The first Cedric Price Day will coincide with the architect’s birthday on September 11 and feature a keynote speech, the opening of an exhibition and a live performance. All the events form part of the European Research in Architecture and Urbanism conference programme (EURAU2020-21) and will be available face to face and online.
The public exhibition ‘Re:imagining the Potteries Thinkbelt’ will continue in the Henrion Gallery on College Road until October 8. The activity also heralds the start of the new BArch (Hons) Architecture degree course at Staffordshire University.
Dr Maria Martinez Sanchez, Course Leader for Architecture, said: “We’re excited to showcase reproductions of digitised drawings of the Cedric Price archive from the Canadian Centre for Architecture and create an event which encourages people from the area to learn more about Cedric Price’s work and his influence.
“He had very innovative ideas and was concerned with issues like sustainability and the use of buildings. He had a social awareness about how things could work better, including an innovative model for Higher Education provision, the Potteries Thinkbelt.”
Cedric Price was born on September 11, 1934, in Stone, the son of an architect. He studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, before starting his own practice in London. Price was best known for projects including the Potteries Thinkbelt (1964) and the East London Fun Palace (1961-4, with theatre director Joan Littlewood) – both of which were never realised but which helped to position him front and central to debates around urban planning and architecture. Price died in 2003, aged 68.
The full Cedric Price Day programme can be booked via Eventbrite and features a keynote speech from Dr Ana Bonet from Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape (Edinburgh College of Art) entitled ‘News from the British Sixties: Fun Palace's Press Cuttings’. It also features a performance ‘The Fun Palace: a Cybernetic Cabaret’ directed by Aleksandar Dundjerovic (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University) which explores Cybernetic Theatre and has been produced with collaborators from UK, Canada, France, Spain and India.
The exhibition ‘Re-Imagining the Potteries Thinkbelt’ is dedicated to Price’s other project which envisioned the reuse of a railway line in North Staffordshire as a moving higher education facility to help drive economic development and re-establish the Potteries as a centre of science and technology. It will feature drawings, collages and floor plans which make up part of the official Cedric Price archive housed in Montreal, Canada.
Senior Lecturer Martin Brown who is co-curating the exhibition added: “We believe this will be the first time these artefacts have been on public display in Stoke-on-Trent. These original materials are interspersed with press cuttings, films and current images of Stoke-on-Trent to encourage us to reflect on the region’s needs and how Price’s legacy can continue to influence future thinking by students on our new architecture degrees.”