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BA (Hons) Architecture

Discontinuous Genealogies

Beth Devlin 1

Genealogy…’operates on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times’.

Michel Foucault

Once a hamlet by the sea, Blackpool emerged as a significant seaside destination for the well-to-do in the nineteenth century. Since this period of boom however it has suffered decline, and although it remains a destination it currently exists in two states lodged between the permanent (its residents) and the transitory (its fleeting visitors).

Work this year has questioned what it means to be a good ancestor within this context; whether the path(s) being currently pursued are correct in their trajectory or whether new directions need to be posited. Students have explored historic and current practices, scratching in the margins and underbellies of things and becoming an expert in their workings in order to define new future alternatives. A rich dialogue ensued and a range of ideas were investigated, from tackling
doomsday scenarios, introducing new facilities for the underprivileged, imagining alternative fairy-tales and investigating new and sustainable development approaches. The future of Blackpool could be much the richer for it.