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University of Lincoln, School of Architecture and Design – Habitat project in School of Architecture and Design

By on August 30, 2016
School of Architecture and Design, University of Lincoln

Contact name and title
Dr Primali Paranagamage, Lead Habitat research group


Title of activity
Habitat project in School of Architecture and Design

Description of activity
Hugh Byrd: Research on critical infrastructures (power failure). Collaborative and cross-disciplinary research with the Department of Sociology, the University of Auckland. A desktop evaluation of the impact of electrical blackouts in 25 different countries over the last decade. The research focussed on the relationship between the technical aspects of power failure and the sociological impact. Concluding that electrical blackouts are a dress-rehearsal for more severe power outages due to energy resource depletion and climate change.
David Bramston: A series of upcycling projects between Lincoln and China: Involved in a large number of projects and exhibitions creating a range of new products from waste and upcycled material created by communities; adults and children, university students and staff. The products range from lights, fishing sticks, fabric and street fashion. The waste material used were from recycling factories, old thread spools, waste plastic packaging straps and scrapyard corrugated steel from trucks. The activities were conducted from December 2014 to July 2016. As a part of the Sincil Bank regeneration project in Lincoln, UK. in July 2016, Bramston created a street fashion show in Sincil Bank Lincoln UK, printing fabrics on the street using formers made from car doors, skateboards and ironing boards a series of prints were created. Sewing on the street was made possible with the hire of generators and a collection was created. This work is continuing and now involves salvaging waste items from Sincil Drain to create the formers for making prints.
Primali Paranagamage: Conducted scoping study to understand local challenges of a rural and disconnected county when envisioning housing prototypes for the wellbeing of older people. Moving on from scoping studies, development of Extra care housing is key to well-being of older people in Lincolnshire. We have developed a Guide to facilitate the transition to a model of Extra care housing starting from the first one to be tried out in Spalding, supported by the South Holland district council.
Sustainable Development Goal 11 targets relating to activity
11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels

Main themes of this activity
Social Inclusion
Slum Upgrading
Planning and Design
Capacity Development

Changes that took place as a result of this activity
Byrd’s research has opened eyes about the aftermath of black outs that could happen in the future due to resource depletion. This has created a buzz and renewed interest about worst case scenarios acted out in the present. The impact is measured by the resulting huge media interest.
Bramston's work demonstrates the potential of complete waste material to create sustainable products by the community for their own use. The show case in exhibition has created a series of events in China now spilling out to Lincoln following the same ethos. In Lincoln, the idea has been mobilised to bring the Sincil Bank community together as a starting point of empowerment and involvement in regeneration of their neighbourhood.
Paranagamage's work followed a scoping study to understand the challenges and opportunities in the rural context of Lincolnshire for Older people's housing. The next phase developed a Design Guide for Extra Care Housing in Lincolnshire setting out the pertinent issues to a rural county to guide Architects, Housing associations and Commissioners as Lincolnshire is ready to build 600 units in the near future. We also developed an interdisciplinary student competition with the participation of the School of Architecture, School of Health and social care and the Business School for student engagement in the Design Guide. http://edeu.lincoln.ac.uk/innovation/seed/seed-funding-2015-16/.
How the impact of the activity was measured
Byrd's work resulted in Peer reviewed publications in two leading academic journals.Research results brought into a wider public domain by both The New Scientist and The Guardian newspaper.Research highlights published on-line by over 100 international news web sites.Interview on TV One, Television New Zealand, 18 February, 2014.
Bramston working with Shanghai communities created a series of lights called 'Sisters' with a student from the MAIDE programme at Lincoln and a student from Hangzhou. Further impact was made in British Council Upcycling workshop in Wuxi by creating a range of fishing sticks made from waste plastic packaging straps for shipping. The fishing sticks were simple and used by children and families to feed fish rather than catch fish. In a workshop in the park in Xuzhou China, using only found objects a series of artworks were created in the open air with over 100 individuals in the park. These artworks also became part of a collection of works exhibited at the University in Xuzhou. in Guangzhou a street fashion project was conducted between 1 July to 4 July 2016. Arriving in the village of Liu, near Guangzhou, Bramston created a series of wooden formers with MAIDE student Mi Young Jang. Taking the formers into the village, local residents immediately engaged in creating a series of fabric prints. A street fashion show was then held that involved local residents modelling the works. About 150 residents attended the show.
Paranagamage’s work on creating An Extra care Housing Design Guide will be used to inform the first prototype in Spalding, Lincolnshire supported by the South Holland district council and a local housing association.
Links related to the activity
  • http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/26/power-failures-future-frequent-blackouts-electricity-supply/print
  • http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-coming-blackout-epidemic
  • http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2014/10/989.asp
  • http://energyskeptic.com/2014/electric-grid-overview/
  • http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2587073
  • http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/how-do-we-plan-for-a-future-with-more-blackouts
  • https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/tag/steve-matthewman/?iframe=true&preview=true
  • http://beforeitsnews.com/environment/2014/01/new-research-warns-of-more-regular-and-severe-blackouts-2491532.html
  • http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1415067/electricity-blackouts-warning-crisis-demand-exceeds-supply
  • http://www.wallstreet-online.de/diskussion/1137033-31191-31200/news-around-the-world
  • https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/media/universityoflincoln/lincolnschoolofarchitecture/documents/HughByrd-ImpactStudy-ResearchOnCriticalInfrastructures-powerFailure.pdf
  • http://edeu.lincoln.ac.uk/innovation/seed/seed-funding-2015-16/.
Additional notes
Only a few of the URL links for Byrd's work has been given below. All links can be found on the Habitat research group website on https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/media/universityoflincoln/lincolnschoolofarchitecture/documents/HughByrd-ImpactStudy-ResearchOnCriticalInfrastructures-powerFailure.pdf