SYN City is a postgraduate research and design studio at UCA’s Canterbury School of Architecture. Students on the Master of Architecture and MA Urban Design courses critically engage with the complex and often antithetical forces within the expanded field of urban transformation processes, and synthesise them into programmatic and spatial design proposals. This year’s research and design agenda is embedded in UCA’s involvement in the European Interreg project ReCreate.
ReCreate is set to transform vacant commercial and cultural spaces, in order to create opportunities for a new generation of creative enterprises. The project is part of the ongoing Interreg IVA (Channel) France-England programme. It has established various cross-border partnerships between cities and urban areas from northern France and the south and east coast of England, comprising Medway, Ipswich, Margate, Brighton & Hove, Eastleigh, Bournemouth, Calais, Lens-Lievin, Amiens, Flers and La Ferte Mace. At the heart of ReCreate is the aim to bring vacant urban spaces back to life by transforming them into business clusters for creative enterprises, artists and start-up companies.
Embracing and augmenting the thematic Interreg framework, the studio looks into the role of architecture for culture-led urban regeneration strategies and explores the discipline’s potential to catalyse contemporary and innovative forms of interurban, interregional and intercultural exchange. Results will be published as part of UCA’s ReCreate publication series in September 2014.
Gabor Stark, Course Leader for MA Urban Design, said:
"The ReCreate project is a great opportunity for our students to test their ideas in a live context. In addition to their research and design projects, students conduct various public projects in cooperation with regional partners of the Interreg network. Ranging from online platforms via public workshops to mobile exhibitions, these formats allow students to take the debates that they have encountered and developed out of the academic context, and instigate a conversation within the wider public sphere."
This is just one of a number of European funded projects that are happening at the Canterbury School of Architecture at UCA.