Professor Graeme Brooker
This platform is concerned with the exploration and adaptation of matter that can be considered redundant or obsolete: material that has lost its value, resources that are considered waste, stuff that is considered expendable has been discarded and is considered surplus. These processes of depredation may have been enacted through economic, value-based processes, or by extraordinary one-off means. All situations have in common the proposition that an obsolete environment or element, is not only a site of depredation, it is a condition for mediation, and the site of the enactment of research and design processes that will ensure that meaningful change through reuse will take place. Re:USE participants are obsessed with the unwanted and disused, they are fascinated with determining new life in objects and spaces that are often considered to be spoil.
‘Encompassing both a conquest of darkness and a conscious manipulation of it – shadow emerges as a positive figure, and shadow making as culturally operative in the shaping of architectural space and form’.
Shadow Makers: A Cultural History of Shadows in Architecture. Stephen Kite.
SHADOW-SITES is a term used in archaeology to describe places of historic importance that over time have disappeared from view. Their reappearance occurs either through unusual climatic conditions, exposed through storms, or more usually from viewing them from unusual situations; such as in the air. In this platform Shadow-Sites is a term used to describe an approach to the reclamation of spaces that prioritises understanding both tangible and intangible elements of the extant. Through the examination of ruins, spaces that have been obsoleted through particular and unforeseen processes. Re: Use: Shadow-sites is a platform that examines the detritus of the abandoned, the disused, the redundant and the ruined. It does this in order to recover and to reclaim narratives, both of occupants and ideas, processes and histories in order to rework the ruins of an existing buildings in a profound and meaningful manner. In essence, shadow-sites implies the reworking of what is already in-situ, and refers to the abundance of existing material and buildings, stuff that is already there and which is ready for reconfiguration. It is a word that foregrounds contingencies, expresses the found and the in-situ, and advances their subsequent reuse in unusual and thoughtful ways.
Working in conjunction with Hugh Broughton Architects, and the Sheerness Dockyard Trust students were tasked with exploring and making sense of the context, the landscape, and the buildings of the Isle of Sheppey in order to develop a thesis project and propose meaningful interventions into their fabric. At the centre of the docks is a ruined church and some recently restored naval housing that formed the basis for work.
This platform requires its participants to address fundamental questions such as:
- What are the current theories and ideas around approaches to this type of work?
- What might be the constraints imposed by law and by its significance as understood by the wider heritage community?
- How could you respond to the detailed and ever-changing history and future(s) of this site?
- How might you utilise it in order to make meaningful built environment works?
- This platform advances a radical heritage approach to the reuse of contingencies and the persistency’s of the found.
Friends and Partners
Dot (For tea-making on the Sheerness site visits)
Ricardo and Eva from Flores and Prats