Architecture students in Manchester for European convention

Nearly 500 architecture students from 40 countries will arrive in the city this weekend for The European Architecture Students Assembly.

The two-week conference will be the first Assembly held in the UK since the event's creation in 1981, when it was established in Liverpool by students and tutors of Liverpool University as a way to bring talented students together to discuss the issues facing both the profession and urban environments.

The Assembly involves two weeks of workshops, lectures, exhibitions and events, in the name of exchanging ideas, culture and experience. Each annual Assembly revolves around a theme, with this year's being Identity.

Manchester was chosen as the venue for the 30th annual Assembly after a competitive bid which saw the UK team hold off strong competition from Istanbul.

Chris Moloney, part of the EASA UK team, explained: "When deciding which UK city to put forward for EASA 2010, Manchester proved to be the obvious choice. The city enjoys an inspiring past, it was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and later played an integral role in the information revolution, so where better to bring architecture students to inspire them towards the future of architecture?"

BDP will be holding a walking tour party of 30 participants as part of the EASA programme of events. Ian Palmer, architect director at BDP's Manchester studio is organising the tour. He said: "We will start our tour at Piccadilly station, passing our studio on Ducie Street, then onto the Manchester Visitor Information Centre. The tour will then head down Market Street arriving at Marks & Spencer, ending with a walk across to Cathedral Gardens and to Abito in Greengate."

Ask Developments have partnered with EASA, providing the team with a headquarters – the former building of architects practice Stephenson Bell on their First Street scheme in central Manchester.

The EASA team has been supported by a number of organisations within Manchester, including Visit Manchester, Manchester City Council and Marketing Manchester. The Manchester School of Architecture and the University of Salford School of the Built Environment have sponsored the Assembly.

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