StreetSpace Studio 2021-22- The Market

StreetSpace studio is once again a collaborative yearlong project. MArch students will work on the area of the Market in Belfast to understand the significance and value of its streets and people, and deal with the problems and potentials of vacancy, dereliction and density, especially focusing on future housing and mixed use potential of the neighbourhood. We will collaborate with the Department for Communities, Belfast City Council and the Market Development Association to highlight the priorities for this area and deal with real possibilities of regeneration and transformation while respecting the existing social and physical fabric of the streets studied.

 

We are this year teaming up with Dr Aisling Shannon Rusk from Studio Idir, whose work spans from domestic architecture to mapping and public participation in the most contested areas of Belfast. Aisling’s work leading the Women in Architecture group will also be instrumental in the larger discussions about gender in the built environment throughout the year.

 

Funded by the Department for Communities and Public Engagement at QUB, we have a series of partners that will enrich this live project. As well as the architecture training that is core to this studio, we will be supported by Dr Federica Banfi and Anna Skoura in ethnographic methods, and by planners Dr Cristian Silva, Dr Laura Michael, Professor Brendan Murtagh and James Hennessey in principles of mobility and public participation in the area. The studio will also be part of 2 ongoing research projects: The Gentle Densities Project (for DfC Housing Division), that investigates medium density, mixed use and public participation as vehicles to deliver appropriate housing in Belfast; and the Build Back Better Mapping Project (for Participation and the Practice of Rights and Oak Foundation) that is in the process of identifying public land for social housing for vulnerable communities.

 

Our consultant this year will be Brigit Hausleitner, whose research comprises work on urban diversity and mixed-use cities. Her research works to improve combinations of living and working, with special interest on spaces for urban manufacturing and micro-economic activities. We will also be part of the University of Universities network, where we will be hosting students from across 16 universities online in weeks 5 and 6 of the semester and students of the StreetSpace studio will be able to participate in a series of 2 week workshops in those universities as well.

 

The students in this studio will spend a significant amount of time investigating the Market area and the community that lives in it, to be able to formulate informed and professional proposals for programs and good quality buildings in the area. In this studio you will experience becoming an architect in the complex reality of everyday life and the role you can have as a designer in delivering good quality, inclusive, mixed use housing to communities that sorely need it.