Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources

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The Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources is an emergent, studio based, research area within the practice and academic discipline of architecture. It examines and extends knowledge of the physical and cultural influences on the built environment, focusing on situations where resources are scarce and where both culture and technology are in a state of rapid change.

Suspicious of the tendency of strategic and large-scale policy planning to distil out rich but fragile local interactions, the studio encourages students to work outwards from the observed fragment of lived experience. The studio aims to explore how the urban landscape is inhabited, made and remade through personal and collective acts, events, memories and experiences; attempting to cut through the surface to expose the undercurrent of silent issues that constitute the everyday.

Since 2006 the School of Architecture at The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design (The CASS) at London Metropolitan University has been offering studio modules for its 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year architecture students in this research area which have involved direct, on the ground, cultural and physical surveys of marginal urban settlements in India, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and London. Latterly MA by Project and PhD by Project courses have also been run in this research area. Study is by project and has included the construction of a number of schools and water and sanitation projects.

ARCSR is supported by the Water Trust (ARCSR), a UK registered charity (Registered Charity Number 1160565). Aims of the charity are to advance the education of students studying architecture by providing and assisting in the provision of opportunities to develop their skills for the public benefit. In addition,the charity aims to relieve the poverty of people through the provision of improved housing and other architectural projects in deprived areas around the world for the public benefit.