Stage 3 students take part in ‘Client Feedback’ for Urban Intervention project

Six of our BA (Hons) Architecture Stage 3 students took part in a ‘Client Feedback’ session for their ‘Urban Intervention’ design projects, organised by Stage 3 Coordinator Chloe Street Tarbatt on 20th February.

Urban Intervention is a design project which takes place in the Autumn term of Stage 3. The module engages students in the re-design of an existing urban centre or locality in two parts, beginning with a master-plan and public realm study, and moving on to the design of a detailed building design adapting and/or extending the existing building fabric. Urban design is the practice of designing towns and cities. This is architecture approached at an urban scale, ranging from a neighbourhood to an entire city. The adaptation and extension of existing buildings for new uses is also a staple of architectural design practice, ranging from unobtrusive to the complete visual overhaul and updating of an existing building.

The brief for this year’s project was based at the University of Kent’s Medway Campus, which straddles the Pembroke site (shared with Greenwich and Canterbury Christchurch Universities), and The Historic Dockyard, Chatham. The School of Architecture was approached by the Dean for the University of Kent Medway campus, Professor Nick Grief, who showed interest in collaborating with KSA on developing proposals for improving circulation links between the two sites, and upgrading the quality of public realm.

Several students signed up for the design charette in Spring 2017, which kick-started the School’s involvement with the project, introducing the unusual qualities of the area, and the potential to be involved in developing ideas for the future development of Chatham Historic Dockyard. The advantages of working on this type of ‘Live Project’ are significant in providing students with a network of real clients, an insight into the complexities of development, and the ways in which society at large, shapes our role and agency as architects / designers.

Six students were asked to present their final design projects for ‘Urban Intervention’ in a ‘Client Feedback’ session at the Sail and Colour Loft on the Chatham Historic Dockyard site to Professor Nick Grief, Bill Ferris, CEO of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Duncan Berntsen from Medway Council. The ‘clients’ involved expressed great enthusiasm for the work presented, and noted that the professionalism and confidence exhibited was outstanding, and their presentations both inspiring and hugely impressive in all respects.

Image credit: Urban Intervention; ‘Existing Site’ by Andrew Caws

PhD Seminar Series: Michael Hall

The next PhD Seminar will be given by PhD student Michael Hall on Wednesday 28th February at 4pm in E.Barlowe (Eliot College).

The Stately Home Industry: The English country house and heritage tourism 1950-1975

In post-war Britain, the country’s relationship to its heritage changed irrevocably. Shifts in political, economic, and societal structures meant that long-accepted attitudes towards national identity were forever altered. At the epicentre of these changes was the English country house, which following this period became the prevalent symbol of English national heritage. Today, large country estates have claimed a secure place in the heritage landscape, however throughout the early to mid 20th century their fate was not so certain. This presentation will explore the ways in which seismic societal changes following the second world war were leveraged by a handful of aristocratic landowners to market their ancestral homes as tourist destinations, and begin to run them as commercial enterprises. It will trace this trend as it became more accepted and ultimately helped to form the heritage tourism industry that is so vital today.

Academic Peer Mentor Student Profile: Mary Villaluz

I was first introduced to the Academic Peer Mentoring scheme in my first year at the Kent School of Architecture, and was assigned a third year student to be my mentor. As a first year student, new to the school, my mentor helped me gain confidence in design by going through his own techniques and by talking to me about his own experiences as a student.

After learning so much from my mentor in my first year, I then decided to pass on what I had learned to the next year’s intake, so I applied to become a mentor myself. As a mentor, I would arrange to meet up with my mentees to discuss any issues and problems they would have regarding the course. The mentee-mentor relationship works well as mentors can advise and guide the lower years on their projects since they studied the modules previously.

Mentors are on hand to offer assistance throughout the entire design process from initial conception to final presentation and help with project management techniques like time management, computer program literacy and presentation techniques. Being able to explain the whole project and design to an external person not involved in the module can be very helpful to bounce ideas off and to see the project and design with a fresh set of eyes which can lead to the discovery of a flaw in their design or areas of potential improvement.

Being both a ‘mentee’ and a ‘mentor’ for the past two years has allowed me to build connections in the studio with students from years above and below, as well as enabling me to improve my own critical analysis skills which I subsequently use on my own designs to further improve them.

