Academic Peer Mentor – Matthew Bullock

Stage 5 – MArch

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.William Arthur Ward

During my Part 1 year in industry I was shown this quote and I could immediately relate to it from throughout my education, in both a positive and negative manner. Finding, or having the luck of having, educators who go beyond the curriculum and their pay grade to truly aid in the growth of one’s education seems like a rarity. Yet as a first year student I had some of the fifth years as my design tutors, all of which I found amongst the most understanding, interesting and inspiring educators I have ever had.

From that moment I knew I wanted to teach at some point later on in my career. Mentoring whilst I was a 4th year student seemed like a great opportunity to begin this process and try to replicate what my student tutors had achieved with me.

As a mentor, I believed my role to be important in encouraging students to challenge themselves rather than conforming to the normality, experimenting with a wide variety of mediums and directing them to sources of information which I myself constantly use to develop my own work and process. Because of my own experience, I was able to share my own knowledge of similar challenges. With this openness, I believe that ‘my mentees’ felt very comfortable and relaxed discussing their projects with me. Through these discussions I was able to help them find their own way towards their final schemes, which they believed in, had confidence in, and ultimately enjoyed.

This connection with the undergraduates provided an ability to integrate myself further within the school which I really valued. Mentoring additionally provided me with a rare opportunity to develop my own critical analysis and design process, whilst also strengthening my communication skills by challenging and developing ideas through a variety of processes.

On reflection, I am very proud and impressed with all the mentees I worked with and I look forward to hearing how they are doing now they are beginning their year in professional practice or third year of studies. As long as I inspire in whatever scale, volume or manner, I shall feel like I have succeeded as a mentor.

I would thoroughly recommend becoming a mentor if you like helping others, wish to understand the benefits critical analysis can have to your own work, and also want to develop personally as a student and a mentor.

Mentee: Linda Malaeb

Being a mentee gives you the opportunity to talk to someone who has been in your position about anything regarding your architecture degree. This can be regarding anything from your modules to the way you manage your time with the considerable workload.

I found having a mentor very helpful since you have another person to talk to regarding your design projects other than your tutor. In architecture opinions are very important and hearing another opinion about your design is very useful; your mentor can give lots of advice on how to tackle certain issues with your plans and point you in the right direction.

If I was confused about my tutor’s comments from the previous tutorial, my mentor would help me understand what was really the problem in my design scheme.

It is useful to talk to a student rather than a member of staff, since it is not as formal and a mentor is there to just make you feel more comfortable with the work and the stress that architecture can give.

I found it better to manage my time this year since I used to do all my work for the tutorial for my meeting with my mentor, and then from there I would change a few things and go to the tutorial with all my work done and checked already by someone else higher up in the school.

My mentor helped also check my CV since I was looking at applying for an internship and he gave me lots of advice on how to make a portfolio. Knowing people who are higher up in the school is also important as you can learn a lot from them: my mentor always showed me his work and I went to watch his crits which helped me to have an idea of what is expected in the future regarding the quality of work and presentation.

I found having a mentor very useful in general with my architecture education and I would really recommend it to everyone.

Mentee: Miles Heath

My experience of being mentored through my 3rd year was very much a positive one. It is not only just an educational activity but a social one. Taking part in this scheme has taught me to think about design in a more mature way, helped me develop new techniques in which to communicate my ideas and urged me to deliver a much higher standard of work. This has been achieved by having the fresh and critical guidance outside of a standard tutorial. This also exposed me to a high level of master’s work and gave me an insight into the process that my mentor went through to accomplish his own design ideas. As mentioned, developing myself as a designer was not the only perk. Mentoring is a much more relaxed and informal event which becomes more of a friendly talk rather than a coordinated meeting with a tutor. I have, as a result, made friends as well as progressing myself.

Former KSA students receive Congratulations in SPAB’s Philip Webb Award 2016

Britain’s oldest architectural conservation group, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), which was founded in 1877, have announced the competition results for the Philip Webb Award 2016.

Congratulations were given to former KSA MArch students Jennifer Bull, for clarity and impact of supporting information, and Hannah Couper for articulation of supporting narrative and proposal. Kent School of Architecture has an increasing reputation in the field of architectural conservation, and this is strengthened by our MSc Architectural Conservation programme.

The 2016 competition results were announced in the SPAB Magazine Winter 2016 issue which came out earlier this month, and a feature article will follow in the Spring 2017 Issue, available in March.

For more information about The Philip Webb Award, please click here.

MSc Architecture and the Sustainable Environment – Student Profile – Adebukola Adepeju

What attracted you to studying at Kent?
The University of Kent consistently ranks highly in the UK and its young and vibrant School of Architecture is one of the UK’s top ten.

Before taking a place on the programme, what was your previous area of study?
I studied Architecture for my first degree back home before coming to Kent.

Are you enjoying life on campus? Also, what would you recommend about the city of Canterbury to those that have never visited the area before.
I’m thankful for the campus environment- physical, academic and social. Everyone seems always ready to help. The campus is beautiful and safe and its vantage location within Canterbury makes everywhere I want to go easily accessible. Also, living in Woolf with all the facilities makes life easy. There are lots of international students here hence lots of activities from the different nationalities. It’s always good to learn a thing or two from other backgrounds.
Although Canterbury is relatively small, I love that it is such as historic city with one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the world. I love that it is not noisy or overcrowded which perfectly suits me! It has a number of historic places like the Heritage museum and Marlowe Theatre. Movie and Film/Play enthusiasts like me can always catch the latest at the Gulbenkian on campus. There is also lots of lush green parks and gardens for lovers of nature and outdoors and the buildings around here are also very interesting and each one is uniquely different from the other especially the ones here on campus!

