D E E P cutting E D G E:
Deep Mapping of Manchester Edgelands
This Research Method workshop was an exercise in deep mapping using ficto-critical research methods. The workshop used interdisciplinary and experimental methods on the intersection of architecture, art and creative writing.
The workshop engaged with Edgelands, a type of landscape defined as neither urban or rural, the often-overlooked in-between leftover spaces left by rapid changes in the urban environment. Students chose the Pomona Island in Manchester as a site of their explorations and each group were tasked with choosing their own approach to the deep mapping theme. The projects included an art installation, film, podcast and an illustrated children’s activity book.
The main point of reference both in relation to the research methodology and pedagogical approach was the Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of polyphony in an attempt to create an inclusive and dialogic working environment. Polyphony was used to encourage individual expression in dialogic relationship with others and as a method of exploring the site.
The workshop involved a series of guided writing exercises which supported students’ explorations. Using a variety of texts, ranging from speculative fiction (William Gibson, Octavia E. Butler) to poetry in translation (Wisława Szymborska, Tomas Tranströmer), students explored themes of language and identity, linguistic diversity and understanding the Other through creative writing.
The dialogic (polyphonic) approach was embedded on two levels as students collaborated in small groups and then coordinated a shared online platform combining all projects. This mode of working reflects contemporary architectural and creative practice, where the ability to collaborate and negotiate creative vision, are crucial skills.
Malcolm Miles is a writer and researcher on critical theory, art and urbanism. His writing spans the arts, humanities and social sciences, with a focus on the Frankfurt School as well as modern and contemporary art and architecture. To date he has authored nine books and contributed to refereed journals including the Journal of Cultural Politics, Third Text, Architecture and Culture, The Journal of Architecture, Space and Culture, and Parallax. New book: Paradoxical Urbanism (Palgrave 2021). Recent book: Cities & Literature (Routledge 2019).
David Bramwell is a British writer, musician, performer and broadcaster. For BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, he has made programmes on diverse subjects, including Ivor Cutler, clapping, time travel, and the murmurations of starlings. He is the founder and host of Brighton's spoken word night, the Catalyst Club. Bramwell is also a singer-songwriter with his band Oddfellow's Casino.
Hiu Tik Li, Harrison
Norzafeera Binti Nik Marzukee
Oliver Le Marquand
Rachel Amy Price