Intermediate 7 Tiles handmade at Granby Workshop, Liverpool, 2018, image courtesy of Granby Workshop and Assemble

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

Amica Dall, Anthony Meacock and Giles Smith

Architectural and economic speculation have a long and uneasy history. The contemporary architect can very easily find herself limited to the cosmetic alteration of buildings whose design has been fundamentally determined by the pursuit of profit. In many major urban centres around the world, the serious business of space-planning has been ceded to estate agents, brand consultants and property developers. Finance is no longer a tool of city-making, but city-making a tool of nance.

This studio will attempt to claim back that territory. Our focus will be workspace, and the capacity of architecture to create room for production. A world of work where precarity is the norm and which is disrupted by the rise of automation and digital production will be the context for us to develop briefs for the dense urban workspaces of the future.

In protest at the marginalisation of architectural decision-making, we will arm ourselves with the tools of the planner and developer: Section 106 agreements, Community Infrastructure Levy payments, and most critically, the Viability Study. Building on an understanding of the relationship between these tools and the con- temporary built environment we will explore how they can be manipulated and exploited in the service of a more social architecture.

Our work will be based in Liverpool, a city of fantastic character and particularity, but one which exemplifies many trends in the changing relationship between cities and production. It was once, in the nineteenth century, celebrated as the ‘New York of Europe’ , but today unemployment in the city is at twice the national average.

Our studio favours a critical realist approach: innovative responses to the everyday and real-world, developed through a mixture of critical thinking and hands-on making. We will work across media from 1:1 interventions in the city, through Excel spreadsheets, to large-scale physical models.

Staff

Amica Dall, Anthony Meacock and Giles Smith are founding partners of the art and architecture practice Assemble. Their work enables people to have an active relationship with their built environment. They have worked on a range of scaled projects from Liverpool to Hong Kong and have all taught internationally at venues from Yale University, University of Michigan and TU Munich to the Tate Modern, History and Theory at the Bartlett and in design studios at the London School of Architecture and University of Westminster. They are currently building a new gallery for Goldsmiths University and developing their own model of workspace, Sugarhouse Studios in London.

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