Operating as an Atelier for many years at Masters level, this is the first year of [CPU]ai having presence in 3rd Year. Students were introduced to the Atelier ethos through exposure to theoretical approaches and computational tools via initiatives such as [CPU]breakfast where staff, students and Alumni presented key readings, projects and case studies of their own undertaking to facilitate diverse knowledge exchange, and collaboration as a vertical atelier.
This year's theme was ‘Resilient Urban Futures’ with all projects based on the University Campus, with its relationship to wider urban systems and its possible short, medium and long-term futures. All projects also relate to food programmatically - be it fast (technology-enabled + optimised) or slow (grown on site, local, seasonal) - and spatially (growing, selling, sharing, collaborating, researching). Domain knowledge within these areas was developed through research and structured engagement with international academics through to local charities which enabled an understanding of systems and flows within the supply chains in areas such as ethics, climate crisis, traditional vs novel technologies, economics, and beyond. This was then used to understand projects at an urban and building scale with regards to materials, construction, environmental and structural strategies.
Students were also encouraged to see creatively through the opportunity and limitations of materiality and constraints of the regulatory contexts in which we operate. A key component of this was engagement with real world stakeholders including clients, users and specialist consultants in areas such as Asbestos, Access, Equality + Diversity, Fire, Building Regulations, Structures, M+E, Sustainability et al.
A huge thankyou to all our collaborators including Carolyn Steel, Heart & Parcel, Haleh Moravej/MetMunch, Manchester Met Catering, Manchester Met Estates, Assent Building Control, JSA, Purcell, ZHA, Atkins, OFR, Renaissance, Max Fordham, re|form.