Thursday, 16 June 2011

Manchester Gets Over It!

In a time of economic austerity, political uncertainty and social crisis, how can a city move forward? GET OVER IT! brought together a range of speakers from diverse disciplines to investigate methods for extracting potential from the current recession. Instigated by the MA Architecture and Urbanism students at the Manchester School of Architecture, the aim of the symposium was to address new creative opportunities for the built environment. Architecture, technology, sociology, politics, economics, culture and education all have a role to play in the reconfiguration of the city and speakers were invited to discuss these possibilities.

Sand Bar ready to Get Over It!

The second of these annual symposia was held on 12 May at sandbar in Manchester, a well known gathering place for academics and ‘creatives’, the use of which was kindly donated by MA A+U student Stephen Gingell.

The event kicks off.

Author and journalist Owen Hatherley chaired the event and began the day with an outline of the social and economic context of the last few years, including the well-documented regeneration efforts in Manchester.

A packed house.

The first speaker was Dr. Mark Jayne, an urban geographer at the University of Manchester. Appropriately enough given the venue, Mark's presentation explored the relationship between drink and British urban life, representing what is often portrayed by the media to be a problematic activity instead as one through which life is enjoyed as a communal activity in the public sphere.

Gallows humour in Mark Lemanski's presentation.

The second presentation of the day was by Mark Lemanski of muf architects who discussed a number of the practice’s public realm projects in London including their award-winning Barking Town Square. He gave particular attention to the opportunities available to architects through engagement with local communities but also stressed that with these opportunities came particular responsibilities. With a certain amount of gallows humour, comic interventions from George Osborne were introduced into the presentation to highlight the difficulties creative groups face in providing anything for the communities that they seek to serve.

Mark Lemanski and Owen Hatherley field questions from the floor.

A brief debate with interventions from the floor preceded lunch. Hatherley and Lemanski fielded questions from the audience, covering the place of branding in design, nostalgia, localism, self-censorship by architects and how they can challenge stereotypes and perceptions of public space.

Rose Marley talks about The Sharp Project.

After lunch Rose Marley spoke about The Sharp Project in Manchester, a large scale digital facility intended both to help regenerate New East Manchester and provide for the creative digital industry in the wider city. Rose claimed the creatives view that “there are always opportunities in difficult situations” and The Sharp Project’s “geekonomics” approach provided the right environment. This presentation raised the issue of new educational and employment patterns, which would create profound change in the life prospects of some of Manchester's most marginalised citizens.

Geoff Denton explains the Salford House 4 Life Project.

Mid afternoon was anchored by Geoff Denton of Stockholm-based White Architects who talked about their competition-winning project for Salford House 4 Life. Against the trend of anonymous apartment blocks the project proposes low-rise, robust family housing around communal spaces which offer a utopian prospect for future urban wellbeing. The project is an explicit rejection of greedy economic housing models visible on adjacent sites where new forms of anti social behaviour have already been fostered. He stressed the importance of context in the use of materials, the longevity of the typology and the sustainability of the lifestyle in a non-precious framework.

Elizabeth Varley shortly before her presentation

The day was concluded by Elizabeth Varley from techhub an enterprise at the heart of 'Silicon Roundabout' who emphasised the global potential of the digital economy in turning the urban situation around. She discussed the importance of collaborative spaces and the need for openness in future, flexible, work environments. Social networking, viewed as a facilitator and enabler by Varley, will be very important if companies are to embrace “openness and collaboration”.

The day brought together an eclectic and apparently random mix of people but out of that shared experience and brainstorming new connections were forged. It provided a potential point of departure for new research ideas about the city. As Mark Lemanski pointed out, while ‘pop-ups’ do provide encouragement, the temporary uses that have filled the debate in recent years offer only limited potential to overturn the situation long term. At this point in the economic cycle when London is already picking up where it left off in 2007 Manchester continues to be open for a variety of innovative possibilities. Despite the economic power of the south east this event proved that regional centres have a great deal of expertise to offer in the field of creative regeneration … so … GET OVER IT!

MA A+U Students 2011
Luke Butcher, Jack O’Reilly, Matthew Pilling, Preeya Vadgama, Supriya Pundlik,Ketki Tendolkar, Angad Kasliwal, Natalie MacBride, Christina Gregoriou, Meliz Kusadali, Charlotte Gildart-Butler, Rongxiao Han, Laleh M.Fadaipour, Chen Xu, Carrie Bayley, Kathryn Timmins, Stephen Gingell, Jonas Komka, Anastassia Kolpakova, Angela Heaney, Rob Aspray

MA A+U Students 2010-2011 ... Get Over It!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Architect's Journal

Get Over It! was featured in this weeks edition of The Architect's Journal (09.06.11, page 45). The full article will be available online in the Critics section.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Look Up Manchester blog

Check out the LOOK UP MANCHESTER blog for their post about the symposium!