What has been the highlight of the course so far?
The learning environment here is so different from where I come from especially in terms of course structure and the feedback process but its nothing I couldn’t adapt to quickly. The staff have been very supportive so that has helped me a lot. Also, there are a variety of nationalities on my programme so it’s interesting to learn a thing or two about their respective backgrounds.

After you finish your studies, what would you like to do next?
After school, I definitely want to go back to practice, I had worked back home before commencing my studies last September.

KSA student wins at RIBA President’s Medals Ceremony

Kent School of Architecture MArch student James Bussey received the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing at Part 2 at the 2016 RIBA President’s Medal awards ceremony yesterday, Tuesday 6th December 2016 at the RIBA in London; the award was given by RIBA President Jane Duncan.

James Bussey’s project entitled ‘The Company’ is set on Helgoland in the North Sea. An interpretation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was a key starting point.

The project narrative begins in 1848 with the shipwreck of an outsider and it chronicles the evolution of the island and its society. Urban development evolves over a timeline of 150 years culminating with a citadel, the location for key civic and religious activities. The drawings, presented here in the style of a graphic novel, depict the protagonist Elisa Hecker’s experience of architecture on the island. The final architectural proposition is the citadel constructed over the town.

Regarding his time at Kent School of Architecture, James would like to thank his Unit 3 tutors Adam Cole, George Thomson and Tom Van Hoffelen who ‘were exceptional teachers, helping me to have the confidence, skills and ability to achieve a project I was proud of.’

A huge congratulations to James from all at KSA!

Chapter 8, The Model Worker by James Bussey
Chapter 8, The Model Worker by James Bussey

Professor Fontana-Giusti to take part in ‘Architecture and the Unconscious’ Discussion

Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti will take part in an evening of discussion exploring the discourses between Architecture and Psychoanalysis that will take place at the UCL – Bartlett hosted by Professor Jane Rendell (UCL, Bartlett) and Dr Lorens Holm (Dundee).

Location: Room G01 Central House, Upper Woburn Place, The Bartlett, UCL; 17:00 – 21:00 09 December 2016

The event celebrates the publication of Architecture and the Unconscious (Routledge, 2016) edited by John Hendrix and Lorens Holm.

There will be responses from David Bell, Past President British Psychoanalytic Society; and Consultant Psychiatrist The Tavistock Clinic, Lesley Caldwell, Psychoanalyst BPA, and Honorary Professor UCL Psychoanalysis Unit, Patrick Lynch, Lynch Architects London, and University of Liverpool.

Contributors to Architecture and the Unconscious: Andrew Ballantyne, Kati Blom, Hugh Campbell, Emma Cheatle, Gordana Fontana-Giusti, John Hendrix, Lorens Holm, Stephen Kite, Christina Malathouni, Tim Martin, Francesco Proto, Jane Rendell, Nikos Sideris, Alla Vronskaya.

MA Architecture and Urban Design (Paris) – Student Profile – Tamilore Oni

What made you choose to study the MAUD with a term in Paris?
During my bachelor’s degree, I became especially interested in the urban design (the design of cities) aspect of Architecture. As a result, I tailored my search for a Masters programme to finding one that would specifically address that topic. I came across the MAUD (Paris option) programme online, and was immediately taken with the idea of studying about urbanism in a city rich in architectural and urban history.

Can you describe the Paris campus for those who have not been before?
The Paris campus is in Reid Hall which is located in Montparnasse which is a very nice, busy part of Paris with lots of cafés, cinemas, theatres and shopping. Montparnasse is home to the famous Le Bon Marché, the Tour Montparnasse (at the top of which you can get one of the best view of Paris), and the tunnels of the Paris Catacombs run beneath it. Reid Hall is on a street off the major Boulevard du Montparnasse. It is a three-storey group of buildings. The premises are shared with the students and staff Columbia University. It has a little courtyard which is nice for seating to chat or have lunch. Seminars and classes are held in a well-equipped room, and it is has constant internet supply. There a couple of vending machines for snacks and coffee on the ground floor. There loads of cafés, and “sandwicheries” around, so you won’t go hungry! Staff from the University of Kent are always available to help in any way.

Tamilore with Prof Gerry Adler in Paris
Tamilore with Prof Gerry Adler in Paris

What module have you enjoyed the most and why?
I can’t say I have a distinct favourite. The Paris modules are really great because you talk about something in class, and then literally just walk out to see it – either during a trip organised by the school, or on your own.

The MAUD gives you the freedom to study modules from other departments; what did you decide to study and how did this benefit you?
I chose the Paris: Reality and Representation module, and I think it was a great choice. It is essentially a literature module where you examine the urban, social, economic, and political representations of Paris in selected works, bearing in my mind the actual conditions of the time. It is interesting to see the various impressions that individuals had about the city.

Are you enjoying exploring the city of Paris?
Yes, very much. There is so much to see and do. It’s been a great experience; well worth it, I would say.

What is the support like on your programme?
Prof Gordana Fontana-Giusti, and Miss Friedman helped me with my move from Canterbury to Paris. I also got help with my visa application and the programme coordinators assisted me in every way they could, and that was extremely helpful. The staff in the office over here are friendly and approachable.

After the programme, what are you planning to do?
I am looking to see if I can get any work experience, or research opportunities. I am very interested on furthering my studies in urban design. I am considering going further with a PhD.

For advice on finding accommodation in Paris, please visit our blog.