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Manifesto for Making

Part 2 Project 2011
Anya Sutton
Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield UK
In recent years there has been a move towards office and screen based work, and away from manufacturing and making. The decline in manual skills can be seen as an alarming change in how we relate to our physical world. As consumers, we buy instead of making and replace instead of fixing. As a result, craft skills are being transformed and displaced into new forms of activity, forced to respond to the challenges of a post industrialised society and a new economy.

The project offers a new system and social diagram for production which values skill, craftsmanship and quality. The scheme promotes environments where craft can thrive and connections can be made between disparate activities. The organisation and building system is based on concepts of the DIY subculture, promoting sharing of skills and participation. Consequently, the building will be managed and coordinated by volunteers. This is an ethical decision based on ideas of knowledge sharing, skills, innovation, debate and power. The intention is to empower people and encourage them to take technologies into their own hands to solve needs.

In craft and architecture alike, there is a great deal of opportunity for shared experiences and collaborative endeavours. The building does not have clearly defined boundaries; instead it can be seen as a series of thresholds between spaces and activities; the architecture emerging from the qualities and requirements of these thresholds. This is an architecture that celebrates collaboration and collective thinking.

The architectural delight of the building comes from the method of construction and the crafting of the materials. The construction systems are articulated, supporting the idea that highly crafted buildings should celebrate the union of constructional elements. The collection of smaller components and the expression of the joints celebrate the humanity of architecture.

The thesis project is informed by opposing historical precedents such as the Art & Crafts Movement and Mass production. Responding to the continual paradox between the desire to produce high quality, well crafted architecture and the ever present social necessity to make architecture affordable, the project explores the potential for architecture when the craftsperson is the builder.

Anya Sutton

Tutor(s)

Prof Sam Vardy
2011
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