unemployed twentysomethings, the ‘Golden Handshake’ Bill put into law a compulsory decade-long career break for workers between the ages of 45 and 60. This new class of young ‘pensioners’ drove the expansion of alternative education provision, first as aspirational cachet, and making up for missed opportunities during their youth, and then increased employability during their second careers.
As public spending continued to be reduced in the decades following the Great Recession of 2008-13, the road network gradually became privatised to release capital for new ‘Green’ transport infrastructures. When the Westway was sold in 2030 it was snapped up by global advertising giant JC Decaux, keen to secure continued advertising along the valuable route from London to Oxford. As the Education sector became increasingly profitable, JC Decaux looked to enter the market, proposing a new capital-driven university along the route, able to advertise it’s content directly to it’s target market of Oxfordshire commuters.
Simultaneously, Parametricism has become the new international language of contemporary culture. This, coupled with desire for capital enterprises to use architecture as a branding mechanism has produced a new portmanteau of languages. The University of the Fourth Age blends iconic Parametricism and Oxford high Gothic with an ever more desperate desire to communicate and market its content.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2014
- BA (Hons) Architecture, Canterbury School of Architecture, 2011
- Digital Futures: Open Urban Space, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013; President's Medals Exhibition, RIBA, London, 2011
- RIBA South East Award, 2011