Emily Martin, Year 5, PG13 2019

Community Cathalyst Architecture

Negotiating the Future of Architectural Practice FOCUS e15 VICTORY VILLAGE

Community Catalyst is a project which negotiates the future of architec-tural practice through re-working the process into an opportunity for community driven development, catalysing and nurturing inclusive use and rights to the city. By developing a new participatory method as a manual of engagement, through direct involvement and collective action with local communities, the potential for such collaboration to transform and re-appropriate contemporary living opportunities is translated by developing an architectural campaign.

Through activating and enabling communities the ability to construct their own collective architecture, the process of empowering a com-munity through engagement is explored through the development of an architectural catalyst. Through such inquiry it is suggested that by constructing the catalyst with the community, the architect may enable the community’s construction of further architectures, thus suggesting the potential for catalysing collective urban villages.

The inquiry realises the importance of creating sustained relationships with communities as key to catalysing such architecture. Through building trust and common goals with campaign community Focus e15, through expanded practice, a commonality for enabling co-authorships of architecture, particularly housing, is developed, and, with this, Focus e15 Victory Village becomes anticipated.

Through promoting, provoking and participating in grassroots activism, the project aims to catalyse and enable Focus e15 campaign to collectively construct their own urban village in Stratford. Through engaging new methods of participatory practice, such as through architect as activist, listener, engager and enabler, such roles for expanding architectural practice are deemed essential for constructing catalyst architecture.

Through such practice, users and people directly affected by designs are included as stakeholders and provided the knowledge and ability to understand and have impact on their projects. Such process suggests the importance of passive and active involvement by the architect to gather a true understanding of needs and interests of a community.

With this, the project promotes a series of stages designed as architec-tural fragments which eventually collectively combine and culminate in creating Focus e15 Victory Village. A village of fragments constructed from self-build systems for single mothers. Designed easy to assemble and arrange, the architecture enables the mothers to create their own collective homes specific to the needs of their families, empowering and liberating the community through architecture.