In Brief

Manchester Metropolitan University



November 2021

The Manchester Metropolitan University School of Digital Arts (SODA) is a new kind of art school provision, a new interdisciplinary learning environment that reflects the ubiquity of the screen in all our lives and will develop interdisciplinary talent to support Greater Manchester’s creative and digital industries.

SODA is a future-facing resource that recognises that screen and post-screen interactions in the future will be central to human communication. This ambition recognises that technological advances and convergences between different creative digital sectors will completely transform the kinds of expertise that are needed to serve this greatly expanded range of screen and post-screen based interactions.

The entrance to the school announces these intentions boldly, with a four-storey video light wall on the northern façade marking the campus approach and creating a platform where the work of the students can be displayed. A pleated metal façade reflects the local context and activity above a new pedestrian street between SODA and the adjacent Benzie Building, part of the Manchester School of Art.

Internally a double-height ‘digital hall’ provides informal break-out space alongside a café, foyer, screening room and exhibition space which support the specialised studio spaces.

School of Digital Arts

"I didn’t think it would be possible for me to get so attached to a building to be honest with you. But you know, it’s a thing, it’s important." 

Prof. Toby Heys, Head of School SODA

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Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios SODA Building for MMU

"This is just what Manchester needs. I'm really keen to see young people from all backgrounds given the opportunity to learn to be the filmmakers and media producers of the future,  to have the opportunity to tell their own stories - but in ways that we've never experienced before."

Danny Boyle, Academy Award-winning director and SODA Industry Advisory Board

"I genuinely think it’s actually really exciting to work here.  I still come in every day and it excites me to walk through the door, the hairs come up on the back of my neck."

Prof. Toby Heys, Head of School SODA
Digital Future

The building itself is future proofed: it will be able to respond to changes in technology and contains a digital innovation lab, open workspaces, green screens, edit suites, screening space, a media gallery, sound and music studios and production studios.

It houses subjects that span film, animation, UX design, photography, games design, AI and more.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios SODA Building for MMU
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