Yesterday afternoon I headed to the Vimto Monument in order to collect my Bachelor’s Degree in Modernism thanks to the Modernist University of Manchester (aka Manchester Modernist Society (MMS)). Honorary Memberships, BAs, Masters and Doctorates were conferred as part of the MMS celebration of UMIST Campus, which was timed to co-incide with the RIBA Love Architecture Festival. The afternoon involved the class of 2012, with friends and family, being taken on a guided tour of the 1960s campus, proudly sporting membership badges and referring to some specially designed maps. Collectively we heard about the history of the campus and its buildings, installed a custom made set of conservation status plaques outside selected buildings, oh…and participated in a spot of gentle guerilla taping of potential modernist crime scenes. As explained on their website the idea behind the project was that the Manchester Modernists would:
…position themselves as uninvited artists in residence of the University of Manchester and will autonomously declare the UMIST campus as Manchester’s first Modernist Conservation Area, much against the inclinations of the Manchester City Council and the University Estates department. The campus, much of which was recently under threat of sale by the University, is not only judged by the artists to be of significance due to its architectural and sculptural qualities but also because of its place within scientific and mathematical modern history. It is this legacy that the artists seek to rescue from disregard and neglect.
If you want to find out more about UMIST Campus, why it deserves special attention, and threats to its future do visit the Campus scrapbook site. Below are some photos of the event – a great time was had by all, so thanks to Maureen and Jack, and all their helpers!