Author: eg291

Statement for all new Stage One BA (Hons) Architecture students

KSAP BA (Hons) Architecture Stage One, 2020-2021

Your University

The University of Kent is looking forward to welcoming its new intake of undergraduates to its campus this September. ‘Welcome Week’ (Freshers Week, more traditionally) begins on Monday 21st September, with your academic programmes starting one week later, on Monday 28th September.

Academic programme

The BA (Hons) Architecture programme has been running at Kent for fifteen years. It is fully validated by the RIBA, and has continued prescription from the Architects Registration Board.

Stage One – the first year of the programme – is a carefully structured educational experience that mixes teaching in the culture of architecture – its history and theory – with architectural technology and environment studies – how buildings work – with design exercises that push your creativity. It is taught by discrete ‘modules’, study units run by different tutors, some full-time academics in the School and other visiting tutors who spend most of their time in architectural practice outside the University. There are three modules per term (autumn and spring), in culture, technology and environment, and design.

Academic delivery

How do we teach the programme, especially in these uncertain times of great public health concern?

The health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff are our top priority, with a blend of teaching that seeks to maintain the quality of the teaching, learning and experience of students whether online or on campus.

Culture

The culture modules each have a weekly hour-long lecture. These will be recorded and made available online, through Moodle, our University online learning environment, and in advance of any related seminars or tutorials. In addition to the weekly lecture there are weekly seminars, where you will undertake supervised assignments related to the module. You will have an allocated seminar with your tutor in a safely-distanced seminar room, studio or workshop. There will also be online seminars and tutorials should you not be able to attend for face-to-face meetings, via Microsoft Teams. We have been working successfully with Teams since lockdown began, in March of this year, and are fully conversant with how it works. You can access Teams using any computer with internet access (including from other countries) – your own laptop, or any University computer anywhere on campus.

Technology & Environment

These modules are structured in exactly the same way as the culture teaching, with their mix of online lectures and face-to-face seminars, either on campus – safely distanced – or online. At KSAP you will benefit from our large, open-plan studios, where social distancing has already been organised. Since all lectures are online, we may use the large lecture theatres, with capacities of some 150 seats, to run safely distanced group activities, such as our ‘bricks-on-sticks’ workshops in the autumn term where you will learn structural principles in a lively, hands-on workshop setting.

Design

The teaching of design has been more difficult to rethink, in these challenging times. But once again, our large studios have allowed us to lay them out in a safely-distanced manner that still allows for face-to-face teaching – the demonstration of drawing, modelling and sketching techniques that you need to learn in order to develop your design skills. We will break down the tutor groups into smaller subgroups of three or four students, conducive to small group discussions and demonstrations of technique. From 9am until 5pm on these ‘studio’ days – Monday and Tuesday, for your Stage One students – the studio will be exclusively reserved for these small-group encounters. At all other times, depending on demand, you will be able to book a space in the studio and use its equipment – standing drawing boards with parallel motions, table-top drawing boards, pinboard-topped tables for simple model making etc, etc – for your own, safely-distanced use, subject to availability and when not being used for timetabled teaching for other year-groups. As with all other modules, there is a weekly Design lecture which you will access digitally. Should social distancing measures be lifted, we hope to be able to re-open studios for 24-hour access.

Folio

A distinctive feature of the Stage One BA at Kent is its year-long module, Folio. Here you will learn the principles of architectural representation – drawing, essentially – through the weekly digital lecture, and then split up into subgroups, similar to how design is taught, as intimately as feasible given current distancing guidelines. You’ll start in the autumn term with learning the techniques and practice of orthographic drawing – absolutely essential requirements for the culture and practice of architecture, and a real strength at Kent – interleaved with ‘free’ drawing and painting exercises. Here, the generally fine autumn weather will enable our staff to take you out of the building in safe groups on campus and in Canterbury, to undertake site drawing exercises. In the spring term the emphasis shifts to Digital Folio, where most of the classes are being planned to be delivered digitally.

Your own practice exercises you will do either on your own laptop or computer, or by using the School’s array of computers. The studio computers have i7 processors with 16GB RAM and Nvidia GTX video cards, they are capable of running the latest software from Adobe, Autodesk and many others used on the course. A range of this software is also available to install on your personal device to enable you to continue your studies outside of the studio. The Welcome Pack that we’ll be sending out in late August will outline details of drawing equipment and computer specifications, compatible with the School’s provision.

