The third of the Radical Futures Housing Forum of the University of Brighton on the 27th of September was co-organised by Tilo Amhoff and Luis Diaz together with the working group of the Housing Forum and was hosted by the School of Architecture and Design. The event explored different ways of imagining the future of housing in Brighton.
The afternoon began with a panel discussion on architectural, economical, and political, alternatives to the current housing situation. Ian Bailey, a local architect from Studio Sevens and lecturer at the SoAD, spoke on alternative frameworks for land and housing development. He discussed his contribution to the Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust, lobbying the local authority on the inclusion of Community Led Housing into the city plan, and his work with the community in Coldean for developing appropriate local solutions for the community’s needs. Luis Diaz from the SoAD introduced us to the work that he and Sean Albuquerque have been doing with their undergraduate students in Studio 12, imagining new models of suburban housing across a range of sites in Brighton and Hove. Lisa Hartley from the SEASALT Housing Co-operative (South EAst Students Autonomously Living Together) was talking about the student housing co-operative that was set up in Spring 2018 by a group of University of Sussex students to create affordable, high quality, fit for purpose housing specifically to meet the needs of students. Michael Howe from mae Architects and lecturer at the SoAD was talking about historic housing standards and the Mayor of London’s Housing Design Guide that he has worked on with his colleagues from the housing design specialist practice in London.
The attendees of the Housing Forum were then invited to explore different ways of imagining the future of housing—either through drawing, modelling, and/or writing—in a number of workshops hosted by staff and students from the School of Architecture and Design. Tilo Amhoff led a session thinking about the spatial and social relations between the individual and the communal in housing and building co-operatives. Luis Diaz run a workshop that focused on cognitive mapping around issues of home territories, perceptions of neighbourhoods, and individual and shared territories. Alessandro Zambelli used the notion of the commons to interrogate Mithras House Car Park and the student housing that is going to be built there with the attendees of the Housing Forum.
The event finished with a feedback session on the workshop results, and with the opening, private view and guided tour with the curator of the exhibition ‘Coming Home’, curated and designed by Luis Diaz. The exhibition provided plenty of material for a very lively discussion on the development of housing and the different disciplinary perspectives on the history of housing and the current housing crisis. The colleagues from the School of Architecture and Design, the School of Humanities, the School of Applied Social Science, and the School of Environment and Technology continued the debate with the members of the community that made this event so special.