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Thomas Dobbins

thomas.dobbins.19@ucl.ac.uk

Confronting the complex relationship between the ecological and the human, the Wantsum Assembly is a transient citizen’s assembly for the people of Kent, where local environmental policies are both created and debated. Disassembled by the community after a 15 year occupation, as the conversation shifts from mitigation to management, the architecture itself becomes a physical and temporal embodiment of the discussions that have occurred within its walls. The assembly gradually transitions to become part of the new Wantsum reserve, with specific architectural elements remaining to serve a new ecologically focussed purpose. 

Throughout the project I was collaborating with Naysan Foroudi, creating pieces around our shared interest: the Wantsum Channel. This began with a series of dérives through the landscape, themselves initiating responses in the form of slip cast artifacts. The collaboration continued with several collaborative drawing exercises, each one exploring the temporal nature and ecological actors within our schemes.

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Once more collaborating with Naysan Foroudi to approach the wider context, ecological data was utilised to score an anarchic rewilding process. The score was then performed using the medium of open slip casting, highlighting an ecologically driven future in which data and architecture act as catalysts for a more honest environment. 

©2019 by UNIT 17, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL