STEAM CO-OP UNIVERSITY TOWN HALL
by Elena Oliinyk
STEaM Co-Operative University Project is about embracing slow and savage ways of life. Located in the heart of the Bolton Abbey Estate, the university presents a new educational model, where both staff and students have an equal stake in decision-making processes. Inspired by Kresge College’s principles of participatory democracy, the university will require a space for university-wide democratic meetings, allowing everyone to be heard. The democratic space is an architectural reflection of the democracy of STEaM Co-Op. Creating the outpost in the Yorkshire Dales will encourage students and staff to reconnect with our savage roots, embracing the time at the scale of the trees and woodlands. The Strid Wood, located in the centre of STEaM Co-Op Estate, is the ancient woodland home to England’s oldest Sessile and English Oak, the rarest moss species. However, it is in decline due to the non-native plantations around the site. Part of the project’s philosophy is to introduce the Yorkshire Dales farmers to more sustainable agroforestry, allowing them to move away from sheep farming in the new post-Brexit economy. STEaM Co-Op embraces the woodlands in both material and philosophical ways, accepting the slow-life and slow-built principles.
Creating Savage Landscape