Jessica Birch is a second year MA Architecture student at the Royal College of Art. Having previously graduated from Manchester School of Art with first class honours in BArch Architecture, she developed her professional and personal spatial practice whilst working as a Part I Architectural Assistant at Bennetts Associates in London.
Her first-year project in ADS3, Refuse Trespassing Our Bodies — Fertility, Exhaustion and All that Matter/s led by spatial duo Cooking Sections, explored the post-industrial legacy of arsenic and its toxic effects in Devon.
After receiving a distinction for her dissertation ‘The Gentrification of Brick Lane: Craft Beer & Trauma’, which explored the history of migrant communities in Brick Lane as well as the ongoing issue of urbanisation vs gentrification, her focus in her final year was researching diasporic communities and the impact of place-markers in the urban realm.
Her final design project, Reimagined Ritual, seeks to explore the history of past migrant and diasporic communities in East London, focusing on the area of Brick Lane. Her project deals with understanding how traditions and rituals of both past and present communities in Brick Lane can form and mark a space for groups as a form of resilience and protest against ongoing and imminent gentrification and displacement.