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Architecture team engage in urban workshop

Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany


Growth and shrinkage are intrinsically linked urban issues. Often we think of urban growth as regeneration of cities and towns, but we rarely consider the inevitable shrinkage which occurs in other places. This workshop engaged students and staff from 13 universities across Europe and beyond, with The Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment being the representative institution from the UK.

Professor of Architecture, Karim Hadjri, has been a key member of the 'OIKONET: a global interdisciplinary network for housing research and learning' and leads the research subnetwork, supporting synergies between the research, teaching and community participation on the various issues such as growth and shrinkage of cities. Adam Evans, Senior Lecturer in Architecture took part in the workshop along with Master of Architecture students Dorota Moskal, Ali Ahmed and Michael Yosief.

Students worked in design teams to imagine and explore strategies for dealing with urban growth in Berlin and urban shrinkage in Cottbus. The inevitable quandary of how architects and urban designers actually deal with a shrinking city was pivotal to the outputs of the workshop, which culminated in a critical forum on the final day, and was presented to local practitioners and planners, international academics and students.

The results of the workshop will now form case studies for a forthcoming book, as well as being disseminated on the OIKONET website and within the Design Studio here at UCLan.

Ali Ahmed, a 5th Year Architecture student commented: “The workshop was intense but a very vibrant environment to exchange ideas and test some of the issues we were dealing with in the design studio this year, but in a different context.”

The issues explored will now also be applied to the regional contexts of Lancashire and Merseyside in both the Master of Architecture and the MSc Urban Design Programmes next academic year.

Find out more about this and other OIKONET Projects here: