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.


5th Year
Aged 23
Student Biography:

Following on from my first degree studies in Bath and Munich, I joined the Manchester School of Architecture in 2010 to add further contrast to my architectural education.
I am interested in architecture when it is real and engaging, as well as intrigued by how space is used, understood, negotiated and adapted. This has led to a dissertation and fifth year project which questions the permanence of the built environment and the role of the architect. My studies have previously focussed on the individual as an end user of the designed built environment, which has led me to design a user-controlled circus school for a Mancunian circus company. Fingers crossed, the project will be realised during 2012!
Although I have worked in architectural practices around the country, my enthusiasm for architecture comes from the ways it can be communicated; this enthusiasm was cemented whilst working for the Architects' Journal both as a news intern and as Editor of the Buildings Library. I believe that in order to stay relevant, architecture must descend from its academic 'ivory tower' to confront the people it affects and respond to them in real time. Always a keen conversationalist, I contrast studio time with riding my bike, dangling from a trapeze, knitting and baking.