Abstract: Archipedology - Stephen Hodge

Whereto: Steven Hodge

Archipedology: Tactics For The Itinerant Planner
Stephen Hodge
Wrights & Sites, University of Exeter

What are we going to do about these rising water levels? Should we build more walls? Retreat to the hills? Conceive new liquid architectures? Can we each contribute to turning off the tap? Is there even a tap? Are there solutions? Or just a tsunami of questions? It's not too late to feel hopeful, surely?

With its feet planted firmly in two decades of solo and collaborative walking (developing disrupted walking strategies with Wrights & Sites and others), this manifesto draws from Hodge's recent project Where to build the walls that protect us, an Arts Council England funded, Kaleider Future City commission for Exeter (September 2013 - September 2014). An ambulant charrette (collective planning period) which encourages us all to imagine and model a future city. Our city of Exeter (or wherever). With one eye on the ongoing fiscal crisis and the challenges of climate change, this exercise in serious play helps us to look again at the fundamental fabric of our city and envisage it afresh.

Informed by four, six-hour public reconnaissance excursions (focusing on 'climate & terrain', 'buildings and the life between them', 'industry and commerce' and 'mobility and communications'), the project team (including architect Tim Offer; documentary photographer Rob Darch; producer Kaleider; and multiple 'experts', from UK MET Office staff to long-term city residents) developed an iterative approach to masterplanning: Five cities in five days; each day built from scratch; each day catalogued; each day just one possible city.

Planning away from the studio. Meeting and journeying with expert-residents on their own ground, and expert-professionals out from behind their lecterns or desks. 'Walking and talking the work into existence' (Lachmayer).

Supported by photographic reconnaissance, this manifesto presentation will adopt an extended PechaKucha-type format (30 x 20 seconds = 10 minutes).



Stephen Hodge is a live artist and a core member of the artist-academic collective, Wrights & Sites. He is head of drama and a member of the Centre for Contemporary Performance Practices at the University of Exeter. He is a co-director of REACT (Research & Enterprise in Arts & Creative Technology), one of four AHRC-funded Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy. He was the performance curator for Exeter Phoenix for over 11 years, and a core member of the ACE-initiated think-tank, the New Theatre Architects.