Bridgwater or New York?

Bridgwater was chosen over New York as the destination for CIAM6 in 1947. This was because it was thought that being in the Somerset levels where England’s first public arts centre had just been established would be more restorative only a year after the end of WW2. Consequently, some of the most innovative designers and thinkers of the mid 20th C converged on the town, leaving an invisible design heritage. The CIAM6 Cites Re-imagined team took this heritage to young people in Bridgwater delivering model making workshops to 180 pupils.

Half day ‘Bridgwater or New York’ workshops introduced pupils to working to different scales, making a mass city model and designing buildings through drawing and models. The results were shown as part of the CIAM6: Cities Re-imagined exhibition at Bridgwater Arts Centre from 29 August – 22 September 2017. Students also visited Bridgwater Arts Centre on Monday 10 July for a Re-enactment of the original conference, where they presented their models to a panel of planners and designers and created their own mini manifesto for the future of Bridgwater.

The sessions have been made possible by the support of Bridgwater-based Code 6 Timber Suppliers who manufactured hundreds of blocks from their sustainable red grandis along with cedar and larch from Dartmoor and Exmoor. Thanks also to Jessica Holland/Donald Insall Associates, Richard Carman architectural illustrator, and architect and CIAM6 curator Juliet Bidgood for leading the workshops.

Photography: Charlie Granger

When I’m older I think, I want to become an architect

This activity encouraged me to use my imagination more

This activity encouraged me to think outside the box

Making me want to become an architect / I would like to design more things in future

I see things in different ways and always think they can be better / I can achieve anything

Some buildings look different and cooler compared to others and that is what I want to do

It has encouraged me to think outside the box

This activity has encouraged me to be more creative

I didn’t know how much you could do with twenty blocks of wood

Now I am going to be as creative as possible because of this lesson

I have enjoyed it because we can go crazy with our imagination / You can be creative and do anything

It encouraged me to be creative because it shows what people can do by making cities/towns from/with their imagination

It showed how people can work together building buildings for people to live or look at

Now I know how buildings are made and why they are made

I really enjoyed this morning even though I don’t like architecture / It got me building

I never knew architecture was fun / I learnt that impossible dreams can be possible

I enjoyed illustrating the buildings because you can then get a better picture of what it would look like in a real city

It’s inspired me to make a whole world out of the simplest thing / I can create anything

It was really fun and everyone was involved and had a good time

This workshop has inspired me to become an architect