When Live Projects Combine

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper describes Street Society 2015, an environmental design event, where eleven groups of architecture students, from Queen’s University Belfast, spent five days working with clients, from the not-for-profit or voluntary sector, creating architectural responses to a variety of issues, which the clients identified. All of the projects were located in the same geographical area of East Belfast. The event was supported by existing government-led urban regeneration initiative, which was in the process of developing an “Urban Village” in this part of the city. This initiative helped source client who were keen to access of the students’ creativity, architectural insight and visualisation skills. Street Society 2015 operated from a pop-up laboratory, which was created in a formally empty retail space, also located in the study area. Although Street Society 2015 was conceived as series of ‘live projects’ - pedagogical events that provided students the opportunity to work with real clients and real projects in real time - it can also be viewed as a collaborative city-design laboratory where multiple stakeholders were able to express their desires for the locality and to experiment with giving these ambitions form through creative conversations with the students. By externalising their thoughts in the shared space of the laboratory, a variety of alternative perspectives about the future of the area were uncovered. Thus, Street Society 2015 acted as a platform for initiating dialogue between multiple interested parties and for cultivating new understandings of place. In this paper, the implications, challenges and opportunities associated with viewing Street Society 2015 not only as a series of live project, but also as a collaborative city design laboratory are unravelled and reflected upon.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2016
EventFifth Annual AIARG (All-Ireland Architecture Research Group) Conference - Cork Centre for Architectural Education, Cork, Ireland
Duration: 29 Jan 201630 Jan 2016


ConferenceFifth Annual AIARG (All-Ireland Architecture Research Group) Conference


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