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Architecture (MA)

Joshua Parker

Josh is an architectural designer with a focus on behavioural phenomena to provoke critical projects that mediate between proposition and observation. During his time at the RCA he has researched themes surrounding attitudes to authenticity (a project nominated for the RIBA London West award), weeds (as a form of othering) and the apology, representing these in film, animation, text, 1:1 material studies, and AI, to name a few. Absurdity remains a consistent technique for the production of work within these themes, to extrapolate contemporary behaviour.

Prior, Josh studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he won the Bowhill Gibson Scholarship as part of a collective proposal for the possible future of Glenuig, a village on the west coast of Scotland. He has practiced in both Copenhagen and the UK.

Retrofitted Drawing of My House with Bolt-On Apologetic Upgrades

Forgiveness, Not Per­mission accepts that we are collectively incapa­ble of changing the behaviour contained within this phrase in time to mediate ecological demise. Instead, it uses this phrase as a dictum, extrapo­lating the acceleration of apology culture to con­struct an Apologetic Architecture that is genuine.

Market competition, much like the suburban idiom "Keeping Up Ap­pearances" dictates its proliferation, creating tension between the image-based virtue signalling of technological accoutrements and carbon sequestering construction alongside actual attendance to ecological decay. In the end, it is as much a market remedy as it is environmental.

A walk down the Reparative Retrofits of Grimsby Docks
Ecological Upgrades of Grimsby Docks
Apologetic Architecture
Apologetic Upgrades for Your Home: AI
A Model of a Suburban House with attached Apologetic Upgrades
Apologetic Upgrades for your Home
Retrofitted Drawing of My House
Retrofitted Drawing of My House with Apologetic Accoutrements

My House is Sorry

Having defined an architectural language of bolt-on technological retrofits that apologise for an architecture's ecological crimes, it became necessary to realise this by upgrading my own home. This is my family home in Lincolnshire. Named “The Chedworth” by Persimmon Homes, it is a typical 3 bedroom detached cavity-wall new-build you will see across the UK. For my house to apologise for its annual operational carbon, it would require 10 350W PV Panels for electricity consumption, and another 28 to excuse the consumption of gas. For the embodied carbon within its construction, my house would require a further 24 solar panels if it were to apologise by 2050. To do this by 2030 in the UK, it would require a total of 152, to account for both the operational and embodied environmental crimes. Each year my family uses on average 124,000 litres of water. Given the UK rainfall data for Lincolnshire, my house would require an additional 110 sqm of gutters for the collection of rainwater in order to apologise for our consumption. The apology does not stop there. My house is poorly constructed. The windows are draughty and the house loses heat incredibly quickly. So, it has been wrapped in a straw bale blanket, contained behind a recycled polycarbonate skin. The south facing wall, without the bales, becomes a trombe wall.

Overview of Grimsby Docks with Bolt-on Apolog
Masterplan of Environmental Reparations for Grimsby Docks

Architecture is capable of more than just apologising for itself. It can be used to apologise for the environmental crimes of other industries or sectors too. The area surrounding Grimsby in North Lincolnshire has committed serious ecological offences. The industrial area to the North contains 2 CHP Power Stations that exclusively power 2 adjacent Oil Refineries. As part of the Humber Industrial Cluster, they help contribute 40% of the UK’s total industrial carbon emissions. Since being commissioned in 2005, VPI Immingham, just one of the 2 Power stations, would require 6.9 million PV Panels in order to apologise by 2050 for its historical operational carbon footprint.

The infrastructure needed to accommodate such a quantity becomes the principle drive behind the Master plan for Apologetic Architecture in Grimsby. The technological accoutrements are split into a mix of wind based and solar based remedies given the locations climatic data. Lightweight timber frames comprised of birch, sitka spruce and scots pine, are directly bolted onto the existing infrastructure of the Docks to facilitate the reorientation of the pitched roofs, optimising the amount of static wind turbines and PV Panels that will function at their most efficient.

These structural upgrades enable the apology to transcend from something ecological to something social. The repair of broken roofs alongside the protective recycled polycarbonate skin becomes the initial provision for programmatic reactivation of the currently vacant infrastructure.

Elevation of Street along Grimsby Docks with Environmental Reparations
Elevation of Street along Grimsby Docks with Environmental Reparations
Isometric of Ecological Upgrades
Night time on the Grimsby Darks
Retrofit drawing of the Kasbah
Close Up Elevation
Plan in the day and at Night

Red Lights of Grimsby Docks

It is image-based market competition that drives a second apology present in the Master Plan of Grimsby Docks. At its most prolific, Grimsby Docks was the largest fishing port in the world. Since records began Grimsby’s fishing industry has fished 1.7 billion fish - a significant contribution to over-fishing. The industry has since shifted to fish processing, and at a significantly reduced revenue.

To apologise, The Grimsby Dock Company are to line the jetties of the docks with 700W red LED lights, the very same lights that trawlers of today use to lure fish to be caught - except here, the lights are to lure the fish away from the nets, to the safety of Grimsby’s coastal waters.

Red Light Retrofit
Red Light Render on Grimsby Jett
Red Lights of Grimsby Docks
Research into an Apologetic Architecture

Mow Pressure

Conspicuous compassion.