Machynlleth’s Centre for Alternative Technology hosted a meeting of over 60 students from 27 universities across the UK and Ireland.

Dozens of architecture and built environment students from universities throughout the UK and Ireland met at the Centre for Alterative Technology (CAT) for a weekend conference in March.

At the conference, students discussed how the sector can respond to the ongoing climate emergency, taking part in a programme of talks, tours, discussions and film screenings.

The weekend was centred on how architecture and built environment students can have a positive impact on climate action, and how architectural schools could be supported to provide more in-depth training in sustainable and regenerative approaches.

CAT Masters in Architecture Programme Leader, Dr Carl Meddings, who helped to organise the event, said: “With around 40 percent of UK carbon emissions coming from the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings, it is essential that architects and other built environment professionals have the skills, knowledge and networks to help address the climate and nature emergency.


“Here at CAT, one of the areas we specialise in is regenerative and sustainable approaches to architecture and green building, so we were delighted to welcome students from across the UK and Ireland to explore how we can work together to create change.”

Notable speakers at the conference included architecture lecturer and co-director of Black Females in Architecture, Neba Sere; architectural historian and author of ‘Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency’, Barnabas Calder; co-founder of Future Architects Front and co-lead at Civic Square, Charlie Edmonds; and architect and campaigner in retrofit and local community action, Alice Brown.

The weekend also saw student led initiatives and exemplar projects being shared amongst the various attendees.

Event organiser Kate Rhodes said: "Bringing together so many passionate built environment students was inspiring. The depth of talks and energy in the room gave rise to many thought-provoking conversations on student agency and collaboration, and the impact of architecture and construction.

“I hope that the relationships that were formed continue to grow and that the passion shown on the weekend fosters further collective action in the face of the climate and ecological emergency. Many thanks to CAT for hosting, and we look forward to the next one.”