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Student Profile – Jade Simm

Jade Simm

BA (Hons) Architecture

What attracted you to studying  at Kent?

Fundamental to my choice of university was my determination to study at an  institution that would allow me to maximise my creative talents to achieve the  very highest standards. Having taken the  opportunity to visit many universities, I knew that I preferred a campus  lifestyle and Kent truly is a very pleasant learning environment with its  careful balance between open green space and learning facilities. The warm welcome I received on the open days  from both staff and students made me feel at home from the very first moment I  stepped on campus. Kent’s reputation and  standing in the university league tables highlighted the fact that whilst the  university felt like home it was indeed a well run and well organised centre of  learning that strives to ensure that all students achieve their very best.  The huge choice of sports clubs and societies  was also very attractive as I was keen to fully immerse myself in university  life.

Why did you choose to study architecture?

Nothing in life touches people’s lives as much as architecture. Walk down any street or sit in any  environment and you cannot help to form a view of the architectural environment  that has been created. Good architecture  can lift the spirit and impact positively on how people live and work.  Architecture can enrich lives, create mood and alter people’s state of mind. My passion is clear and my determination to make a meaningful difference is  resolute. For me architecture as a profession  was the only natural choice where I would be able to have such an impact.

What skills have you already learnt whilst studying architecture?

First year in particular allowed me to develop technical skills as well as conceptual and creative skills. During Stage 1 allocated sessions were used  to explore creativity through a variety of techniques including life drawing,  model making and sketching. The subject matter was not always architectural but  this allowed me to broaden my skills and then apply it to my architectural  designs. I also began to develop some very subtle skills in speaking the  language of architecture and being able to describe a physical environment to  demonstrate its form and the space that was created. Second year we were introduced to 3Ds Max, weekly tasks were set to gain  knowledge of the software so that we could produce a final piece. Up until this  point of the year I had only used SketchUp for 3D design purposes, but the  involvement of this software on the course has made me much more confident in producing  photorealistic models. During the course it is made clear that it is not just conceptual design  that is important. You need to know how a building stands up and its  environmental factors. Along with this you need to be able to present clearly  your own ideas visually and verbally. Lectures are given on presentation, but  the best way for these skills to develop is by looking at the work of others  and taking part in Inter-Crits to understand the most successful techniques.

What are you enjoying most about university?

The Architecture course at the University of Kent is well run and the combination of lectures seminars and tutorials allows a varied study approach that keeps you in contact with a variety of staff and students. Many of the  staff specialise in different areas so it is almost certain that there will be a  member of staff you have common interest with and can aid your design. The  Architecture studio is always buzzing and everyone is willing to help each  other out. Joining the Kent Architectural Student associated allowed me to become  part of team of students organising activities for architecture students. I  personally took the role of Merchandise Rep where I created a hoodie for all  students to purchase and was part of the social team organising social events  that weren’t architecture related. As a member of the Rowing Team, I find it a good way to keep active as  well as a friendship group outside of rowing. Sport gives you time to get away  from your work and relax, something that is needed when studying architecture.

What do you think about the level of support in your studies?

Tutors are the best form of support in  architecture, they encourage you to achieve your goals and give you both  positive and negative feedback in order for you to develop your project as well  as your own personal style. Tutors are there to help you; they are willing to  meet with you outside tutorial hours or to discuss minor issues via email.  Tutors  have a range of expertise and all are happy for you to tap into their knowledge  and offer advice. There are staff within the department of  architecture that are there to provide general help and guidance throughout the  course as well as the University providing a support service, available to  anyone who requires it.

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