Megan Devlin (she/her)
I am passionate about creating inclusivity using an intersectional lens when considering the urban environment. I believe that to achieve this, we must work together to create a sustainable domestic and civic future.
In order to co-exist in post-capitalist ruins, one must question the relationship of the environment when aiming to achieve total inclusion in the built environment. Questioning common conventions and static notions are central to my practice – throughout the past year, I have been consumed with creating people orientated and care-centred projects across both domestic and civic proposals. This includes looking into current socio-economic dynamics that exist in the city today. I believe that through reassessing current socio-economic relations, placing care and support at the centre of urban approaches we can create inclusive living, working and caring spaces for all.
Urban Building – Barras Community Centre
The thesis looks at uncovering the memory of the Barras Market, re-shaping its identity and offering a performance space in the form of an auditorium. The community centre shall provide a platform for the performance of people and place.
This process of exchange shall be represented in a building that creates a dialogue between the dichotomy of the fixed and the free-standing. This dichotomy is represented in the form of the project, the internal volume of each building is a permanent structure that holds the main performance space in one volume and the workshop/learning space in the other. The free-flowing space around the solid central objects allows for the influx of human activity, the manipulation of space can alter the programme of the building, allowing for user adaptation of space. The structure of the building shall act as a set or backdrop to which the performance of life shall act.
The cultural community centre shall be a space where people can share skills and learn from one another. The static building shall host multiple identities and be reflective of the performance of life and the meeting of people. The main performance space shall be an auditorium where various arts may be performed as well as a space to host lectures, sharing knowledge and cultures. To accommodate this adaptive performance space, automated seating arrangements with built-in ventilation can be altered to create different rake heights or complete removal of seating altering the function of the performance space.
Identity and memory being the main driver of the project, the proposal seeks to maintain part of the existing building fabric for sustainability and sentimental reasoning. The existing building retained on-site provides the two axes on which the proposal sits on. Space in-between the building arrangement shall become landscaping where external theatres can pop up, children’s play space or become a meandering route through the proposal with glimpses into the performance spaces created at the heart of the Barras.
Urban Housing – House/Work
The capitalist economy of our time would not be present without the patriarchy, the two are intrinsically linked. Housing is located in the domestic sphere which has been a traditionally privatised area of life. This is relevant when looking at social structures concerning gender for economic pursuit. Throughout our history, in the nuclear family, the domestic labours have typically been placed on women where women take on the household chores as well as giving up her time to care for others 24/7. In this scenario, the idea that the home is privatised plays a significant role in the moulding and reinforcing patriarchal and capitalist structures.
I propose a District which is based on ‘female friendship’. Nuclear family housing is found all over the UK and doesn’t accommodate for many of the people in need of housing today, this being working-class woman and men which do not fit the conforming family arrangement, people of colour and disabled people. The district tackles these issues by providing shared domestic facilities to balance the two spheres. This will remove the burden from care-givers/home-workers and allow them a dynamic work/life balance where they can achieve better access to paid work.
Margin to Centre Approach –
My proposal will also provide an additional ‘room’ in conjunction with the home and work spheres, the ‘third space’. This space provides an alternative living space which is neither home nor workplace offering relief from both spheres. As much of the space in the city is tailored towards the able-bodied, white-man, the third space offers flexible spaces for those on the fringes of society who at present face challenges in accessing spaces out with either realm.
The ‘third space’ offers relief from these spheres by offering opportunity for intimate/private and social/public moments.