Student Jack O'Reilly shows off the T-Shirt stencil.

The event will start at 10am and will run until approximately 6pm. Keep an eye on the blog and twitter feed for more information and live updates on the day.


Rose Marley of THE SHARP PROJECT will be speaking at 2.15pm at GET OVER IT this Thursday at Sandbar, Grosvenor Street. Here is a little more about what The Sharp Project is...

"THE SHARP PROJECT … not so much a building … more of a way of life.
 Based at the 250,000 square feet site previously occupied by electronics company Sharp the £16.5million profit-for-purpose development is backed by Manchester City Council and urban regeneration company New East Manchester.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Getting ready for next Thursday...

Check out our GET OVER IT team t-shirts ready for next week!

Dont forget to get register to attend, free lunch included...
email see you there!

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Its now ONE WEEK till the GET OVER IT symposium at Sandbar, Grosvenor St, Manchester!

Please register to attend (lunch included with registration) by emailing

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Confirmed Speaker - DR MARK JAYNE

GET OVER IT! is pleased to announce that Dr Mark Jayne of the University of Manchester will be speaking at the symposium May 12th - register for this free event by emailing

Dr Mark Jayne, author of Cities and Consumption, and researcher at the University of Manchester, focuses on urban cultural geography, specifically: The urban order, City Cultures and consumption, Urban and regional regeneration and Urban governance.

"In investigating the mutual and dynamic relationship between urban development and consumption, this book asks: how are cities moulded by consumption, and how is consumption moulded by cities? Consumption stands at the intersection of different spheres of everyday life: between the public and the private, the political and the personal, the individual and the social. It is considered to be a means and motor of social change; as an active ingredient in the construction of space and place, and in constructing subjectivity and social selfhood. 
Providing a critical review of the ways in which urban development has been conceptualized, this book critiques urban regeneration initiatives, examines ordinary and spectacular consumption and describes the relationship between consumption and development of the modern and post-modern city. It investigates: - consumption and the city - consumption and everyday life - consumption, cities and identity - consumption and urban regeneration. Consumption is understood to have multiple roles as a political, economic and cultural touchstone, and to be an active ingredient in the construction of place and space. 
Using international case studies and illustrations throughout, this book thoroughly analyzes consumption and the city, and provides a useful text for students of urban studies, sociology and geography."


Look out for the new poster....print it out, post it up, give it to a friend...


Rose Marley of The Sharp Project, Manchester will be speaking at GET OVER IT! 2011 on May 12th!

"The Sharp Project … not so much a building … more of a way of life.  
The Sharp Project has been designed to provide the ethos and environment for the next generation of creative companies to explore their potential.  We are open for business 24-7-365.
The project is rapidly becoming home to an eclectic mix of creative and digital companies.
We have an abundance of power, creative office space and connectivity, all designed to be flexible and to work with the ebb and flow of the creative industries."

Also the Director of MOTIV, Rose Marley won the Tridos Women in Ethical Business award if 2009. Come and join us on May 12th at Sandbar Manchester to discuss the Sharp Project and future of the built environment after the recession!

Register to attend by emailing

Monday, 2 May 2011


Great news...THIS EVENT IS FREE!

This event is free, all you need to do is register to attend! The recession has affected everyone and so the event is open to all! Wether you have an interest in architecture, politics, education, the economy, the built environment or culture, the symposium will aim to discuss the creative opportunities created in these areas from the recession.

PLEASE REGISTER to attend by emailing 

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Speaker for MUF Architects - MARK LEMANSKI

Last month, GET OVER IT! announced that MUF Architecture/Art will be speaking at the symposium at Sand Bar. We can now reveal that the speaker for MUF will be architect Mark Lemanski.
"MUF is a collaborative practice of art and architecture committed to public realm projects. They are Curators of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010, were awarded the 2008 European Prize for Urban Public Space for their work on Barking Town Square, and have been Visiting Professors at Yale University."

Come and see Mark Lemanski of MUF architecture/art along with Owen Hatherley, Elizabeth Varley and more at Sand Bar, 12th May. 

All welcome, no tickets needed, more details to follow!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Geoff Denton of White Architects will be speaking at the GET OVER IT! Symposium, May 12th.

A Scandinavian design consultant specializing in sustainable building and urban design, Geoff Denton has previously worked with Marks and Barfield Architects and Ralph Erskine Architects and Planners, promoting Scandinavian thinking in urban design and residential urban development.

Currently working with White Arkiteker, he has recently won the Salford House 4 Life competition, organisied by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
 “For us, projects are never primarily a matter of technology and drawings. Our sights are set on creating physical space at all levels in which people and businesses can grow together.”
Chosen from fifty nine entries, the winning proposal is for the design of a development of 120 family homes in Greengate, Manchester focusing on providing sustainable healthy living.

