The MA Architecture + Urbanism course is the Manchester School of Architecture's taught postgraduate course which conducts research into how global cultural and economic forces influence contemporary cities. The design, functioning and future of urban situations is explored in written, drawn and modelled work which builds on the legacy of twentieth century urban theory and is directed towards the development of sustainable cities.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Architecture + Urbanism recommends "Identity, Sovereignty, and Global Politics in the Building of Baghdad: From Revolution to the Gulf War and Beyond"

Conference, "Identity, Sovereignty, and Global Politics in the Building of Baghdad: From Revolution to the Gulf War and Beyond"

Harvard University Graduate School of Design 18, 19 and 20 September 2014

Using the history of urban development in Baghdad as a reference point, this conference examines the extent to which interventions intended to modernize and integrate different populations in the city were part of a larger process of negotiating competing visions of political economy, sovereignty, and identity in post-WWII Iraq. By gathering political scientists, architectural and urban historians, and scholars of Iraq and the larger Arab world, the conference engages theoretical and empirical questions about the ruptures and continuities of Baghdad’s urban and political history, using the built environment of the city as a canvas for understanding struggles over Iraq’s position in a global context shaped by ongoing war tensions (from the Cold War to the Gulf War and beyond) to more recent Middle East conflicts. The full day event (September 19) will be preceded by a Keynote Panel held the prior evening, focused on the relationship between war and urbanism, a theme that will re-emerge comparatively and historically in subsequent day’s panels which focus on a range of theoretical, historical, and practical dilemmas facing Baghdad and other cities in the region. The conference ends with a half-day discussion of the urban planning, design, and governance challenges facing the city now and in the near future.

Organised by -
Professor Diane Davis, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Professor of Urban Planning and Design, and Weatherhead Center Associate; Co-organisers: Dr. Łukasz Stanek, University of Manchester, Manchester Architecture Research Centre; Phillip Baker, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


MA A+U student Seton Wakenshaw's thesis project

‘Sidewalks in the Sky’

Based in Manhattan the ‘Sidewalks in the Sky’ project considers a series of smaller ‘perfect states’ as a more realistic proposition to improving the underused cities that we inhabit. A series of strategically placed ‘lungs’ within our urban realm are created, that offer up smaller scale, temporary utopias that will enrich our individual and collective wellbeing.

The design recalls Jane Jacobs’ observations of New York that “Streets and their sidewalks, the main public spaces of a city are its most vital organs” with the introduction of functional rooftop ‘sidewalks’ establishing a new sense of community through pedestrian occupied spaces in the sky.

The images below document Seton's design process and the development of his project.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'MISSION: POSTMODERN'

MISSION: POSTMODERN – Heinrich Klotz and the Wunderkammer DAM

German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt am Main

10 May – 19 October 2014

Guided tours on Saturday and Sunday, 15:00

In 2014 Deutsches Architekturmuseum will be proudly presenting a true treasure: the diary entries by the DAM’s founding director Heinrich Klotz. He relied on a truly world-wide network and personally knew all the major architects of the day, including among others Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Aldo Rossi, Hans Hollein, Richard Meier, Peter Cook and Tadao Ando.
On the occasion of DAM’s 30th anniversary, the most important works Klotz acquired from these architects will be on show in a “Wunderkammer” – but the marvels will also include an oil painting by Martin Kippenberger, a collage by Christo and invaluable drawings, models, furniture, original components, and photos.

DAM was the first new museum to be inaugurated on Frankfurt’s “Museumsufer”. Moreover, it was the world’s very first Architecture Museum with a programmatic and striking architecture, not to mention a collection that reflected the contemporary and increasingly globalized architectural scene. In his many powerful books and articles, and especially in his legendary architecture exhibitions, Klotz saw it as his mission to spearhead an international movement that went down in history as Postmodernism.

Postmodern architecture continued to shape the face of Frankfurt: Schirn Kunsthalle, Messeturm, Museum für Moderne Kunst and other major eye-catching buildings as Kunsthalle Portikus all arose at that time. Not that there were no opponents. Yet with the benefit of hindsight, the pluralism Klotz championed has won the day. Irony, Pop themes and historical quotations are long since accepted elements of architecture.

From 17 October the Museum Angewandte Kunst shows the exhibition “1984 – Zeit zwischen den Zeiten”, which will celebrate the founding year of the DAM as groundbreaking year of the era for fashion, music and pop culture.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction: Creating the Modern Townscape

Eamonn Canniffe has contributed the last chapter, entitled


to the new book 'Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction
Creating the Modern Townscape' edited by John Pendlebury, Erdem Erten and Peter J. Larkham

The history of post Second World War reconstruction has recently become an important field of research around the world; Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction is a provocative work that questions the orthodoxies of twentieth century design history.

This book provides a key critical statement on mid-twentieth century urban design and city planning, focused principally upon the period between the start of the Second World War to the mid-sixties. The various figures and currents covered here represent a largely overlooked field within the history of 20th century urbanism.

In this period while certain modernist practices assumed an institutional role for post-war reconstruction and flourished into the mainstream, such practices also faced opposition and criticism leading to the production of alternative visions and strategies. Spanning from a historically-informed modernism to the increasing presence of urban conservation the contributors examine these alternative approaches to the city and its architecture.

The book will be published by Routledge in August 2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


The documentary of the MA A+U 2014 Symposium MANUFACTURING UTOPIA: Happiness in Emerging Environments is now available to watch at the symposium website!video/cusu

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Eamonn Canniffe's chapter 'Publoid Space in the Microcosmopolis: Two new business districts of Manchester and Salford' has been published in

ideas, methods, techniques, tools, case studies

edited by Marco Bovati, Michele Caja, Giancarlo Floridi and Martina Landsberger

The two volume set is published by Il Poligrafo, Padua

Architecture schools are fundamental deposits of knowledge and abilities, which have contributed productively for a long time to the growth of studies on architecture and the city. The aim of this book is to share the results of research work carried out under the patronage of EAAE and ARCC in the main European and American architecture schools on the issue of the city and its recent transformations. Through the comparison of different points of view, the goal is to hi-ghlight the need for a broad and open discussion, appropriate to the vastness and complexity of the problems faced. The well known sentence by Leon Battista Alberti, “The house is like a small city and the city is like a large house”, is a brief indication of the subjects of the volume: the widespread phenomena of urbanization of large parts of the world, the problems of diametrically opposed socalled shrinking cities and the severity of the effects of climate change and energy issue. Architectural and urban contents are also main themes in EU policy where the crucial role of Architecture has been stressed in many documents concerning the development of European cities. These arguments are developed in a thematic interweaving that goes from architecture and city's analytical and design techniques to those connected with organization, construction, security, planning, conservation and practice of a profession whose role has taken on ever greater responsibility within the human destiny.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Architecture + Urbanism recommends 'Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture'


Design Museum, London

09 July 2014 – 12 October 2014

The American architect LOUIS KAHN (1901-1974) is regarded as one of the great master builders of the Twentieth Century. Kahn created buildings of monumental beauty with powerful universal symbolism.

This exhibition encompasses an unprecedented and diverse range of architectural models, original drawings, travel sketches, photographs and films. Highlights of the exhibition include a four-metre-high model of the spectacular City Tower designed for Philadelphia (1952-57). Each project is fully represented in this timely exhibition, which seeks to bring one of the twentieth century’s greatest master builders to a new audience.

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