This academic year, SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has given our MSc Architectural Conservation students the opportunity to work on a live restoration project of St. Andrew’s Chapel, near Boxley Abbey, Maidstone.
Programme Director, Dr Nikolaos Karydis writes, “Built in the 15th and the 16th century and modified in the 19th century, the ‘chapel’ is currently in an advanced state of decay. SPAB are currently surveying the building with the view to restore it and our students visited the site several times and were guided by SPAB specialists. SPAB Director Matthew Slocombe introduced the Society’s work and project officer Jonny Garlick surveyed the building with the students and gave us an unforgettable tour of Boxley Abbey, focusing on previous SPAB repair work.
During the Spring Term, the students will prepare a conservation plan, engaging in tasks that reflect their individual backgrounds. Those with an architectural background have the option to design the adaptation of the building into a new use. Students with backgrounds in other fields have several options which include researching the building’s history, analysing its significance and drafting conservation strategies. The resulting work will be submitted to the SPAB with the aim to contribute to the future conservation of this magnificent building.”
To keep up with the latest news on the MSc Architectural Conservation programme, you can follow their blog.
MA Architectural Visualisation students have taken part in the Cheriton Light Festival 2020 over the weekend, exhibiting their architectural projection mapping work. The festival which takes place every two years attracts over 10,000 visitors and hosts a number of international artists. Festival organiser, Brigitte Orasinski, noted that the contribution of the MA Architectural Visualisation students, “…was so spectacular. [It] was wonderful to see this building brought to life by the work.”
Programme Director, Howard Griffin, explained the value of this public exhibition to the students’ studies, “Our students are continually replicating and recreating the built environment around us in digital form. With this work, we reverse the process, bringing the digital world into the real. Much of the work we do in architectural visualisation is about simulation and the ‘virtual’. By working on live events, such as Cheriton Light Festival, students gain real experience of staging events, that is nearly impossible to simulate.”
Dr Silvio Caputo, Director of Research and Innovation at Kent School of Architecture and Planning is part of the international panel for the Urban Farm 2020 competition. The competition, organised by the University of Bologna and Florence, ‘challenged students to redesign three locations, in three months, having a look at the three spheres of sustainability.’ The final event took place on Thursday 20th February in Pordenone, during NovelFarm, a trade fair for agricultural technology and new approaches to farming. As part of the series of events organised by the fair, Dr Caputo chaired a roundtable on ‘farming the city’ and the role of local authorities in planning for urban agriculture.
A big congratulations to BA (Hons) Architecture Stage 2 student, Felicity Pike, for her success in winning one of four bursary places as part of The Elaine Lloyd Davis 5th Drawing Workshop Bursary. The Bursary covers travel and accommodation for a tutored Drawing Workshop weekend taking place in Toulouse in April 2020.
The MSc Architectural Conservation module ‘Conservation Principles and Theories’, recently concluded, had another very positive year. Module convenor, Dr Manolo Guerci, reflects below:
The group, made by professionals in different fields, from the planning to the conservation sector, as well as from the broader constituency of architectural work, was very cohese. As usual, the module engaged the theoretical as well as the practical analysis of areas based in Canterbury, but not exclusively, considering that students can chose their own sites for both tasks related to the module. This year we also benefitted again by international experts, who contribute to our module. Prof. Judi Loach, professor emerita at the University of Cardiff, and a leading scholar in the field of architectural conservation, delivered a stimulating lecture on ‘The 20th century, a case study: ways of conserving Le Corbusier’. Prof. Loach had led DocoMomo UK, and her expertise on the topic was extremely useful to our cohort.
MSc Architectural Conservation students also benefits from an extensive corpus of weekly lectures and seminars organised by the three reseach centres in the school, respectively dealing with history and theory, sustainable environment, and digital architecture. The school’s student association also runs a programme of lectures, while our PhD students give weekly seminars where their research is presented in an informal environment. Indeed, students from our masters programmes often continue with doctoral research in the school. And Marcon is no exception. Joining our programme is an excellent way to both gain expertise in the broader field of conservation, and to equip yourself for further academic research.
IMAGE: MSC ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION STUDENT, JOEL HOPKINSON
Deputy Head of School, and Professor of Sustainable Architecture, Marialena Nikolopoulou, was recently interviewed by Turkish television channel, TRT World as part of their flagship arts and culture programme ‘Showcase‘, on Monday 17th February to discuss vertical forests. The news angle followed the world’s first ever Forest City, by Italian architect Stefano Boeri. Watch the full interview online now.
The next CASE Open Lecture will be given by Clare Brass, founder and co-director of Department 22, with her talk titled, ‘Designing for sustainability and circular economy’ on Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
Clare’s talk will talk about circular economy and how the skills of architects and designers are essential for putting it into practice. She will show case studies and examples that explore the challenges and limitations of circular thinking, and explain its relationship with people, food, cities and nature. Looking at architecture from the perspective of positive action, this is an opportunity to explore how understanding your own values and needs can lead you to a more fulfilling life as a creative professional.
Clare Brass is founder and co-director of Department 22, a design and innovation consultancy for the circular economy with a focus on food, exploring better solutions for a better 22nd century (www.department22.uk). She was head of sustainability at the Design Council before setting up SEED Foundation, developing user-centred entrepreneurial solutions to social and environmental challenges such as food, water and waste (www.foodloop.org.uk, www.cargocollective.com/foodloop). In 2010 she set up and ran SustainRCA at the Royal College of Art, where she was also leader of sustainability and enterprise for Innovation Design Engineering in partnership with Imperial College Business School. During her time at RCA she was a mentor for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.