CAMPUS Exhibitions

Shored, My Ruin(ed) City

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University (UK)

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Our urban environments are an assemblage of histories and manifestations of ideas. Under the ambitions of progress, the consequence is a destructive and aggressive process of urban renewal that is indiscriminate in terms of what is lost in the pursuit of the future. Cultural assets are under attack and the imperfect planning leaves ruins of the institutions in our society that are significant to our identities. From libraries to ballrooms, ruins represent fragments that retain meaning through difficult, changing times. But these are now ever present in a digital field parallel to the urbanized one, creating a new soft city that is lived through digital space. Media plays its part in our consumption and understanding of the “soft city”, one that is portrayed through cultural media and archived artefacts/documents. Research from students and academics at the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design explore the fringes between this soft city and the real one, mining content from archives to physical events to reconstruct the destructive process of transformation in the Midlands, typically a post-industrial region with a fast-changing environment. We adapt the digital methods to bricolage the city using known, unknown and fictional fragments of the city and interpret how their role changes over time. Our compositions speculate on future visions of the city built on these ruined fragments.


Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is an interdisciplinary design community exploring the environment through the scales. Founded in 1908 and located at the heart of our rapidly changing city, the School hosts courses in architecture, interior, landscape, management, product, heritage and future living. With one of the most multicultural student bodies in the country, the School produces future design leaders, developing attributes to be ethical, entrepreneurial, and forward-thinking.


Curator: Alessandro Columbano (IT)
Developed by C100, an ongoing collaboration between Birmingham School of Architecture and Design and Birmingham School of Art. Project leads: Mike Dring (UK), Alessandro Columbano (IT), Gareth Proskourine-Barnett (UK) and Valeria Szegal (HU).