Dudley High Street Future Visions Exhibition

March 29, 2022
Published by Lorna Prescott

On the afternoon of Monday 4 April, Masters Architecture students from BCU’s Extinction Rebellion Architecture studio will be hosting a free exhibition of future visions for Dudley High Street.

The exhibition is open to all, drop in to CoLab Dudley at 201a High Street, Dudley between 2pm and 5pm on Monday 4 April to see future visions generated through time spent exploring the High Street, experiments involving local people and extensive research.

Dudley CVS officer Lorna Prescott has been working with the students since autumn 2021 and was recently invited to the School of Architecture and Design in Birmingham to hear presentations on their evolving designs. There are an astonishing diversity of visions, each of which generate hope and energy for flourishing futures in Dudley.

Through CoLab Dudley, Dudley CVS has been cultivating collaborative projects with staff and students from BCU’s School of Architecture and Design. The collaboration is rooted in CoLab Dudley team member Holly Doron‘s relationships with Dr Matthew Jones (Head of the School and author of Transforming Towns) and Professor Rachel Sara who explores the way in which health and wellbeing can be affected by architecture and design. Together they work with communities through design and research to make towns more successful, sustainable and inclusive (see more on the Transforming Towns website).

Last September Holly shared a Lab Note about Extinction Rebellion Architecture coming to Dudley.

The brief for the activity which has led to this exhibition stated:

In a state of climate emergency we cannot simply carry on designing ‘business as usual’ buildings. We need to radically rethink in order to develop a new architecture that does more than merely minimizing environmental impact. We need to rethink what architecture could and should be.

In this studio we will push the boundaries of architectural production to explore architecture that aims to be an active part of the solution to the current climate crisis. We will work co-creatively with community partner CoLab Dudley and experiment with new carbon-absorbing materials, design to intensify biodiversity, create spaces which clean the air and generate renewable energy. We will investigate the radical approaches of movements like Extinction Rebellion (XR) to understand different modes of practice including self-organising structures and regenerative cultures that may in turn begin to suggest new regenerative or restorative architectures.

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