Pursuing Projects

At the start of the year, a unit trip to Portmeirion in Wales and a week of film making in Manchester established a working method which was more focussed on process and affecting the viewer than traditional "architectural" outputs. The first exercise was to propose an addition to the relentlessly cheerful cliff-side town of Portmeirion, to make it more attractive whilst being appropriate to the intentions of the now deceased architect, Clough William-Ellis. In response to the sinister gothic features dispersed around the site and my observations about the conflict between the buildings of Portmeirion and the rocks, my film explored the frustrating inaccessibility of the beach and the potential for a deep dark secret hidden in the cliffs. Following on from this, my proposal was to create a series of caves inside the rock-face, accessible from the beach and from the top of the cliff. The study of Manchester combined films by Jørgen Leth and Jeff Zimbalist with excerpts from texts by Manuel DaLanda and Manfredo Tafuri. The film therefore explored the effects of social consumerism on perceptions of architecture.

Hayley
Chivers

5th Year
Aged 23
My Review of the Year

This year's project was established following and introduction to Owen Gaynor, a circus skills instructor who runs a mobile community circus skills company, in need of a more permanent home. Through experimentation with play in the city and research into the situation of UK circus troupes, I proposed that the circus could exist both permanently and as a portable typology around the city. In order to encourage the students of the Circus Diaspora to spatially outline their perfect circus, I built a 1:100 scale model and took it to several of Owen's classes. Using their contributions, I drafted proposals for the ultimate Manchester circus, yet through several phases of re-drawing it became apparent that there is could be no single solution. Instead an adaptable, demountable, structure within an existing building would allow them to efficiently change their space according to their needs. I therefore proposed to install demountable scaffolding-based structures within the confines of a rented warehouse on an industrial estate in Ardwick. The scaffolding allows inexpensive modifications to space which provide a stimulating, inspiring and dramatic space for teaching and performing. Following my most recent meeting with and the members of the Circus House, the troupe have decided to use my proposals to secure an Arts Council interview, in order that the Circus House may receive the financial support they require to occupy a permanent home.

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Portmeirion is a ruthlessly cheerful tourist town buried in a cliff on the Welsh ...
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