Getting ready for a new academic year, here’s a taste of what’s to come:
MODULE 152 . URBAN ECOLOGY
the critical application of theory and design to the problem of sustainability
PART ONE: CITY THEORY
The challenge of sustainability is understood as a socially constituted problem, with the ecology
of the urban condition arising from the inextricable processes of natural resources and human
relations. Marxist theory provides critical analysis; Simmel, Harvey, Bermann and Sennett reveal
iterative relationships between the built form of the city and its inhabitants. Sustainability is
rediscovered as a radical notion that runs deeper than, and counter to depressingly ubiquitous
‘greenwash’. Anna Minton’s book ‘Ground Control’ takes centre stage as the contested
democracy of public space provides a platform for change: the relationship between built
environment and society having now reached a critical juncture. What would a sustainable city
look like? If, as James Lovelock has suggested, democracy might have to be suspended to deal
with climate change, would we ever want to live in one? Perhaps a better question is what are we
trying to sustain? Answers in 5,000 words please.
PART TWO: URBAN PROTOTYPE
Our school’s philosophy of engagement is expressed through the prototype: a 1:1 scale design
proposal that ‘plugs into’ and supports, disrupts or overthrows urban processes. Instances
of individual interest that hinge on the interaction between society and natural resources are
explored and design proposals are made to instigate wider change through repetition.
MODULE 151 . ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHITECTURE
the application of software to the hardware of the city: the architecture of the environment
PART ONE: LEED ND AS A PRISM FOR THE CITY
Working with the London Legacy Development Corporation, the area surrounding the Queen
Elizabeth Park in London will be analysed using the USGBC’s ‘software’ LEED ND. The findings
will contribute to an evidence base for the planning of new development surrounding the park,
helping to integrate it with its surroundings; physically, programmatically and culturally. Specific
components of LEED ND will be dismantled and reconstructed to become finer metrics for
this particular place and fed back to the US Green Building Council as part of our ongoing joint
collaborative research project in Sustainable Urban Design.
PART TWO: CONSERVATION RETROFIT
Historic buildings in Camden are targeted for Code for Sustainable Homes standards. Ecotect
and SAP are deployed to assess heating, lighting and power demands and potential for
improvements. Architectural judgment at the level of detail is deployed to test and check the
implications of such measures and allow the buildings to remain as pieces of architecture.
MODULE 153 . THESIS
individual investigation into a chosen topic, applying the skills learned through the course.
ALAN CHANDLER . ROLAND KARTHAUS . ANNA MINTON . MICHELA PACE . ALFONSO SENATORE