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Multicultural Language and Linguistics Centre, Smethwick.

Part 2 Project 2005
Matt Edwards
Birmingham City University, UK
The new urban park design transforms the current ‘as found’ condition/identity of the site, referencing the area’s social and political past and its current social condition. Each of the intimate gardens represents a ‘heart’ (first) language spoken in the area, celebrating the importance of difference whilst encouraging social cohesion and understanding. The Multicultural Language and Linguistics Centre, set within the park, is an interpretation of the fragmentation of heart languages in this particular multicultural society, breaking down the social, political and geographic divides, and allowing a more fluid relationship to emerge between the different languages/cultures (shifting towards a pluralist multiculturalism).
Matt Edwards

Matt's project, located in 'unglamorous' Smethwick, a disadvantaged area in the West Midlands which is crying out for regeneration. The programme for a language school developed out of a social and cultural site analysis which identified a vast number of different nationalities and languages within a small area. Ideas of host, remote, and combined languages emerged, as well as a recognition of different generations and the spoken and written word. The proposal is a dramatic series of flowing and fragmented forms which draw reference from both the purity of language and its various iterations via everyday use and abuse

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