We have written a new research module for MArch qualification called ‘Design-as-Degrowth’. The module has been written in partnership with our wide network of collaborators and University partners; this work continues our strong emphasis on teaching and research, which is core to the foundations of the company.
The concept of ‘growth’, particularly economic growth, is central to western capitalist economies. Economic growth requires ever-increasing consumption which have no tangible limits. However, given the physical, emotional, human and natural resources required to support this growth can be so destructive, we question if design hold the potential to question the assumed orthodoxies and encourage a paradigm of ‘Design as Degrowth’.
The module focuses on this concept of ‘Degrowth’, and how architecture may generate meaningful social and economic change. Encouraging a rethink or reuse of existing buildings and spaces which can offer a positive social and economic offer, whilst also providing value and flexibility for clients.
Working with students the module will offer an invaluable opportunity to work on live projects as part of a multidisciplinary team to research, test and offer design solutions. Some examples of past projects that highlight this concept include, St Margaret’s Church or Gosport High Street.
We look forward to sharing updates from this module, and project updates from future students work. For more information about the module, please contact us directly.
We are thrilled to be hosting ‘Architecture Through a Shared Collaborative Process’ at God’s House Tower in Southampton, it is a free to visit exhibition and discussion from Friday 20th January until Sunday 22nd January 2023.
‘Architecture Through a Shared Collaborative Process’ celebrates four years of working collaboratively and highlights the process and potential in working collectively to achieve inclusion and equality.
The possibility that architecture can be developed through shared collaboration is an ambition and lived experience for us at Studio B.A.D. Our practice ethos is to collaborate with clients, designers, architects, artists and academics to bring a range of voices and perspectives to enrich their projects.
The process is inclusive; all collaborators are equal.
As a practice we work with community groups through a process of listening initiated at community consultation workshops to develop shared visions and goals with the client body. The practice develops proposals with clients that are about the long-term sustainability of the community, with the architectural practice as partners in this relationship.
Come and join us, tickets are free and can be booked on Eventbrite here
We were delighted to have taken part in the recent webinar with Architects Journal, discussing sustainability in small projects, hosted by their sustainability editor Hattie Hartman. It was a really interesting conversation which looked at the approach to sustainability in two very different projects, if you missed the seminar you can catch up with a recording here.
We presented and discussed our St Margaret’s Church project, a large community hub redevelopment which won this year’s AJ Small Projects Sustainability Award. We were joined by Summer Islam from Material Cultures, who discussed their small Block House project which focused on experimental materials, and which had also been shortlisted in this year’s sustainability awards.
It is increasingly important to shine a light on projects that lead the way in sustainability, which is something that we all understand to be important within the build industry but unfortunately it is not always imbedded in design. During the seminar we discuss and explore ideas of retrofitting, collaboration and innovative use of materials.
The seminar concluded with some interested questions from the audience, including what the process was for focusing on the heating of the church, why we choose to use concrete within a historic building, how the church is now use by the community and what we would have done differently.
A really interesting conversation you do not want to miss!
As a recent MacEwean Award Commended project, the RIBA Hampshire Branch have invited us to host a tour of St Margaret’s Church for local members. We are thrilled to have this opportunity, to showcase how we have transformed the once condemned building though a minimal refurbishment and ‘meanwhile approach’, transforming it for the local community.
Do please come and join us, the event is free although we would encourage everyone who can to make a donation to the church’s fund. Pre booking your tickets is essential, get your here.
Date & Time:
Tuesday 26th April 2022
1800 – 2000
St Margaret’s Community Church
Highland Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 9DD
We were delighted to be invited by Reading University Architecture Society to deliver a lecture in their 2022 lecture series titled ” REFORMATION REQUIRES” which we gave last night; after so long presenting lectures across zoom it was a delight to be back talking to a real audience.
For the lecture I focused on our most recent community and public realm work, to highlight how architecture can be a vehicle for positive social change. This is an area which all of us at Studio BAD are really passionate about, in many ways it is a key pillar of the company and the reason I set up the business as I wanted to focus on this area of work.
We strongly believe in re-using what is existing, creatively engaging architecture to re-imagine the potential of a building, or a site, to make it fit the current needs. For example, St Margaret’s Church building had been condemned and likely set for demolition, through our work we have delivered a vibrant space for the whole community which is activated throughout the day and week with much needed services, such as a food bank, café, child’s play area and bicycle workshop. We touched the building lightly, only making physically alterations where vitally needed, such as the flooring where we replaced the wooden floor (which we sold, to help fund the works) and replaced with poured concrete, to work with the newly installed, zoned underfloor heating.
Architecture in the 21st century does not have to be just about a physical building, I believe many projects need architecture in a different which is not necessarily just about the bricks and mortar buildings. We have recently been working on projects that focus on reactivating the traditional high street; with these projects we interrogate how we can change the dynamic of the streets to create vibrant and engaging spaces. In Bedford Place, in Southampton, our project was a result of the community needs in the wake of covid, answering how to activate and reanimate the area to create opportunities off the back of temporary road closures. It has been a real pleasure to see the success of the scheme, now nearly two years later much of the scheme is still in place and the local council are looking to make it permanent. We are currently looking at similar reactivation projects in Gosport, Eastleigh and other areas of Southampton.
We truly believe Architecture can creatively problem solve many of the issues we are currently facing; without ego architecture can be immensely powerful, helping to reactive our cities, reduce waste, reduce carbon and deliver richer, long lasting and interesting projects.