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Stone, S., Sanderson, L., 2021.

Pedagogy + policy: Rochdale reimagined

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Emerging Practices in Architectural Pedagogy: Accommodating an Uncertain Future
Brief Description/Editor(s):Sanderson, L., Stone, S.
Pagination:pp. 94-115
Number of Works:6

This chapter discusses an emerging pedagogic approach within architectural education that provides a mechanism to apply the Design Thinking of the School of Architecture to the "Wicked Problems" of local planning. These societal problems, which Rittel + Webber would explain as being "never solved, but at best are only re-solved - over and over again" (1973), are perfect vehicles for the Problem-Based Learning projects that are becoming more prevalent within architectural education. At the foreground of this discussion is a funded project conducted by Continuity in Architecture, a postgraduate atelier for teaching, research, and practice at the Manchester School of Architecture, in the Heritage Action Zone of Rochdale, a post-industrial town to the north of Manchester. The chapter discusses the application of an outward-facing form of Problem-Based Learning where the atelier deliberately set open-ended "problems" rather than specific projects. This methodology is applied to gaps in the planning system which have arisen from the 2011 UK Localism Act. The project draws upon 25 years of research-informed teaching already conducted by the atelier, and focuses on the problem of the redevelopment of this disadvantaged environment, with special attention to the Historic High Street.