16 May 2013

Cultivating Alternative Possibilities

From left: Rory O'Brien, John Quinn, Ben Gilada, Alex Gaisie-Walker, Chris Green

From left: Rory O'Brien, John Quinn, Ben Gilada, Alex Gaisie-Walker, Chris Green

In January students from Design Studio 4, the Masters Architecture studio, spent a week in the village of Beit Iksa, West Bank, Palestine for a series of collaborative workshops to expand their research of resource issues in the area.

The unique programme of collaboration involved the community of Beit Iksa, their village council, NG Architects, the Palestinian NGO RIWAQ and Oxford Brookes MarchD students from Design Studio 4.

The aim of the workshops was to offer a space to explore affordable principles that can further enhance living conditions in Palestine. With the cooperation of the community, the unit created a series of urban interventions which would act as discussion points, presenting alternative resource possibilities available to Palestinians in Beit Iksa.

RIWAQ, NG Architects, the Beik Iksa community and their village council worked collaboratively with students from Oxford Brookes University to build temporary elements and devices for local residents to use in public spaces. These included a rammed-earth wall, a water filtration device which can be used for domestic purposes to clean water, a bird ‘shading’ structure and an energy producing bike that will convert physical movement into lighting and sound elements. The interventions successfully created dialogues about the use of earth as a construction material, the recycling of water and the issue of biodiversity.

To read more about Design Studio 4’s workshops in Beit Iksa visit their blog