Dreams for a Planet Friendly High Street Exhibition

Students have been taking part in a community engagement event in Dudley, where they collaborated with CoLab Dudley to reimagine Dudley High Street, whilst being mindful of the future and importance of our environment.

An MA Architecture student interactive exhibition exploring dreams for a planet-friendly high street in Dudley included monuments made of eggshells and seaweed, edible insects and planted Miyawaki forest.

Students spent a semester working with CoLab Dudley on the High Street which is a space where people experiment together on ideas that re-imagine Dudley High Street and contribute to regenerative futures.

The exhibition was held in two locations in Dudley – the public market on the High Street and in Co-Lab Dudley’s Lab space on Dudley High Street.

The market stalls investigated fast fashion, and how we might move to more re-use, recycling and upcycling and invited members of the public to print on fabric and weave a collective piece of fabric, as well as layering, stitching and patching which was explored as a metaphor for the built environment.

Another market stand raised issues around the embodied carbon and climate impact of existing materials by making Dudley's iconic landmarks in a new biodegradable material, made entirely of eggshells and alginate from seaweed.

Eggshells were collected from a week’s use of eggs from the Dudley branch of McDonald’s to give an idea of the amount of material waste that can be used as a resource.

Members of the public were invited to take away these monuments, which also housed a piece of hand-made recycled paper made from egg boxes, which was impregnated with seeds, and ‘plant’ them in the soil.

Participants were asked to send back photographs of where these monuments ended up and the seeds as they begin to grow.

The exhibition in the Co-Lab Dudley lab-space allowed students to share a range of radical alternative ideas for more restorative high streets.

Projects included growing lichen to clean the air, using the high street to intensively grow food locally, cannibalising our existing building stock to reconfigure buildings for updated uses, digging down to Dudley’s underground canal system to develop natural systems to clean water and more.

The whole event was a wonderful opportunity for Architecture students to engage with members of the public and widen the debate around the climate crisis and the future of our high streets.

Architecture and Design Courses

Browse our Architecture and Design courses.

Take me there