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Wednesday 18 May 2016

Landscapes of Identity Symposium 2016

Mapping the Place Identity of Manchester


In a rapidly changing world, how does an industrialised and urbanised city such as Manchester contribute, resist or mediate the changes that are caused by globalising forces, or, how the city in turn, is coming to be changed itself? What are the strategic roles of heritage, design, art and culture in shaping Manchester’s identity and placemaking?

As the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Manchester bombing approaches, Landscapes Of Identity Symposium - a trailblazer event for Manchester Histories Festival 2016, will feature inspiring talks, discussions and debate that centre on the theme: mapping the place identity of Manchester. Some of the key contributors to the Millennium Quarter – a project designed to transform the city centre after it was rocked by the catastrophic event on Saturday 15 June 1996 – will be evaluating the timely topic of rapid ‘change’, in Manchester’s urban morphology since the last two decades.

Keynotes will be presented by – world renowned Landscape Architect and artist, tenured Professor in Practice at the GSD Harvard University MARTHA SCHWARTZ – Landscape Architect of Manchester Exchange Square; Senior Partner at SimpsonHaugh, Vice President in Architecture for Liverpool John Moores University Design Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), IAN SIMPSON – Architect of No. 1 Deansgate, The Beetham Tower and Urbis building; and Chief Executive of Buildings + Places AECOM (formerly EDAW) JASON PRIOR – Masterplanner for Manchester Millennium Quarter project, London Olympics 2012 and Rio Olympics 2016. 

Chaired by writer, broadcaster and curator, PHIL GRIFFIN, other speakers on the day will also include JIM CHAPMAN – Chartered Architect, visiting Professor at the Manchester School of Architecture, RIBA Client Advisor and Trustee of the National Museum Liverpool; LUKE BAINBRIDGE – Writer, Music Journalist, DJ and Head of Arts and Culture for Festival No.6; SIMONE RIDYARD – Architect, Artist and Founder of Manchester Urban Sketchers; JOHN HYATT – Artist, Musician, Professor of Fine Art and Director of MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University; ROGER MILBURN – Chartered Engineer, Senior Executive for Arup, visiting Professor to the University of Manchester and a member of the General Assembly; and CHARLES LAUDER – Television Producer and Director, Journalist, Chair and Trustee of Contact.

Symposium Curator
YATIE AZIZ – PhD Researcher in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at MIRIAD, MSA, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Subjects of talks, discussions and debate will include—

  • Impact of 1996 Manchester bombing through personal memories and experiences.
  • Personal contributions to the Millennium Quarter regeneration project, and other historical, physical and socio-cultural events related to the city.
  • Changes in the formation of the historical, physical and socio-cultural elements, forms or patterns within the city over the last two decades.
  • Changes in the functions or appearances of buildings and spaces, and socio-cultural events.
  • Causes-effects of these changes to Manchester’s identity, and the relationships between people and place.
  • The relevance of heritage, place identity and place attachment to transcultural cities such as Manchester.
  • The strategic roles of heritage, design, art and culture in shaping Manchester's identity and placemaking.

Please register online at

Twitter: @Yat1eAz1z #LOI16 #LandscapesOfIdentity


Manchester Histories Festival 3-12 June 2016.
Ten-days of events celebrating the familiar and revealing the new and hidden histories and heritage from across Greater Manchester. Whether people would describe themselves as histories fans or not, MHF2016 will have something for everyone.

Image courtesy of SimpsonHaugh and Shaw & Shaw