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STUDIO 4 - Hyper Adjacency

In a context of rapidly growing populations and mass migration, the struggle for space is increasingly becoming a challenge for cities. Hyper Adjacency places an emphasis on assessing the impact political-level decision making has at the smaller scale of our everyday lives. 

This hyper-adjacency is challenging our notions of neighbouring; privacy & place-making,  pushing infrastructure to the limit and questioning the need for strict zoning policies. It is also proving that industrial building typologies are the paradigm of spatial flexibility: capable of adapting to house virtually any use. However, such conditions are usually erased by regeneration, neglecting the social networks that they create.


This year, Studio 4 is working to investigate imaginative ways of interlocking, mixing and sharing territories to create additional room for productive spaces in an existing urban environment.

They interrogate the spaces of friction and negotiation between adjacent uses and users that share a common border to generate new plug-in intervention strategies to create moments that can also engender invigorating and characterful relationships. 

Student proposals will be based in Bermondsey, a central neighbourhood in the London Borough of Southwark. The reconstructed urban fabric of this area has been affected by deindustrialisation, the decay of the docks and recently by gentrification; creating an area of great complexity where very distinct urban ecologies clash. 


Our strategic approach to projects is informed by research that is socio-politically aware and rooted in our working area. Our methodology will extend beyond the red-line boundaries of a site, to consider its context, its past-present-future, the narratives and stories that are generated by the people and the networks of relationships with the wider areas that shape this place. 


The students have been involved in live projects, immersing themselves in a real situation with real actors to study the social context of the area and engage directly with local stakeholders and users to consider community needs. Critical mapping and various design tools have been utilised to analyse historic and current case studies strategically and graphically as a dynamic and three dimensional exercise with the potential to carry highly influential and powerful political meaning.

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