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Future cities

27 March 2009

Cityscapers: Cardiff Chimera2020

Students from around the world are gathering in Cardiff to take part in a unique design studio project to create a vision of the city in the future.

The University is one of the partners in Cityscapers: Cardiff Chimera2020, led by the British Council, which brings together students from Wales, Australia, China, India, Japan and Singapore to investigate and respond to the relationships and future inhabitation of Cardiff.

The studio will address issues such as global warming, population growth, natural disaster and changing urban economies, exploring their impact on the design of neighbourhoods of the future and how these issues might specifically be addressed in Cardiff in 2020 and beyond.

The participating students will create solutions which are specific to the city but of international relevance, acting as a model for small waterfront cities in the future.

Professor John Punter of the School of City and Regional Planning who is involved in the project said: "For the School and the Welsh School of Architecture, who jointly teach an MA in Urban Design, this is a unique opportunity to engage with the City Council on their City Centre Strategy while simultaneously hosting 30 highly talented students from around the world and discovering their design mentalities. Helping to intensify the debate and convey the ideas in a filmic medium are students from the Creative and Cultural Industries at Glamorgan University and a diverse group of artist-designers from UWIC."

During the two-week studio, which started on Friday 27th March 2009, participants will research Cardiff and meet with a wide range of local organisations, artists, architects and residents to inform their work.

The studio will culminate in an installation of the students’ films, which will creatively represent the multiplicity of readings, responses and solutions shaped through their neighbourhood investigations. The installation will be launched on 9th April, before touring to participating countries within East Asia throughout 2009.

Richard Thomas, Managing Director of Cardiff & Co, the organisation charged with promoting Cardiff, said: "The city has changed beyond recognition over the past decade and boasts an eclectic mix of striking architecture from which the assembled team from across the world will surely draw inspiration. I hope the participants enjoy their experience in Cardiff and it will be interesting to see how they envisage the city looking in 2020."

The events programme supporting the studio will entail key lectures by experts from Cardiff, across the UK and international practitioners who will explore some of the issues the studio is addressing through presentations of their own work or debate.

Catherine Ince, acting Co-Director of the British Council’s Design and Architecture Department said: "The Cityscapers Studios present an exciting opportunity for young artists, designers, and architects from around the world to come together and hone their thinking about some of the biggest issues of today: city living, urban planning and development, the challenge of climate change and the future neighbourhoods in which we will all live. The final Cityscapers film installation – Cardiff’s own Chimera – will reveal that the possibilities are endless."

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