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Architecture students discuss climate action at CAT

Architecture students discuss climate action at CAT

Home » Architecture students discuss climate action at CAT

Architecture and built environment students from universities across the UK and Ireland came together at CAT last month to discuss how the built environment sector can respond to the climate and nature emergency.

Organised by the student branch of the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), the event saw more than 60 students from 27 universities across the UK and Ireland, including CAT’s own MArch Sustainable Architecture (Part 2) students, taking part in an inspiring programme of talks, tours, discussions and film screenings.

The weekend was centred on how architecture and built environment students can have a positive impact on climate action, and how architectural schools could be supported to provide more in-depth training in sustainable and regenerative approaches.

Keynote speakers included architecture lecturer and co-director of Black Females in Architecture, Neba Sere; architectural historian and author of ‘Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency’, Barnabas Calder; co-founder of Future Architects Front and co-lead at Civic Square, Charlie Edmonds; and architect and campaigner in retrofit and local community action, Alice Brown. A core part of the weekend was the sharing of student-led initiatives and exemplar projects.

Presentation as part of the StuCAN event
Keynote speaker Neba Sere (c)ACAN

Lecturers, graduates and students from CAT’s Masters Degrees in Sustainable Architecture (MArch) and Green Building (MSc) also joined the event, helping to share knowledge and experience across the profession.

CAT Masters in Architecture Programme Leader, Dr Carl Meddings, who helped to organise the event, said:

“With around 40% of UK carbon emissions coming from the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings, it is essential that architects and other built environment professionals have the skills, knowledge and networks to help address the climate and nature emergency.

“Here at CAT, one of the areas we specialise in is regenerative and sustainable approaches to architecture and green building, so we were delighted to welcome students from across the UK and Ireland to explore how we can work together to create change.”

Event organiser Kate Rhodes said:

“Bringing together so many passionate built environment students was inspiring. The depth of talks and energy in the room gave rise to many thought-provoking conversations on student agency and collaboration, and the impact of architecture and construction.

“I hope that the relationships that were formed continue to grow and that the passion shown on the StuCAN weekend fosters further collective action in the face of the climate and ecological emergency. Many thanks to CAT for hosting, and we look forward to the next one!”

Architecture students from across the UK in CAT's Shephard Theatre
Architecture and built environment students from universities across the UK and Ireland

The Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) is a network of individuals within architecture and related built environment professions taking action to address the twin crises of climate and ecological breakdown. The event was organised by ACAN’s student branch, the Student Climate Action Network (StuCAN).

CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment provides a number of postgraduate degrees in topics relating to sustainability, including renewable energy, ecology, behaviour change, and food and natural resources, as well as sustainable architecture and green building.

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