The mentoring program is an invaluable resource that shouldn’t be underestimated by students in all years and should be fully utilised as a resource that the Kent School of Architecture offers.

Mary Villaluz
Stage 3, BA (Hons) Architecture

Professor Gerald Adler to take part in Creative Industries Roadshow

In March 2018, the University of Kent will take part in the British Council’s Creative Industries Roadshow in East Asia, showcasing study and career options in architecture, design and the arts. The Roadshow includes events in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul.

These events are great opportunities for anyone considering working in the creative industries. Professor Gerry Adler, Deputy Head of Kent School of Architecture, will be traveling to all three cities as part of the Roadshow.

In Tokyo and Seoul he will deliver a seminar, “Understanding the Past, Building the Future”. This will aim to answer questions like “How do we live? How do our houses and apartments look, and how do they combine to make our villages, towns and cities?” The event will also feature academics from other UK universities across design, fashion and the arts, talking about how these disciplines respond to 21st century challenges and how you can prepare yourself for careers in these fields.

In Hong Kong, Professor Adler will take part in a panel session with locally-based architecture professionals, talking about the built environment and taking audience questions. Also present, will be academic staff from Film (Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani) and Digital Arts (Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld).

Professor Gerald Adler recently gave a Think Kent lecture entitled, ‘Sauf aux Riverains: the riverine memorial of Georges-Henri Pingusson’ which you can watch below:

Timothy Brittain-Catlin to head prestigious new editorial board in architectural history

The respected academic art and architectural history Lund Humphries is delighted to announce a new series within its revived architecture and design programme: Architectural History of the British Isles.  Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin will heading up an esteemed Editorial Board comprised of nine of Britain and Ireland’s top architectural historians. British architectural history has a very prominent reputation internationally and sets the standard for publishing and for the development of new ideas and narratives: this series will comprise fascinating and insightful illustrated books, produced to the highest standards.

Dr Brittain-Catlin’s own monograph on Edwardian domestic architecture will be published by Lund Humphries in 2020.

PhD Seminar Series: Leonidas Tsichritzis

The next PhD Seminar will be given by Leonidas Tsichritzis on Wednesday 14th February at 4PM in E.Barlow (Eliot College).

The effect of height related urban morphology characteristics on pedestrian level winds

The evaluation of wind environment has gained a lot attention lately as it has been associated with issues relevant to urban climate quality such as heat island intensity and air pollution, which many large metropolitan areas are facing and affect humans’ health and prosperity. Within the morphological and climatic context of Greater London this study aims to associate pedestrian level wind comfort with urban morphology as well as with wind directions. Approximate 20 case studies representing real urban areas with dimensions 500x500m, which receive a range of morphological characteristics yet medium to high building coverages, were examined through CFD simulations. For every single case study eight wind directions were tested while the BRE wind comfort criteria and guidelines were used for assessing wind comfort for the different types of outdoor human activities. The results of the study provide valuable information showing some influence between the pedestrian level wind environment of London and building morphology characteristics which contain information relevant to the height of buildings.

Leonidas Tsichritzis is a 3rd year PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant. Prior to joining the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment in order to conduct his own research, awarded with a GTA Scholarship, Leonidas has worked as an architect and environmental design consultant in Athens.
His research interests are covering a wide area of sustainable and environmental design in terms of promoting the energy autonomy and the decarbonisation of built environment as well as pedestrian comfort in local but also in urban scale. More particularly, his research is focusing on assessing and classifying the pedestrian level urban wind environment as far as concerned to wind comfort and safety for different types of outdoor human activities by evaluating designated characteristics of urban geometry which dominate the wind flows around buildings for the climatic and urban context of London.

Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Claudia Pasquero, Co-Director of ecoLogicStudio

This week’s second Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be given by Claudia Pasquero, from ecoLogicStudio on Thursday 15th February 2018 at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

The work Claudia has been involved in the past few years experiments on the application of recent scientific findings in Unconventional Computing to multi-scalar realms of architecture and urban design. The aim of this research agenda is to mobilize artificial and biological intelligence in search of a new mode of reasoning and therefore designing within a complex milieu where multiple degrees of stability, instability as well as diversity coexist.

