Friday, May 10, 2013

Manufacturing Pasts - University of Leicester Learning Resources

A new online resource developed by University of Leicester tells the story of what life was like and how quickly it changed in British industrial cities during the second half of the twentieth century. Manufacturing Pasts is arranged into four major themes: 'Conservation and Urban Regeneration,' 'De-Industrialisation,' 'Factory and Community' and 'Social Life of the Factory.' Each theme links through from the site's main page to a vault of learning resources about the city's industrial history including photographs, maps, architectural drawings, oral history interviews, company publications and newspaper articles.

The great news is that thanks to Creative Commons licencing, the sources are copyright-cleared, easy to access and free to reuse for educational purposes. 

Much like Glasgow, the city of Leicester serves as a strong example of the effects of industrial growth and decline on the transmutable city which challenge architects and urban planners to think imaginatively about the future use of space. This retrospective case study considers the impact of industry on the city and more than that, analyses what happened to the buildings that previously housed and supported Leicester's manufacturing sector. Rather than demolition, can the carcasses of buildings left behind from Leicester's manufacturing past be used to support its commercial future...?