Following recent posts on Manchester and Salford here’s a link to a new Cultural Studies paper on ‘The Urbis Building as Looking Glass’ by Steve Hanson and Mark Rainey (subs. required). It uses the Urbis building in Manchester as a device for discussing wider social, cultural and economic changes taking place at a local and national level in the UK since the early 2000s. There’s also a short discussion of the mothballed Origin development site on Whitworth Street originally destined to be apartments, office space and a ’boutique hotel’. If you fancy a little dark humour, the optimistic signage that still remains on the perimeter fence (“Live, Relax, Work” – “Efficient, Effortless & Individual”) is always worth a look. Sums up the rise and fall of the urban construction boom in the UK, built exclusively on the hollow slogans above.

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