The City Design Research Studio is the central unit of the Master’s programme, linking theoretical issues and research debates with the practical analysis of problems of city design and original proposals for urban intervention. It promotes an understanding
of the city as a social as well as a built environment, and of the complexities of urban design and development processes.
In 2008-9, the Studio went to London’s ‘City fringe’. On the Bishopsgate site, the students traced the intersection of different social and economic cultures, the border zone of different political authorities, and the stark abutment of different built forms. The work this year takes its place in a series of City Design Studios concerned with urban edges – seams in the city that act as both lines of division and points of contact: in this case, the fringe between the City of London as a site of global financial power and inner east London’s more vernacular cityscapes. We begin from the premise that such ‘edges’ work in complicated ways: opening up common ground or segregating urban space; marking out sites of encounter or illusory adjacencies. Students worked together in interdisciplinary groups to explore the border conditions of this site, and to propose resourceful modes of urban intervention against a deepening backdrop of economic downturn. Their analyses and propositions form the basis of this publication.
Students: Mohamed Khairul Anwar, Gruia Badescu, Alisa Brem, Roberto Burgos Mann, Tsu-Jui Cheng, David Church, Michael Javorski, Ko-Ching Lin, Paul McGann, Nisha Mistry, Yen Nguyen, Jeffrey Risom, Maria Sisternas Tusell, Sommer Spiers, Olivia Tusinski, Javier Vergara Petrescu