Student Peer Mentoring Programme

The Academic Peer Mentoring (APM) scheme, run by the Student Learning Advisory Service in partnership with academic schools, is designed to improve students’ academic performance and the overall experience of university.

KSA students have hugely benefited from their engagement with the scheme, both as mentors and mentees. As well as aiding their understanding of design, essay writing and time management, it has assisted in enhancing their employability prospects including their development of CVs, portfolios and job-hunting skills. This is the third year the School has been running the scheme, managed by Student Experience Manager, Ben Martin.

BA Architecture – Student Profile – Natasha Ho

What attracted you to studying at Kent?
The course was the first thing that made me apply to Kent; I was attracted to the variety of subjects it covered.  Kent School of Architecture is placed at the centre of a great campus and after visiting other universities I decided historical Canterbury was the perfect setting for me to be studying Architecture.

Why did you choose to study architecture?
I have always taken a keen interest in art, design and particularly drawing and grew up visiting a lot of design museums and it was the buildings which inspired me.  After leaving school I travelled widely in Thailand and Singapore.  The contrast of these two cultures and the effects of the differing built environments further enhanced my interest and passion for architecture.  Architecture affects the way we live and behave, and this still inspires my studies now.

What skills have you already learnt whilst studying architecture?
The great thing about the course at Kent, is that whilst it is keen to further student’s development in the world of 3D visualisation and BIM it still very much encourages hand-drawing and model-making.  I have learnt such a wide variety of presentations skills, both verbal and drawn, including technical hand-drawing, computer-modelling and how to present to a client.

What are you enjoying most about university?
I have met some great people over the last three years and really enjoyed learning and discovering new interests.  The studio culture at Kent School of Architecture is one which I am sure no student will forget – I love my course but unfortunately if you study Architecture it seems to be the trend that you live and breathe it!

What do you think about the level of support in your studies?
Kent School of Architecture has no shortage of staff who are willing to help you out in times of crisis – many tutors are willing to meet outside of contact hours where possible, and the workshop and studio staff are so enthusiastic and keen to help out.  Even if a tutor is not around, there is always someone available to assist you.  The teaching varies from one-to-one tutorials to group seminars and lectures all of which enable dynamic learning.

KSA featured in ‘Questions of Space: Festival of Ideas’ Short Film

Canterbury Cathedral hosted ‘Questions of Space: A Festival of Ideas’ which took place on 20 & 21 June 2016. This included a series of public talks, walks, sights and sounds. The Festival of Ideas is a partnership between Canterbury Cathedral and the University of Kent.

Below is an eight minute documentary about the project, shot and edited by Stacie Lee Bennett.

As part of the Festival, staff and a PhD student from KSA hosted their own events at the Cathedral:

Richard Watkins
Hot Air
The vast spaces of Canterbury Cathedral hold 100 tonnes of air, continually moving and sometimes creating draughts. Using helium balloons to see where the air goes, we aim to find out how to improve air flow.

Carolina Vasilikou
Thermal Delight
Walk & Exhibition
Thermal qualities – warm, cool, humid, airy, radiant, cosy – are an important part of how we experience space. This walk invites you to help measure and test the different sensory qualities across Cathedral spaces and precincts to understand how they make us feel and why.

Gordana Fontana-Giusti
Bird’s Eye View
Exhibition & Talk
We will be delving into the archives to discover Christopher Packe, who in the 1700s climbed Bell Harry Tower to get a “bird’s-eye view” of East Kent and, with the help of his theodolite (an instrument for taking precise measurements) created a new kind of map.

Tim Fox-Godden
Ypres to Canterbury
Exhibition & Talk
This exhibition is about how we commemorate war thought architecture and monuments. A huge panoramic photograph taken at Buffs Road Cemetery in Ypres, France, brings feelings of loss and sacrifice at the Western Front to Canterbury Cathedral Bastian Chapel.


BA Architecture – Student Profile – Jade Simm

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 specalise 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.

KSA Alumna Srimathi Aiyer receives Outstanding Contribution Award

Former Kent School of Architecture BA and MArch student Srimathi Aiyer received the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Outstanding Contribution Award; the first of its kind for dedication to the charity on Tuesday 13th September 2016 at the Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture. There were over 300 people in attendance, hosted at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Srimathi Aiyer received a bursary from the Trust in 2009 to support her undergraduate degree, and she has since been a great supporter of the Trust’s Building Futures Programme, and has recently started her new role as Part II Assistant & Construction Trainee at MACE Group.

For further information about the event, please click here.