The Resourceful Architect: Day of Ideas

9.30am-5pm Weds 18 May 2011

In February the RSA and The Architecture Foundation issued an open call for ideas about the future uses of architecture. Responses to this call have raised intriguing questions about architects' ingenuity, strategic thinking and social role in today's climate of financial constraint and emphatic localism.

The shortlist of seven ideas will be presented for scrutiny at a day of ideas at the RSA on 18 May before a public audience and by an expert panel including property developer David Partridge, Brazilian architect Fernando de Mello Franco, design and environment consultant Peter Bishop and educational entrepreneur Sophie Haworth; chaired by architecture professor and participatory planning pioneer Nabeel Hamdi.

56 entries, including submissions from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, India and Greece, put forward innovative ways for architects to connect social need with spatial opportunity, re-structure conventional processes, increase the productiveness and resilience of communities and turn limitations of time, space and budget into creative advantage. Seven of these ideas were selected by a shortlisting panel chaired by Nabeel Hamdi. The panel were Jennifer Dixon, architect, Austin-Smith:Lord; Edwin Heathcote, architecture & design correspondent, Financial Times; Christine Murray, Editor, Architects' Journal; Lewis Biggs, Director, Liverpool Biennial; Sarah Ichioka, Director, The Architecture Foundation; and Emily Campbell, Director of Design, RSA Projects.

The seven shortlisted ideas to be presented on 18 May are:

The Redundant Architects' Recreation Association (RARA)
East London Design Bureau
A flexible and affordable shared workspace for out-of-work architects to experiment and fabricate.

72-hour Urban Action
Alison Killing, Killing Architects, Amsterdam and Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky, 72 Hour Urban Action
A real-time architecture competition defined by an extreme deadline, tight budget and limited space to resolve local needs.

Space for Exchange: A Sustainable Return to Srebrenica
Vernes Causevic, London Metropolitan University
A programme to renew and rebrand war-torn Srebrenica into a sustainable regional centre for vocational education.

School of Architecture for All (SARCHA)
Led by Maria Theodorou, Athens
A network of associates re-thinking the relation between architecture and economics by viewing the city as a pool of resources requiring administration.

Pavement for Las Lomas
Bara Safarova, London Metropolitan University
A DIY instruction manual for making and installing paving slabs for the deprived community of Colonias in Texas.

Richard Brearley and Uli Kraeling, Sidell Gibson Architects, London
An electronic microsite connecting social and personal needs with derelict pockets of land and buildings in London.

The Architects' Adhocracy
Mobile Studio and Yesomi Umolu, London
A consortium investigating how much architectural and spatial agency can be achieved for a budget of £40 and within 40 minutes of ideation time. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry in response to The Resourceful Architect Call for Ideas.

Image: The Redundant Architect's Recreation Association. Courtesy RARA.