Atelier 6 / University of Greenwich 2009/10

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

This year in Atelier 6 we continued to explore a more activist design approach. We looked at how the specific skill sets of architects and designers can facilitate and promote and broadcast social innovation.

Students got involved with environmental activist groups such as Climate Camp, Transition Town and Green Drinks, documenting their experiences online through blogs. We simultaneously started with a hands-on design project to promote localised food production in Hasdpen Garden, Somerset, which resulted in a prototype for a garden shed with real clients. One project will actually be built in the summer.

All of these experiences were then transferred to the development of a Headquarters building for one or several environmental groups in the urban environment of Hackney Wick.

The field trip was to Berlin, where we visited buildings that came to be through alternative modes of realisation, ranging form entrepreneurial architecture to legalised squats.