Students as Producers of Socially Relevant Projects
“Life projects are so beneficial because it’s real life context, with real people just like working in industry, the experience you get from a life project is second to none” – Adam Griffiths: 2nd year architecture student
Adam, together with groups of 10 adepts of architecture have designed project for one most interesting Lincolnshire housing cooperative group – Abundant Earth Community (A.E.C.). The project was facilitated by dr. Marcin M. Kołakowski who found opportunity in leasing with – A.E.C. , which is a recently established group aiming to set up a co-housing cooperative community of people committed to idea of shearing, and deeply ecological work/live model.
Those environmental and social ideas are strong yet they need to be translated into concrete architectural plans of houses… and even most importunately into places between buildings which could accommodate spirit of community.
The group of students who decided to develop this project as part of “Sustainable Design” module had to in many respect undertake much more intensive work then their colleagues. In order to be successful they have to thoroughly research appropriate techniques which will meet unique needs of A.E.C. relating to self build and aspiration to set up exemplar way of living. Despite of this additional work the ethos of treating “students as producer” of socially relevant work proved to give incredible boost.
“All students, each and every one of them, went with the work like house on fire… Students were meeting almost daily, facebook group where students exchange their work was buzzing with ideas. It seemed that co-operative ethos of clients infected students who develop very effective system of working together and inspiring each other. It is unique between architecture students, who much too often are encourage to be individualistic and egocentric.” – Marcin M Kolakowski, Tutor.
As a result of intensive feasibility studies and workshops with client the project has been developed toward consistent design in which variety of buildings of this eco- socially-friendly community surrounds large circular public park and allotments.
This vision was not only useful as exercise for students who the first time worked with clients but also for clients themselves. Angela Porter from A.E.C. Said, “This student work would be a great help in future processes when talking to councils, investors and members, to explain and visualise our aspirations”.
On 14 February 2014, students from “ArchiLove” Group and “Abundant Earth Architects” organised an open symposium for all green organisations in Lincoln to present their sustainable visions for Lincoln and encourage various groups to cooperate
During years 2014-2016 students from ‘Archilove’ Group in cooperation with Abundant Earth Community have been actively involved in organising events, talks and screenings promoting alternative sustainable architecture.