Studio tutors: Ed Green, Chris Wilkins, Chris Loyn, Heidi Day, Katie Robinson

Public libraries are seen by many as the last remaining deliberate third spaces, free of commercial activity (most of the time) and with an open-ended nature that facilitates a freedom of use and expression not possible elsewhere:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft, and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead. A human with a brain, a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a consumer with a credit card and an inchoate ‘need’ for ‘stuff’.”

Alma Mater, Caitlin Moran (the Library book, pp. 92,93)

In recent years, many small community libraries have been closed, under the auspices of creating fewer, larger, more centralised public libraries. This studio asked students to consider the role of libraries in contemporary (or future) society, and propose a new library / third space, in accordance with these principles, for the community of Butetown.

Work provided by Asta Voltaire voltaireedoha@cardiff.ac.uk