Stone, S., Sanderson, L., 2021.
Teaching-Learning-Research: Design and Environments
This is Manchester: We do things differently here
Manchester, once the 'Industrial Capital' of the world, has long been a test bed for architectural and urban experimentation. From the early settlements that challenged the resilience of the Romans, and then the Vikings, through the massive boom of the industrial period, when such was the frenzy in the city that it earned the sobriquet Cottonopolis, beyond the economic melancholia of the late 20th century, to the unbridled optimism of the 21st. As a progressive city, Manchester has continually reinvented itself. The present reincarnation was led through cultural regeneration facilitated by the adaptive reuse of those great redundant industrial structures, it is a city that encourages smart technologies and embraces a community of 24 Hour Party People.
Where better then to hold a conference that explores progressive architectural pedagogy - especially a virtual one!
The architectural, landscape, and design studio is a laboratory for experimentation where students are encouraged and expected to question and disrupt the status quo, to explore possible different futures, and to propose radical solutions to unsolvable problems. The need to fuel this move away from more traditional tabular rasa education is the responsibility of academics, and this conference was a wonderful vehicle to explore, expound, discuss, and debate the future of architectural education.
During the pandemic we have had to learn to do things differently, not to be down heartened by the difficulty of interacting solely through the computer, but to embrace the nearness that digital communication provides. We have adapted methods of teaching and learning to accommodate this extraordinary situation, we have creatively responded to the pandemic and developed strategies that encourage endeavour, promote wellbeing, and support scholarship. Extraordinary strategies are needed for an extraordinary situation.
It was a great pleasure to be able to host the AMPS Teaching - Learning - Research: Design and Environments conference at the Manchester School of Architecture. It was lovely to welcome so many virtual guests to the city. The great success of the online event was the demonstrated by the enthusiasm with which speakers engaged with the conference, the quality of the post-session debate combined with the international dialogue and collaboration, (especially in this time of uncertainty) created by such global citizens. It is an honour to introduce the conference proceedings, presented here as collection of well argued, forward thinking, deliberately controversial, and valuable papers.