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Urban Green CFS: UK I 2012 May 18, 2012

Urban Green: Linking Ecosystems to Social Systems highlighted the potential for communities and individuals to improve their urban environment by growing food and plants which promote biodiversity, and reclaiming the wasted spaces in our cities. The exhibit was made up entirely of reclaimed materials which were re-purposed into raised beds, a plastic bottle green house, a seed swap trolley and an interactive map showing existing green ideas and initiatives in London and also giving people an opportunity to add their own….

London Talk Series: London I UK I 2008-2012 May 16, 2012

The aim of our annual talk series was to bring together distinguished academics and practitioners from within the ‘humanitarian sector’ and academia to discuss and debate a wide range of topics.  In 2008 the series was designed to kick start a critical debate about what it is to be an ‘ethical and socially’ relevant practitioner and aimed specifically at professionals working within the built environment.  In 2009 the talk series focused on issues of climate change and their consequential impacts…

World Urban Forum 2012 May 13, 2012

Participatory design methodologies at the World Urban Forum ASF-UK facilitated a training event on participatory design methodologies at the World Urban Forum in Naples, Italy. These methods have been developed in the ‘Change-by-Design’ action-research workshops implemented by ASF-UK in Brazil and Kenya. The training attracted over 100 participants from a diverse range of backgrounds – residents, CBOs, NGOs, private sector, academics, as well as managers of large scale development projects and local and central government officials. It consisted of a…

The Eden Project I Cornwall I UK I 2011 December 17, 2011

Waste materials from a number of industrial sectors could be made useful for new buildings, diverting valuable resources from landfill. An efficient process of identification, collection, innovative re-design, and distribution is required to realise such a programme. Currently, knowledge of locally specific waste resources available in the south west of England simply does not exist. The ‘harvest map’ process seeks to provide the first link in a process desperately needed to ensure potentially useful materials are made available to designers…

Social Enterprise: London I 2011 May 18, 2011

The aim of the two day social enterprise seminar was to discuss and investigate the role of social enterprise in the context of alternative and ethically relevant forms of architecture practice. Social enterprise advisers gave presentations highlighting the basics of social enterprise as a business model, alongside architects with the aim of initiating conversations about the future of architecture practice and its need to become politically and socially relevant. Speakers were: Jonathan Essex (BioRegional) Barbara Beaton (Rural Sussex) Andreas Lang…

ROOTS Architecture building workshop: WOMAD I UK I 2010-2011 May 18, 2011

ROOTS Architecture building workshop: WOMAD, Chippenham, UK / 2010  The workshop was inspired by Oliver Lowenstein from Fourth Door. He was interested in the ‘overlap, in spirit at least, between the emerging grassroots architecture network driving community projects around the world and the relatively new passions for the many branches of the world music tree.’ (Oliver Lowenstein).  There is very little opportunity for small bands or musicians to play at WOMAD, so the workshop brief was for four teams of…

Participatory ways to work in communities: Sudan I 2011 May 17, 2011

In Sudan there is a large economic divide between social classes, not helped by a complex political background. While there are many built environment professionals dedicated to improving conditions for poorer communities there is little opportunity to do so in a participatory manner. Further to a presentation given by ASF-UK at Reading University, ASF-UK were asked by the University of Reading and the University of Khartoum to conduct a three day workshop, in order to expose Sudanese built environment professionals…

Building Plot: The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK I 2008-2010 December 17, 2010

Building Plot #1 Material Testing Since the decline of tin mining, china clay extraction, fishing and agriculture in Cornwall, the area is recognised as one of the poorest in the UK. It is one of four UK areas that qualify for poverty-related grants from the EU. To begin to address some of the issues around the lack of employment in the area ASF, in partnership with the Eden Project, are developing a small piece of land, ideally located adjacent to…

The CIAO! Ark Project: Oxford I UK I 2010 May 18, 2010

The concept for the Ark project was as the centrepiece for a celebration of low carbon living which was entirely powered by green energy; cycle power, solar panels and a biodiesel generator, fuelled by chip fat collected from restaurants in Oxford. The main question asked of anybody participating in the project was: If you were to sail away on the Ark tomorrow, what would you take with you and what would you leave behind?  Children from ten Oxfordshire primary schools…

Places of Change: Chelsea Flower Show: London I UK I 2010 May 18, 2010

ASF returned to Chelsea in 2010 as part of the Eden Project’s Places of Change programme. Over three hundred homeless and disadvantaged people were given the opportunity to participate in the design, construction and horticulture training programmes in order to create the largest show garden in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  ASF worked specifically with Noah Enterprise (Luton), Watford New Hope Trust (Watford) and Crisis Skylight (London) to build half of the main central timber spine. We…

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