Processions, parades, festivals and carnivals can be viewed as multi-sensory or baroque. You are presented with a combination of all the arts and all the aspects of the city, composed in a meaningful way. The mother of the arts, architecture, has a performing potential in and of itself – the street is closely linked, and often anchors to allow such a spectacle to occur.
Spatial order of social drama, such as processions, rituals, parades, carnivals and festivals, and street infrastructure, adds to the architecture of the city to create the very dynamic built environment that surrounds us. Studying as part of Atelier VI in Year 3 at Manchester School of Architecture, I have discovered the important relationships between pragmatic and symbolic space – private everyday ritual events, and the more public displays of performance aid in re-ordering the image of the city in the eyes of the public.
The interactions between these private and public rituals in the setting of the city are created or transformed through social events. Architecture plays an active role in the formation, accommodation and performance of these social events.
My BA(Hons) thesis project was concerned with the narrative presented during the occurrence of social drama in the city, and how patterns of movement, inhabitation and occupation of processional space have their purpose in orchestrating (or re-composing) the layers of Manchester’s urban fabric. These layers form a backdrop to continuous social performance.
Manchester School of Architecture, 2013-14.
Year 3 Atelier VI: The Architecture of the Processional City. Led by Dr Darren Deane, with help from Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay and architect David Cox.