The course explores the current situation of real locations. Through an extensive group study, the underlying patterns and relationships of context are revealed, examined and utilised by each student to inspire and inform an architectural proposition. Two simultaneous field studies took place in January 2020. One group explored the transformation of The Ropewalks in Liverpool. The others travelled to Melaka in Malaysia to discover and reveal the nature and dynamics of this unfamiliar context. Both locations are very different, historically, climatically and culturally. The task for the Melaka group is to comprehend and respond to a very unfamiliar culture and context. The mission for the Liverpool group is to try to look beneath the surface of what might at first appear to be quite familiar, to reveal the unfamiliar.
The students’ projects stem from a personal interpretation of their findings. The location, building type and detailed brief are negotiated and finalised through reflection, iteration and challenge. Techniques of representation are utilised to both inform and express design ideas. The projects developed by the 2019-2020 cohort are an expression of each student’s individual aspirations and, cumulatively, provide a snapshot of the group’s broader social and architectural concerns.