About this project
Image: Bryn Hallett // Video: Craig Bush // Timelapse: Kevin Saunders // Music: Rob Lindsay // Walker & Narrator: Laira Piccinato // Cameo Feet Appearance: Jenny Duffin
“The Birmingham Architecture Festival is a welcome addition to Birmingham's burgeoning independent festival scene and will hopefully do for architecture what Flatpack does for film, Fierce for performing arts and Supersonic for music - shake things up and get us to appreciate the structure of our city with fresh eyes.”
Pete Ashton – Matt and Pete’s Photo School
“Birmingham Architecture Festival has created a package of events to re-awaken Birmingham’s building users, and that’s everyone. BAF’s smart move is to show that architecture is not just about ‘building buildings’, rather it’s about how people live their lives.”
Ben Waddington – Still Walking Festival
The Birmingham Architecture Festival will be hosted between Friday 24th - Monday 27th May 2013 with a series of events designed to inspire the public, creative communities, construction professionals and architects alike to engage with the city in fun, inventive and thought-provoking ways.
The theme for the festival is ‘Take A Second Look’. No matter how long we have been inhabitants of a certain place, there is always something new to discover. The city of Birmingham is a vibrant, dynamic and ever-changing place and the festival aims to celebrate the quirks that make up this wonderful melting pot.
Snippets of the line up include:
Image (c) Laira Piccinato
Much of the architecture of the 20th century is under a historical shadow, particularly that of the post-WW2 period. It tends to be lumped together indiscriminately into the “reject” basket. There is a need for a more discriminating appreciation of the architecture of this period, that can distinguish the good from the bad from the ugly.
This walking tour of the city centre will take in some of the more significant 20th century buildings, both prewar and postwar, including the Central Library, Alpha Tower, Baskerville House, Grosvenor House and the NatWest Bank, and assess their merits and their failings.
Image (c) Laira Piccinato
Ever stopped to have a look at how many different plants and creatures actually live on the Architecture of our city? Join our local ecologist, with magnifying glass in hand, on a fascinating tour to investigate the secret lives of the wild walls of Birmingham.
Image (c) Jenny Duffin
Every inch of the town and city around us has been designed, shaped and has a job to do. Material World examines the urban fabric of Birmingham to tell the story of the city, its natural resources and changing building methods, and provides a fascinating insight into the movement of valuable material around the world.
Image (c) Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Museum objects can reveal fascinating stories about the history of a city’s built environment. Artefacts ranging from paintings, architectural fragments, to oral histories all give clues to the people who shaped the city, as well as the experiences of those who lived here.
This gallery tour will look at a selection of objects which focus on the development of Birmingham’s built environment, from the redevelopment of the Bull ring in the 19th century, to the inter-war suburbs of the 1920s and 30s.
Image (c) Richard Southall
Have you ever wondered how architectural photographs are created and how they influence you in your perception of the built environment - whether it be buying a house, choosing an office space or selecting a new venue for a night out? This is your opportunity to attend a talk by two of Birmingham's most successful architectural photographers.
In this talk, they will discuss the rise of architectural photography over the last 60 years, the unconscious influence it has had on society and also their own commercial and personal practice.
The day will start with 2 short talks: the first on the Architecture of Colmore Business District and the second on the origins and principles of pinhole photography. You will then be taught how a pinhole camera works and have the exciting task of building your very own camera. Once built, you will be free to take up to 10 photographs of the Architecture of the area, which we will then aid you in developing within the dark room.
This 3 day course will cover timber-frame self-build methods through practical hands-on learning and theoretical sessions. The course will be delivered by Duncan Roberts, a specialist in community self-build projects.
Participants will learn how to design a timber structure using the Walter Segal method of post and beam construction and during the 3 day course, erect a 2.4m x 2.4m timber frame.
Join us for the beautifully animated Chico & Rita and be lured into a world of love, Jazz, betrayal and gorgeously drawn buildings. You will be transported from Cuba to New York to experience the exquisite delights of architectural drawing like no other.
Join us for this exclusive screening of one of the best documentaries of the last decade. Set in the Menie estate near Aberdeen, the film tells the story of how Donald Trump, American Tycoon, manages to overturn Scottish planning laws in order to build a golf course in one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive stretches of coast, described by one leading scientist as Scotland’s Amazon rain forest. Funny, inspiring and heart-breaking, the film brings to light the appalling way Trump abused the residents of the estate, destroyed an ecosystem and broke promises he never intended to keep.
You can take a more detailed look at our programme by going to our website.
BAF2013 is a grassroots independent festival with a lot of great people volunteering their time, talents and incredible energy to help make it happen. We could never thank everyone involved enough for their generosity, commitment and support!
We have endeavoured to provide free events where possible and keep the ticketed events priced low, so that everyone can have the opportunity to be a part of the festival and enjoy the line-up.
Our budget is small and this is where the Kickstarter campaign comes in. The money raised will help with behind the scenes stuff like documentation of the events, promotion of the festival and getting the programme, posters and flyers printed and distributed around the city.
Your pledges will also help push BAF2013 forward so that we have an incredible first year, continue to be an independent festival and keep celebrating the city of Birmingham, its people, its spaces and its architecture.
We have a plethora of great rewards to offer to our generous BAF2013 supporters. Highlights include:
Birmingham Treasure Map
We are producing a limited edition hand illustrated treasure map of the hidden gems and lovely oddities of Birmingham. The map will feature many of the locations seen in the Kickstarter video and allow you to explore some of the more obscure and lesser known parts of the city.
BAF2013 Pinhole Camera
We are extremely excited to be able to offer 10 lovingly handmade pinhole cameras with a set of instructions for use, as part of our series of rewards. Fear not as we will be running more workshops in the future, so even if you are not able to join us for our Pinhole Camera Workshop during the festival, you will be able to bring your camera to a future workshop where we will help you in taking and developing the inevitably gorgeous and possibly eerie images.
Image (c) Richard Southall
We are delighted to announce that we will be offering one of 25 limited edition photograph postcards of the Central Library taken by renowned Architectural Photographer Richard Southall as part of his ‘Madin’s Library’ Exhibition. This showcase has been especially curated for BAF2013, highlighting the eerie beauty of the now empty and soon to be demolished Brutalist building.
Risks and challenges
We have a limited time frame to get the posters, flyers and programmes designed and sent to the printers and then distributed throughout the city before the festival. But with your help, we can do it!
Putting BAF2013 together has been an amazing roller coaster ride of some incredible highs and some inevitable lows. Organizing a festival out of sheer love and passion for a place and its inhabitants without knowing if funding will be coming in is a real challenge. But we don’t see any risks here as the motivation we feel to be a part of this incredible project sees no bounds. With your pledges you can help push the festival forward so that we have an incredible first year and set us up for an even better BAF2014!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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