Responding to the twin climate and biodiversity crises, atelier Some Kind of Nature attends to the entangled fate of organisms. We acknowledge the impact of homo sapiens on the physical, chemical, and biological systems of the planet and engage with contemporary discourses around the Anthropocene. Interdisciplinarity is at the core of our pedagogy and approach; SKN staff are architects, landscape architects, and social scientists. SKN is for students of architecture and landscape architecture; our final year masters’ students can work in interdisciplinary collaboration. We extend our collaborative ethos to more-than-human actors, redefining our engagement with the environment as a multi-voiced or polyphonic narrative. By de-centering humans we act in humanity’s best interests. We are, after all, biological too.

We began the year with a range of all-atelier workshops each focussed on a relevant topic and led by experts. These workshops were the starting point for inter-cohort peer to peer discussions which continued across the year. For 21-22 all cohorts in Some Kind of Nature focused on territory around Stockport, 6 miles south of Manchester city centre. Amongst other things Stockport encompasses16th century timber framed buildings, the 1990s Stockport Pyramid, former rope/ silk/ cotton/ hatting industries, the rivers Goyt, Tame and Mersey, excavated caves used as WWII air raid shelters, a Victorian market hall, one of the largest brick structures in the world in the form of Stockport Viaduct, The Merseyway Shopping Centre, varied geology, topography, the M60 motorway, and more.

Above all SKN asks our students to consider what our world could look like if we decentred humans and designed for all life.

Year 6

Professional Studies

Professional Studies 1

The Zoo

Following whole Atelier workshops and creation of the SKN Atlas, PS1 focussed on Weir Mill in Stockport, a Grade II listed former cotton spinning and weaving mill, linking Stockport to Britain’s global empire and colonial past. Originally powered by water, the mill stands on the edge of the river Mersey nestled under the Grade II* listed Stockport Viaduct. Recently acquired by developers Capital and Centric, Wier Mill is in the early stages of being transformed into mixed use residential and commercial units. Mill conversions are common in and around Manchester, and this post-industrial site is currently a nexus of contested narratives and multiple interests, with developers, urban design professionals, politicians, communities and local groups all involved. SKN asked students to work with the existing buildings to propose a counter project to Capital and Centric, providing homes for a multiplicity of species including humans. We suggested our students focus on specific species or group of species as a central point for research and a means of entry into their projects, respecting and representing non-human interests in this scenario, and valuing a response to the climate and biodiversity crisis above all else.

Professional Studies 2


In PS2, SKN students looked at the reuse of and new possibilities for Stockport’s Merseyway Shopping Centre. Opening in 1965, The Merseyway was built to honour a human-centred materialist experience, a temple to consumerism and ease. Built over a previously culverted section of the River Mersey, a pedestrianised central route was created through the site covering half a kilometre. Whilst the design of the shopping centre plugged in brilliantly to the existing topography of Stockport with five new bridges and ramps for cars to access parking across the entire roof, a shift in patterns of consumerism and switch to shopping online has created holes in the fabric of many town centres including in The Merseyway. A new radical masterplan was developed by the group, opening up the river Mersey, restoring life and connections as an ecological corridor, and placing biodiversity at the heart of the design process. Many buildings were removed to give space back to nature, with removed materials sorted and stored nearby for future reuse. Buildings were identified for individual projects, and students focussed on local issues, considering how these might be resolved with new systems of exchange and connection. This project shifts the notion of a high street which relies on selling, to one concerned with biodiversity, community, exchange, reuse and recycling.


Year 5

Amanda Lim, Amizatul Foad, Asma Fouz, Daryl Quayle, Guney Topal, Hanna Zulhikam, Jianxuan Wang, Jonathan Quail, Lucy Hobbs, Maira Tini, Mohamed Harfoush, Norzafeera Nik Marzukee, Rachel Price, Rushil Shah, Sam Mason, Shaan Singh, Tyler Bakhtiari, Vito Wong

Year 6

Anna Bezulska, Sing Hong (Eddie) Chau, Matthew Crossley, Eva Filose, Iman Habib, Angharad Jones, Daryl Law, Jin Lee, Isabel McCauley, Oliver Meads, Nattachomporn Supaprutsakul, Wing Lam Phoebe Ting, Catherine Westhead, Ifwat Zunaidi