Anthony Engi Meacock, Maria Lisogorskaya (Assemble) – From Toxteth to the Turner Prize

Lecture date: 2016-02-15

In conversation with Flavien Menu, Intermediate 13 and Miraj Ahmed, Diploma 1

In 2015, Assemble were announced as the winner of the 31st Turner Prize, making history as the first architecture collective to ever win the prize and also, as its members range in age from 26-29, it makes them the youngest recipients of the award. The prize was awarded to the collective for their recent projects, which include the urban regeneration work they are undertaking in Granby Four Streets, Liverpool. Here, the collective is working with inhabitants on direct actions to prevent the terraced houses on site from demolition and falling further into disrepair through nurturing public engagement and collaboration, offering local training and promoting a culture of DIY and making by setting up the Granby Workshop as a new social enterprise that draws on the artisan legacy of the area. In this lecture, as part of our AA XX 100 series that this year focuses on inclusivity, we will discuss how Assemble is blurring the boundaries across disciplines – making architectural activism and self-build interventions get recognition as a form of artistic practice. As their winning citation for the Turner Prize stated, they have the ability to “draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work.”

Leading up to the centenary of women at the Architectural Association in 2017, a series of lectures organised by AA XX 100 over three years, will draw different generations, disciplines and voices into a wider conversation and celebration of women and their contribution to architecture. Through presentations, dialogue and debate, the series will highlight and challenge the concerns and values of the profession which recognises the inclusive and collaborative nature of architecture, while serving as a catalyst for bigger ideas and a wider discussion of how to address ongoing issues of inequality and too little diversity within the industry. The series will feature prominent practitioners from contemporary architecture, design and urbanism, creating engaging conversations between past and present, men and women, staff and students.

Maria and Anthony are founding members of Assemble, a multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art. Founded in 2010 to undertake a single self-built project, Assemble has since delivered a diverse and award-winning body of work, whilst retaining a democratic and co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales, both making things and making things happen.

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