Today marked the final university design crit the 5th Year MArch students had to face, before the professional stretch in the real world towards their careers in the architectural field. It does seem like pressure, but for many of the 5th Years, it was clear that they just wanted to end the course on a pleasant high and give it their best shot. The result of the work sprawled across Studio C downstairs in the Marlowe Building was clear: dedication, commitment and flawless effort had been put in.
What stood out the most was the range of mixed media and vast construction approaches. From charcoal drawings and simple, rendered CAD to Photoshopped renders and structural models, the 5th Years had proved that they weren’t afraid to experiment and push the boundaries of design. Some introductory speeches were in more depth than usual, due to making sure that the thorough knowledge and finest technical detail that went into the process of the schemes were explained to the curious panellists.
It was all an example to be set for the 4th Years, who are expected to step into their shoes next academic year. While technical and structural requirements were crucial, the message that the MArch course gave after today is that students do have the opportunity to really express themselves and find out what personally interests them in architecture. The standard of work reflected, in some ways, personality and working methods that students each find most comfortable. Moreover, fantastic material for portfolios that the MArchers can show off to potential firms when looking for employment.
Many congratulations to the finalists and have a well-deserved rest! Details of the upcoming KSA End of Year Show will be announced within the next couple of weeks.
If a university education is not only to achieve a qualification but to broaden your life experience then an opportunity to study abroad must be one of the best ways of helping to attain both of these goals. Having been a loyal architecture student at the University of Kent for both undergraduate and postgraduate, I wanted the opportunity to experience new teaching styles that would help me build on the solid educational foundation that Kent had already provided. When I heard about the possibility of studying abroad at the Washington Alexandria Architecture School (WAAC), Virginia Tech, I jumped at this opportunity. I submitted my portfolio to the department and was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Kent at the Virginia Tech Architecture School. I was also successful in gaining a Study Abroad Scholarship from Santander.
On arriving in Washington DC I was welcomed into the school with open arms. Since 1985, the WAAC has served to house a consortium of architecture schools from all over the globe. Currently, 13 universities are part of the consortium. This structure provides exposure to a diverse student and faculty perspectives and promotes and encourages a unique design dialogue. Once I had enrolled, I was met with many other students from all corners of the world under one roof. This was an amazing chance to live and work with other students from all across the world and learn from their experiences, design methods and teaching.
Virginia Tech’s classes are chosen on a credit system with further opportunities to audit other classes that interest you. With the variety of classes taught at the school I chose to study ‘The Theory of Urban Form’ and ‘Advanced Computer Aided Design’ alongside my thesis project entitled ‘The Embassy for Tea; A Didactic Landscape’. This final year project was started at the WAAC with the aim of returning to Kent to further develop the proposal using a combination of skills acquired both at Virginia Tech and Kent. I selected 3 tutors to serve as my committee members who each specialised in different fields of Architecture to tutor me throughout the term. The newly refurbished studio space and individual work station further encouraged me to make full use of my tutors and time at the school.
The university accommodation was a complex of apartments in a converted church that made it easy to meet new people and socialise. During the time abroad I had the opportunity to visit many of the architecturally significant cities on the east coast including New York, Philadelphia, and of course Washington DC. As a school we also had the amazing opportunity to visit Frank Lloyd Wrights ‘Falling Water’ and ‘Kentuck Knob’ in Virginia. Other highlights for me included playing a season of rugby for Washington DC, experiencing a real American family thanksgiving and making a number of friends for life.
I really feel as though my time studying aboard has greatly benefited me as an architecture student. Being granted the opportunity to study abroad for the first term but return to Kent for the remainder of the year has enabled me, with the help of my tutors, to take what skills I gained at the WAAC, refine and combine them within the Kent program which will hopefully mould me into a better architect.
To find out how you could study abroad, please visit the university GoAbroad site.
Henrik has been invited to speak about his newest research into the historic stack ventilation system of the Houses of Parliament at the Politecnico di Milano on the 28th May 2014. The conference is entitled ‘Between Architecture and Building Services Engineering – Answering the climate in the modern age’s construction history’ and explores the role of climatic design and environmental technology in understanding historic building. Based on extensive archival material and technical studies Henrik’s talk will explore the original design and function of the towers and turrets of the Houses of Parliament within the ventilation system. The focus is on the major changes that were made to the way the stacks were operated, reflecting significant changes in the overarching ventilation strategy.
On Monday 2nd June Article 25 and KASA are teaming together to create the best Architecture Charity Ball ever! The night will begin at 7:30 with a Buffet being served at 8:30 all while listening to a live Jazz Band. Following the food there will then be a live DJ to party the rest of the night away! All years are welcome and tickets are on sale now! There are a limited number of Early Bird tickets still available for £25 with then tickets being £30. So get buying soon for what will be the best end of year party and best ball this summer! All your friends will be there!
