Urban Mining Test Lab Showcase

Selected Architecture & Design Postgrad. Students at Coventry University
Coventry University’s Delia Derbyshire Building, Cox St, CV1 5PH


Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre and Coventry University’s College of Arts and Society are delighted to have convened this practice-based Urban Mining Art & Design Test Lab 2024. Underpinned by the Urban Mining Design Philosophy, this R&D explores the extraction of materials and components from the existing built environment of City Centre South, transforming them to propose dramatic public realm artworks and interventions.

Shaped to support place-making through creative approaches to public consultation, the Lab model seeks to communicate and demonstrate the value of harnessing Urban Mining as a tool to trial, test and evidence new circular economy methods. It responds to the UN Sustainability Goals and aims to reduce carbon to net Zero by 2050. Drawing from the existing built environment of City Centre South, prior to its demolition, selected students from across the University’s postgraduate Art, Design and Architecture courses worked in interdisciplinary teams to undertake feasibility studies, develop material schedules with carbon and life-cycle analysis and ideate new temporary public art, structures and place-making systems.

“Coventry City Council, like all other local authorities across the world, has an important leadership role to play in tackling the biggest threat to life on earth and the future of our planet. Achieving net zero will require changes that are unprecedented in their scale and scope.” Cllr J. O’Boyle, Coventry City Council

Joanna Szkibiel
Shalom Ilonze
Anshul Kumar Navik
Anjali Kizhakke Vellatt
Krishnan Unni Radhakrishnan
Amitha Yamuna Anand
M. E. Navodya Kalpani De Silva
Vishrutha Vagarayampalayam Karunaharan
Tobi Ayoola
Ashna Ramachandran
Seyi David Oyewale
Jindrich Ibos
Shubhangi Parate
Nehemiah Olubori Adegbasa

In the short period of this test lab, our architects and designers of the future have identified the potential of a glass pavilion made out of the roof of City Arcade; an interactive art installation and community materials exchange built out of salvaged door-frames; and an experiential pathway that reactivates the route to the market to encourage footfall for the traders over the next ten years of disruption.

These structures have environmental credentials in their own right, with calculable embedded carbon savings. More than this, however, this is about long-term systems change to the benefit of all of us. Through this approach, and because these structures are temporary, with stakeholder collaboration and input, we can use this process to trial, test, evidence-value and implement the new operational and circular production systems needed to enable commercial viability and roll this out more broadly.

Through retention of the city’s material history and engaging the community in the process, Urban Mining approaches support community connection to place, skills development, a circular development mindset and behavioural change.


More Urban Mining x Public Art

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