“With a team lead by architect Geoff Denton and landscape architect Jake Ford, White arkitekter’s winning proposal combinines a robust Salford-inspired architecture with light and spacious Scandinavian family home types. Every home has access to it’s own private exterior space, whilst large gardens create a framework and focus for the community, nurturing the English love of gardening and vegetable growing. A key element of the design is a series of large-scale greenhouses within each courtyard garden, which provide practical and inspirational spaces for a sustainable family lifestyle.
The project represents the practice’s third significant commission in the UK following their appointment as architects for the regeneration of Southend-on-Sea Pier in 2008 and as Sustainability and Environmental Framework architects for the regeneration of West Gorton, Manchester in 2010.”

Come and see Geoff Denton speak at Sandbar, Manchester with Elizabeth Varley of TechHub and MUF Architects!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Chairing the symposium...OWEN HATHERLEY

GET OVER IT! is delighted to announce that Owen Hatherley will Chair the symposium at Sandbar, Manchester.

Author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain and Militant Modernism, Owen Hatherley focuses on architecture, politics and culture in Britain, also contributing to publications such as The Guardian, Building Design and Icon. Owen was also a member of the Big Regeneration Debate panel hosted by the Manchester School of Art earlier this year.

“Owen Hatherley writes for numerous avenues, including  New Statesman, New Humanist, Frieze, Blueprint, The Philosophers’ Magazine and the Wire, to name but a few. Many of the webwise will know him for his blog sit down man, you’re a bloody tragedy which focuses on aesthetic and political issues in architecture and music. As well as studying for a PhD and organising film screenings at interesting venues with Kino Fist he has just published his first book Militant Modernism with Zer0 Books.”

Owen will be Chairing GET OVER IT! on May 12th 2011, no tickets needed, all welcome!

Follow Owen on Twitter - @owenhatherley 

Thursday, 31 March 2011


The GET OVER IT! Symposium can now reveal its new home – Sandbar, Manchester will be hosting the event on the 12th May.
Widely known as a watering hole for academics and a successful events space, Sandbar, Grosvenor Street, will host the main event, which will consist of a dynamic, program of events for the day (more information on that to follow…) 

Discussions and decisions...

Confirmed Speaker - MUF ARCHITECTS

We are thrilled to announce another or our guest speakers for the GET OVER IT! symposium on May the 12th...MUF architects!
MUF began in 1996 in London as a practise focusing not only on architecture but also art, urban space and temporary interventions aiming to create “spaces that have an equivalence of experience for all who navigate them both physically and conceptually”. The practice have won a variety of prestigious awards such as 2008 European Prize for Public Space (the first UK winner) for a new 'town square' in Barking,and have recently been working on the site around the London 2012 Olympics looking at ‘alternative legacies’ for the area. MUF also hosted the British Pavillion at the 2010 Venice Biennale, and the partners are now also visting professors at Yale University. 

“The practice philosophy is driven by an ambition to realize the potential pleasures that exist at the intersection between the lived and the built. The creative process is underpinned by a capacity to establish effective client relationships that reveal and value the desires and experience of varied constituencies.
Access is understood not as a concession but as the gorgeous norm; creating spaces that have an equivalence of experience for all who navigate them both physically and conceptually, muf deliver quality and strategical durable projects that inspire a sense of ownership through occupation.”

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Confirmed Speaker - ELIZABETH VARLEY

GET OVER IT! is pleased to announce Elizabeth Varley of Techhub London as a confirmed speaker for the symposium.

Elizabeth Varley is a CEO of Techhub, a space for tech start-up companies based in London near Silicon Roundabout, Shoreditch.

“Elizabeth is a communicator and entrepreneur with a background in editorial, content and events. In 2001 she set up Online Content UK as an organisation for online content professionals running an industry-focused community and regular events. OCUK quickly became a commercial editorial and content agency working with clients as diverse as Amazon, PricewaterhouseCoopers and AKQA.
In addition to TechHub, Elizabeth recently worked with small business advice site on marketing and engagement, and is working with germination to produce the SHINE unconference for social entrepreneurs in May 2010.”

Elizabeth is also heading this years Twestival in London, a Twitter Festival that uses “social media for social good”. Twitter communities use social media to organize an events day to fundraise for various charities.
 “Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but work from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact. Over 200 international cities from Buenos Aires to Bangalore, Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong to Honolulu have participated in Twestival.”

So what is Techhub?

“TechHub is the physical hub for the technology start-up community. It's launching first in London in the Shoreditch/Old St area and will consist of desk spaces, co-working space, meeting rooms and an event space… While it will be a place for tech entrepreneurs to touch down, work, plug their laptops in and use the fast wifi, what really differentiates it is the mostly product-oriented tech community.”

