Laura Sanderson is a senior lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture and a qualified architect. She is the Co Programme Leader of the MArch and the Atelier Leader of Continuity in Architecture.
Laura’s work focuses upon the process of analysing and understanding the nature and qualities of place, in order to develop new buildings and other elements within the environment of the already built. She has led funded projects with the Continuity in Architecture Atelier in settlements around Manchester; producing research outputs from projects in Bollington (2016), Bakewell (2017), Rochdale (2019), Shrewsbury (2020), and this year in Bradford. These outputs include exhibitions, articles, book chapters, built interventions and the Heritage Schools project.
Laura co-curated UnDoing (2019), an exhibition at the Castlefield Gallery (with Sally Stone), which explored how buildings, places and artefacts are re-used, reinterpreted and remembered. Key questions defining the exhibition themes were; How do architects manage the conflict between the needs of the present with the value of the past? What is lost once a building is gone for good? What is our relationship to our history, and how do we inhabit and respond to our present environment? The final list of interdisciplinary exhibitors were from backgrounds of architecture, art, interactive art, photography, visual arts and academia, bringing together sculpture, collage, orthographics, models, installation and films covering international territories of Manchester, Tehran, Leominster, Poland, Edinburgh, Venice, Palestine, Belgium and Ghent as well as imagined futures and spaces now lost. These themes will be further explored in the forthcoming book ‘Remember, Reveal, Construct: Reflections upon the Contingency, Usefulness and Emotional Resonance of Architecture, Buildings and Context’ (with Sally Stone 2022) and through an ongoing research project titled ‘Sinister Dialogues’ (with Bie Plevoets, 2023).
Another imminent project is a collaboration with Luca Csepely-Knorr and the Institute of Place Management examining the High Streets of the District Centres of Manchester. Using a Serial Vision (Cullen, 1971) approach and working with Urban Sketcher Simone Ridyard, Chorlton District Centre, Levenshulme District Centre and Withington District Centre, the project will examine drawing as a consultation methodology for developing High Streets.
Laura has published a number of reflections on her pedagogic approach including the work in Continuity in Architecture, the Atelier Zero (with Helen Aston) installation and the MSA Events Programme (with Victoria Jolley), a cross year programme which produced over 300 live projects over the past decade.
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