Over the last decade, UK universities have expanded recruitment targets and a rapidly increasing number of students given residence in the towns and cities that host these institutions is proving critical.
Campus expansion and a wealth of private, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) towers continue to emerge as seemingly innocuous responses catering to this growing in-migration. Resulting mutations of local social, economic and cultural ecologies form a process known as studentification.
Expanding on commercial incentives and social implications of Higher Education, Manifesto for a Studentopia positions heavily marketised tuition, aggressive proliferation of PBSAs, a highly commoditised new student lifestyle, fostered behaviour, local adaptations and resulting friction within a lucrative and cyclical initiative. Picturing the structures which might underwrite, profit-from and ensure a continued tension between town-and-gown, this ongoing project looks to invite reflection upon specific talking points and speculate towards their consequences.