In this framework, the shift to biological intelligence (intended as computation) stands for an attempt to engage with the current disconnection (alienation) between matter, information (big data) and energy, transforming the act of design into the possibility to hack into natural as well as artificial morphogenetic processes, in real time and designate novel realms of operations.

Methodologically OUR [object with universal relevance] aims to enable novel tactics of interaction to emerge where diffuse models supported by collective intelligence and distributed spatial memory are capable to suggest multiple strategies of interventions. Bottom up and top down models of planning become obsolete methods in the wake of OUR.

Claudia Pasquero’s work operates at the intersection of biology, computation and design. She is Director of the Urban Morphogenesis Lab at The Bartlett, Co-Director of ecoLogicStudio, Professor of Landscape Architecture at Innsbruck University and a senior staff member at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Claudia is also Head Curator of the Tallinn Architectural Biennale 2017. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally: at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, the Venice Architectural Biennale, ZKM Karlsruhe and the MilanoExpo2015 among others. Claudia has recently completed the BioTechHut Pavilion for Expo Astana 2017, HORTUS Astana 2017, Urban Algae Folly Aarhus 2017 and she is now working on a new commission for the FRAC Centre in Orléans.

Next week’s Digital Architecture Open Lecture: ‘Exploring the Computational Mass’

Next week’s Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be given by John Harding, Senior Lecturer at UWE on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Parametric design shifts authorship from object to a logical process. Treating machines as clerks however only touches the surface of their potential, and at worst creates a harmful abstraction promoting autonomy of form. The theorist Mario Carpo has recently described the ‘Second Digital Turn’ as the moment architects began developing flexible computational tools for thinking rather than those for making (although in truth, some have been doing this since the 1960s). If we acknowledge that the complexity of design cannot be reduced to a logical process and is inherently ‘messy’, how can computers and humans work together and where does this leave questions of authorship and control? With computers now writing their own algorithms, how best can we join the conversation?

John Harding has studied and practiced as both an architect and engineer for 20 years. In 2014 he received a doctorate from The University of Bath in computational design, focusing on genetic programming for early-stage design exploration. His current research interests lie in structural form-finding, evolutionary computing, and machine learning applications for design. He previously led the Ramboll Computational Design team in London before becoming Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of The West of England, UK.

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio speaks at La Sapienza, University of Rome.

Dr Cardellicchio is invited to give a talk at the symposium ‘From Iconic Factory to Urban Factory’ organised by Prof. Marzia Marandola at La Sapienza University of Rome the 14th of February. After the keynote lecture of Prof. Nina Rappaport, from Yale School of Architecture, Dr Cardellicchio will present the results of his research on the construction of the Solimene’s Ceramic Factory by Paolo Soleri (1956).

The talk will focus on the role of the labour and importance of the local territory as key elements of the building process of this masterpiece of organic architecture designed by one of the apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

PhD Seminar: Ben Tosland

Today’s PhD Seminar will be hosted by PhD student Ben Tosland entitled, ‘Regional Development: The relationship of Western designed architecture with geopolitics in the Persian Gulf, 1925 – 1990’.

The focus of this presentation will largely be on the methodologies of proving the intrinsic link between architecture and geopolitics within the years 1925-1990 in the Persian Gulf. These events have caused a development in architectural aesthetic towards a more refined ‘critically regional’ style representative of the Persian Gulf, rather than individual nation states or global hegemony as is the historiography might suggest. The presentation shall show a brief outline of the thesis depicting the overarching structure covering important projects by several globally renowned architects as well as depicting projects that are either underappreciated, under-researched or unknown. Research for this presentation carried out in libraries and archives in the United Kingdom and across Europe utilises primary material from the offices of architects and planners coupled with contemporary journal articles causing numerous methodological issues. The aim of this presentation is to tackle these issues of method and selection criteria to ensure the overall argument of the thesis is water-tight while still contributing original thought and insight to a variety of case studies.

Ben has been a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Architecture since September 2016. He has an Undergraduate degree from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in History (2014) and a Master’s degree in Conservation and Regeneration from the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture (2015). He is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship at the University of Kent enabling him to research and study for his PhD. Ben works externally as a consultant for historic buildings, aiding planning applications and writing Conservation Area Appraisals. He is an affiliate member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), a member of the Twentieth Century Society and has worked with the SPAB.