Design development studies for 2020 Brighton Pavilion of the Commons

Following an intensive LabWeek, development studies for the forthcoming live-build pavilion structure were unveiled earlier today in the School of Architecture & Design, University of Brighton. I have written about the project previously here.

With the summer opening of Brighton’s Wastes and Strays Pavilion fast approaching, the shortlisted projects have been developed as a series of laser cut 1:3 scale models by groups of students from the BA Interior Architecture and Product Design courses.

An announcement will follow once the university judging panel have selected the proposal which is to be taken forwards into the next stage of development prior to fabrication. We are indebted to ongoing support from our project sponsors James Latham PLC and Josh Mitchell, Lewes-based furniture maker and director at 10 Tables.

The wider AHRC-funded Wastes and Strays interdisciplinary project is bringing together expertise from the Universities of Brighton, Newcastle, Sheffield and Portsmouth. Detail on the wider research investigation can be found here.


3 thoughts on “Design development studies for 2020 Brighton Pavilion of the Commons

  1. Graham Perring Post author

    colleagues, students, friends and fellow design-folk
    An invitation:
    I’d very much welcome your thoughts on the value of design-make projects in architectural education alongside more conventional methods of learning, ie: design studio.

    During the more recent stages of this project, we have been working with students in fully collaborative, project-centred working groups. This structure differs significantly from the design studio model which is commonly used in architecture schools. We are very aware that collaborative working has clear parallels with the practice environment that we are preparing our students for.
    – To what extent does this represent an opportunity to broaden an agenda for architectural education beyond privileging achievements of the individual?

    I was recently given an opportunity to review an account of an interesting and delightful 5-year phased-delivery, trans-disciplinary, cross-university design-make university project.
    – Am I alone in thinking that these kinds of projects represent, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for students to experience the value of creative, participatory, cross-cultural, full-scale, site-based, experiential learning before their creative energies are captured by the narrower world of architectural practice after university education?

    Those of us involved in the Wastes and Strays 2020 Brighton Pavilion of the Commons project hope to see the current project used to seed more projects of this kind. We will need encouragement and support both at institutional level and from industry for this to be possible, given the time and energy that these kinds of project require. I know a number of you have led design-make projects and may have views to share.

    Comments please to help bring other considerations to the fore and understand a wider perspective in relation to this.

  2. Alex Zambelli

    What a wonderful array of designs/prototypes/experiments. As a model of and a mirror to multi-disciplinary collaborative design these Wastes and Strays ‘pavilions of the commons’ projects are powerful tools for thinking about cooperative design processes. But of course they will come into their own and most fully realise their potential when they are tested in the commons spaces and on the commons users for which they are meant – let’s call these kinds of users and stakeholders ‘commoners’.

    It is a key hypothesis of Wastes and Strays that commons are edgy, often contested places. They are different from municipal parks which must be oases of calm in otherwise chaotic, even brutalising, towns and cities. Commons can be this too of course but their history and even sometimes their legal constitutions allow them to be more.

    The pavilions of the commons will reflect this edginess and, at their best be triggers for new modes of engagement with the spaces within which they are sited.
    If parks are places of escape (and boy do we need those right now) then commons are places of engagement – for staying-put and doing something – for paying attention to each other, to the world – and we may need this even more. This can and should sometimes get messy. These pavilions (there’s also one being designed and built by students in Newcastle) will be focusses – lightning rods – for these kinds of participatory community activism. What will the ‘commoners’ want from, and to do with, *their* pavilions? I can’t wait to find out.

  3. Cristian Olmos

    These exciting design responses reveal the potentially diverse uses of the urban commons.

    Moreover in this context, collaborative student working seems highly appropriate in reflecting the essential common and collective nature of Valley Gardens: students making decisions together, discussing different alternatives, responding to problems and technical challenges, developing and applying their different skills and perspectives.

    Institutional and industry support for these kinds of experiential and project-centred learning opportunities is critical in this process, from inception through to the project’s completion and evaluation.


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