An Essay in Brick

2020

I have recognised that the construction industry is accountable for a large proportion of emissions contributing to the problem of global warming, something that is currently extremely topical. When exploring Digbeth it’s clear that the ‘workshop of the world’, ‘a city home to a thousand trades’, will be demolished to make way for the regeneration of HS2. I have explored that brick is a material used in masses within Digbeth, which in recent years has become part of an unadventurous circular economy. With the waste material being used as an aggregate, such as hardcore and temporary roads. What I find depressing is that something that was once ‘beautiful’, is now reused as a less inventive material forming a compacted base. I explored the significance of masonry, through recognising its value of aesthetics and embodied energy. I Focused on the permanence that masonry materials hold. In an aim to celebrate the aggregate and find a form that allows authenticity true to the material. Concluding with a community hub that celebrates brick and ‘lets brick be brick’, Because “even a brick wants to be something”.

An enthusiastic and ambitious architecture student, I aim to appreciate and recognise the potential architecture has to understand and therefore, exemplify, the physical and social elements of the city.
I am currently engaged in a project experimenting with how architecture can create a social hierarchy, recognising the implications this has on the human scale. By curating an ‘extreme’ outcome, I look to highlight the social diversity that is prevalent in today’s society. I am interested in understanding the multiple layers and how this can be abstracted to create an architectural form that is contextually aware.
My interests in architecture focus on social issues where sustainability to society is important to the vitality of spaces. I am keen to learn new skills to develop further ideas and approaches to architecture and the built environment.

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