Elizabeth Varley will be speaking on the 12th May at the GET OVER IT! symposium, Manchester.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Waste not, want not

Help the Aged: innovative adaptive reuse in architecture

'Waste not, want not' is an expression that has become increasingly pertinent in recent years as economic conditions have forced many of us to tighten our belts and make the most of what we have, rather than constantly replacing old with new. This attitude of thrift extends to architecture in the form of adaptive reuse – the conversion of an old building into something better suited to contemporary requirements. Here, we examine some recently completed, ongoing and future projects that show how imagination and intelligent design can deliver striking transformative effects. Derelict or abandoned buildings often have a great deal to offer in terms of location and character and should be viewed as opportunities rather than eyesores."

The Cineroleum - London

What a fantastic use of a derelict petrol station - a true creative opportunity created by the recession!

"This summer a derelict petrol station on Clerkenwell Road will be transformed into a hand-built cinema celebrating the extravagance and ceremony of the picture palace.
Primarily constructed using donated and found materials; The Cineroleum will be an improvisation of the decadent interiors that greeted audiences during cinema's golden age. Popcorn, paper tickets, elaborate signage and flip-down seats will collectively recreate the familiar excitement of cinema-going.
Enclosed by an ornate curtain strung from the forecourt roof, The Cineroleum will host screenings from sundown four nights a week. With a programme of off-beat classics that celebrate the social experience of watching the big screen, stars from Buster Keaton to Barbarella will flicker, dance and shoot their way over The Cineroleum screen. Just as the drive-ins of 1950's America brought cinema out from its enclosures and into suburbia, The Cineroleum will be a street-side cinema that is truly exposed to the city.
The project has been conceived and built by a collective of young artists, designers and architects committed to the creative re-use of urban spaces. With 4,000 petrol stations currently lying derelict in the UK, this pilot project demonstrates the potential for their transformation as exciting and unusual spaces for public use."

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Make It Work: Creativity in the Great Recession

Exhibition and Panel Discussion at the University of Windsor, Canada in February 2011.

"While the idea of creative economies has become commonplace in large cultural centres, there has been less consideration of the possibilities and challenges of working in economically distressed cities that are at a distance from cultural capitals and the art market.
Research into the trend of shrinking cities in recent years has drawn attention to the question of how to consider cities that are losing population and basic infrastructure. Possible answers to the problems raised by shrinking cities have not been coming from economists or politicians, but from artists, designers and architects."

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Big Regeneration Debate

The first of the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Art School Conversations series, The Big Regeneration Debate, took place last Wednesday at the All Saints building on Oxford Road. Hosted by the prestigious Manchester School of Art, the event invited a variety of speakers to discuss the reasons, effects and examples of  successful regeneration within the city of Manchester.

The panel of speakers consisted of: Sir Richard Leese, head of the Manchester City Council; Ian Simpson, architect of the Beetham Tower and the Urbis; Tom Jeffries, head of the Manchester School of Architecture; Fiona Gasper, executive director of the Royal Exchange theatre and Owen Hatherly, author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, all chaired by Dave Haslam, legendary Hacienda DJ and author.

Around 180 people from a range of backgrounds, disciplines and outlooks attended and the discussion were encouraged to include perspectives from the audience after the panellists had spoken. The event sparked many questions about the city as an entity and encouraged further thoughts about the practical and real effects of regeneration.

Hot topics were the regeneration of Hulme in the 1990’s, the process and longevity of architecture, the property boom in Manchester, Birley Fields Campus and the relationship between the social housing and luxury apartments within the city.

Overall, a very successful evening with a very interesting discussion about the future of the city of Manchester.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Big Regeneration Debate - Manchester 2011

The Big Regeration Debate
Manchester 2nd March 6pm
Manchester Lecture Theatre, All Saints Building, Oxford Road, Manchester

GET OVER IT! recommends The Big Regeneration Debate hosted by the Manchester School of Art about the future regeneration of Manchester as part of Art School Conversations.
Featuring Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, and figures from the city's creative industries, The Big Regeneration Debate is organised and presented by broadcaster and journalist Dave Haslam.

"We're inviting people who live or work in the city and who care about what the city is and will be."
"For two decades we've witnessed large-scale investment in property and retail, a higher profile for the city as a tourist destination and business hub, and as a capital of music and sport," says Haslam.
"We'll be asking what we have achieved so far, and more importantly, what's the way forward now we are in recession."

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

About the Symposium

In a time of economic austerity, political uncertainty and social crisis, how can the city move forward? GET OVER IT! will bring together a range of speakers from diverse disciplines to investigate methods for extracting potential from the current recession. Architecture, technology, sociology, politics, economics, culture and education all have a role to play in the reconfiguration of the city. Instigated by the MA Architecture and Urbanism students at the Manchester School of Architecture, the aim of the symposium is to address new creative opportunities for redundant city spaces and the broader built environment.