GLEAN: The New Rural Design Economy, and Architecture after the end of Agriculture

This conference takes place on June 22-23 at the DEFRA/CSL Conference Centre in York, England, and focuses on the new rural design vernacular and the reconception of Europe’s post-agricultural landscapes, settlements and economies. Participants include academics, architects, design practitioners, artists, local authorities, statutory rural agencies, and farming and rural community leaders from throughout the UK and Europe. They include: Will Alsop (Alsop Architectural Partnership, London); Andrew Freear (Director, Rural Studio, Newbern, West Alabama); Professor Kathryn Findlay (School of Architecture, Dundee); Vicky Richardson (Editor, Blueprint Magazine); Professor Duane Thorbeck (Centre for Rural Design, University of Minnesota); Professor Tom Woolley (Dean, Architecture Faculty, Queens University Belfast); Dr. Fiona Meadows and Beatrice de Durfort (IFA – Institute of French Architecture); and others.

Day 1 includes proposals for a new rural architecture and design vernacular, an introduction to the Rural Design Forum and its proposed future programs and aims; anticipating future post-agricultural landscapes and economies, and documenting the emergent new environmental, economic, architectural and settlement forms in rural Europe after CAP; generating new symbolic, aesthetic, pedagogical, critical design practices required to interpret and accommodate radical rural change.

Day 2 concerns sustainable architecture and agriculture: designing the future rural economies and farms and new rural land use forms (farming for energy, new fibres and pharmaceuticals); soft architecture – using rural vernacular craft skills/research methodologies, and farm produced earths, straw bales, fibres and recycled materials in new architectural and design contexts; newuses and designs for redundant farm buildings, cattle auction marts and abattoirs; textiles, fashion and agriculture – new forms new contexts for farm grown fibres; and tackling issues about rural social and economic exclusion, and affordable rural housing; and exploring new interfaces for future architecture practice and landscape research in unstable rural and agricultural contexts.

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