Michael Dring is an architect, educator, research scholar and artist, working across the fields of architecture, landscape, and art.
Educated at the Manchester School of Architecture, Michael has worked in Birmingham for over 20 years in award-winning architectural practice and as course leader and tutor at Birmingham School of Architecture & Design.
He has a particular interest in 20th – century modernism, co-founding the Birmingham Modernist Society and the Birmingham Group for Post-War Architecture. Michael co-authored a book chapter entitled ‘Landscapes of Variance – Working the Gap between Design and Nature’ for TU Munich, published December 2014.
He has also written for the Twentieth Century Society and Modernist Society on a variety of topics including housing and infrastructure, and in 2018 published the Modernist Map Birmingham.
He has been a specialist consultee for a number of high-profile development schemes, resulting in positive outcomes for the modernist heritage of the city. In his role as board member of the Birmingham & Five Counties Architectural Association, he directed the digitisation of their archive to make a publicly accessible resource.
The archive in a broader sense is central to Michael’s practice, both as a research scholar and as a creative practitioner. His PhD, ‘Institution and Infrastructure as ‘Civic Ground’ of the City - the Birmingham Libraries & Paradise (Circus)’ draws on a variety of collections as well as the city itself in revealing the ‘tradition’ of the city.
As studio holder at Grand Union and member of Black Hole Club at Vivid during 2018, his ongoing project entitled navigation_x is an audio-visual interpretation of Paradise Circus and associated spaces of modernity, performed as part of Supersonic festival at Centrala and at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Michael is a steering group member of the B37 Project in Chelmsley Wood, the largest housing estate in Europe at the point of its construction. The ‘Green Estate’ project supports local projects in food resilience, creative practices and the environment, and in summer 2018 Michael designed and co-delivered a collaborative project space in the shopping centre for a range of community focussed events and exhibitions.
As part of this, he contributed to the Many Worlds project coordinated by Eastside Projects, which connected a group of young people based in Chelmsley Wood with practising artists and designers.
In collaboration with Ruth Claxton, Founder of Eastside Projects (‘an artist run multiverse‘), Michael contributed to the development of STEAMHouse (opened 2018), an open and outward facing coworking and production space, that enables cross innovation.
As a central member of the School’s ‘Urban Cultures’ research group, Michael was part of the team responsible for conceiving of and delivering the AHRA funded conference ‘Architecture, Festival and the City’, with joint responsibility for peer reviewing paper abstracts, for chairing a panel, and creating the visual identity for the event.