The Kent School of Architecture is delighted to be collaborating with Sir Terry Farrell and his partnership on outreach initiatives within architecture and the built environment. We are hoping to develop our outreach programme, engaging with teachers and pupils offering workshops and CPD events to promote architecture as a cross curricular subject within primary and secondary education. Architecture is a discipline that engages with STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and maths. Additionally, it engages with the humanities; English, art, geography and history.
We will look at alternate routes into architectural education, and make proposals to enable wider participation from a more diverse pool of students. This will form part of our long term strategy.
This lecture focuses on the thermal qualities of space and how these can be used as an effective element of design. Looking at some spectacular failures in the urban realm I will highlight some of the problems people have encountered with our current bias towards vision in architecture. I will focus on the scale of the pedestrian and how their thermal experience influences how they feel and use space. Finally, examining the concept of adaptation the talk will argue how such knowledge can enable us to design urban spaces for satisfaction and thermal delight.
Friday 16th May at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1, all are welcome.
Dr Nikolaos Karydis has been invited to present his recent work on the building phases of the church of St. Mary at Ephesus at the international conference: Transforming Sacred Spaces: New Approaches to Byzantine Ecclesiastical Architecture from the Transitional Period. The conference is organised by the Byzantine Institute of the University of Munich, and will take place at the State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich from the 13th to the 16th of May.
Currently on display at the Margaret Howell shop in London’s Wigmore Street is a series of photographs. They document disused Cold War bases and infrastructure; follies and religious sites; brutalist and modernist factories and plants.
The exhibition is an accompaniment to Slacklands: A Guide to Rural Contemporary Architecture, a recently launched book compiled by the architecture writer Corinna Dean. Slacklands is the first publication of the Archive for Rural Contemporary Architecture (ARCA), an online archive that aims to map 20th-century rural buildings in Britain and what they tell us about our relationship to the nation’s countryside.
‘Corinna Dean has a mission – to show us just how rich and strange the architectural heritage of the Twentieth Century really is. She wants to reclaim the neglected monuments to the past we so easily forget: military, industrial, devotional, recreational. Corinna shows us a less familiar Britain and less familiar forms of architecture.’ – Margaret Howell
An exhibition featuring photographs from the book will run from Friday 9th May to Sunday 1st June at Margaret Howell: 34 Wigmore Street, London W1. 10am to 6pm (12pm-5pm Sunday).
Howard Griffin, Programme Director of the MA Architectural Visualisation, travelled to Penang, Malaysia to present his work on Virtual Heritage to members of the Georgetown Heritage Inc. and staff and students of the Universiti Sains Malaysia. The presentation looked at different aspects of digital integration in heritage work, including 3D site scanning, 3D animation and the use of CGI in the film industry. The presentation also highlighted the work of the MA Architectural Visualisation students and English Heritage to ‘re-create’ St. Augustine’s Abbey and monastery in Canterbury using games engine technology.
The use of games technology to recreate historic buildings is seen as a key component in the dissemination of heritage knowledge. Howard Griffin explained that the opportunity, “…for people to not merely view the past, but participate in it, is an important development. We have seen this with games, such as Assassin’s Creed, in which the player is able to navigate the streets of ancient cities.” Howard also went on to present the work to the students and staff at the Fakulti Senibina Perancangan & Ukur (Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Kuala Lumpur.
The initial phase of the St. Augustine’s Abbey project is due to be completed in May, when a second phase of evaluation and feedback on the immersive effects of the game will begin. It is hoped that further collaborations on Virtual Heritage will be possible in the future.
The screen shows sunsets in real time from the village of Empire, USA every day for the duration of the Whitstable Biennale taking place in East Kent in the UK.
Nearly 4000 miles and five time zones, different cultures and histories separate England from Empire. For the duration of the festival, sunsets, technology and art will connect the two. The village of Empire is set within the 71,000 acre Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of more than 380 parks in the National Park System in the United States. The park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan on the north-western side of the state of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This year the park was designated as wilderness providing permanent protection by Federal law. East Kent, in the southeast corner of England, in Britain, is an area described by artist J.W.M. Turner as having skies that “…are the loveliest in all Europe…” and are still enjoyed by people living there. For centuries the British Empire was one on which ‘the sun never sets’. The 20th century saw its fall and the rise of the American ‘empire’. In the 21st century America follows the British Empire in decline.
The five-hour time difference means that each sunset over Lake Michigan will come on the screen in England in the early hours of the morning. The view from Empire appears and disappears until the end of the Biennale when the last sun sets and the screen fades to black.
‘Empire Sunset’ serves as a reflection on our times where nature is compelling, fragile, yet enduring, empires rise and fall, change is constant and certainty is transient.