Field trips

The annual Stage One overseas field trip has been a highlights of the year. For obvious reasons we are unable to plan for this in the current climate. Instead, we will offer UK visits (in Kent, to London and elsewhere), in smaller groups, and properly health & safety-assessed. The advantage here will be that you will be guided to notable buildings and cities in small, manageable groups. A by-product will also be that these visits will be considerably cheaper than expensive overseas trips!

Social life

The University and the Students Union is developing plans for a safe social life, on and off campus. Clearly, the mass gatherings that have been the hallmark of student social life cannot take place in their former formats. However, Kent is blessed with a large, airy and low-density campus, and the onus will be on the myriad student clubs and societies to provide safely distanced events. Our own KASA – the Kent Architecture Student Association – is organising its term-time events, including the weekly guest lectures (all online this year, for obvious reasons), but also a serious of small-scale social and communal meetings.

FAQs

The University has produced answers to these frequently asked questions. Do please follow the link!

Professor Gerald Adler, Head of School and Rebecca Hobbs, Stage 1 Coordinator, BA (Hons) Architecture
Kent School of Architecture and Planning

Scholarships available for new MSc Bio Digital Architecture

The Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) are excited to announce the availability of four scholarships for students wishing to study the new MSc Bio Digital Architecture course.

The Bio Digital Architecture Outstanding Student Award is funded by the Kent School of Architecture and Planning for students starting full time on the course in September 2019. The award consists of a 50% fee waiver at the 2019/20 full time Home/EU/Overseas rate.

This new master’s programme will teach you how to think about architecture experimentally. You will study computational design methods, and new modes of simulation and production, which will be complemented with contemporary scientific ideas from the life sciences. Thinking interdisciplinarily, you will learn to apply contemporary architecture and scientific ideas, to think about space and form generatively to create innovative and exciting architectural scenarios.

Please visit the KSAP website to find out more about the Bio Digital Architecture programme and information on how to apply.

dalby_square_margate

Climate change adaptation and intergeneration living in a heritage townhouse in Margate

CASE, alongside Thanet Council and the School of Psychology, have been working on the Dalby Square project in Margate.

The project aims to tackle climate change, an ageing population and housing shortages. The refurbishment of the heritage townhouse in Dalby Square, Margate, has now been completed and Kent County Council are seeking the tenants. The three-generation family will be part of the innovative project, where extensive monitoring will take place, to evaluate the climate change adaptation strategies, focusing on overheating, thermal comfort and energy performance, while testing the concept of multi-generation living. The team was interviewed for the BBC news for the south-east last autumn.

At the end of the project, a ‘Sustainable Heritage Toolkit’ will be published to help other coastal towns across the UK.

Further information about the project can be found here and for more information about applying for the scheme, please contact Oakwood Homes on 01843 221133.

 

Architectural photography

Passages – Architectural Photography exhibition

On Thursday, 14th June, Kent School of Architecture Architectural Visualisation masters students will be opening an exhibition of their photographic work.  Passages showcases (and celebrates) a selection of the best work from the MA Architectural Visualisation module, AR846: Architectural Photography.

This work will be displayed for the duration of the summer in the Keynes Atrium.  The exhibition will have a small opening reception today at 5pm, everyone is welcome.

MArch Unit 5 exhibition at York’s Festival of Ideas

MArch Unit 5 students will be presenting their innovative visions for the city of York at the York Festival of Ideas. The brief given for the exhibition was to; Design for Galactic Life on Earth: How can architectural intervention be used to initiate change? Each student has come up with their own proposal and these can be found on the York Festival of Ideas website.

There will also be talks from speakers including;

  • Alison Brooks, Alison Brooks Architects
  • Clare Wright, Wright & Wright Architects
  • Bob Allies, Allies and Morrison
  • Timothy Ireland , Kent School of Architecture
  • Sir Malcolm Grant, University of York

The festival is taking place on Sunday 17th June from 12pm to 6pm, admission is free and there is no need to book in advance.

The image below forms part of Stephanie Elward’s scheme – Reading Rooms for Rowntree’s Library for Precious Books.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin at the London Festival of Architecture

As part of this year’s London Architecture Festival, Timothy Brittain-Catlin will join a panel discussion entitled ‘Where do Houses Live’ on identity in housing organised by award-winning architects Proctor & Matthews. The discussion takes place on Wednesday 13th June at an exhibition of projects by the practice that will be open from 11th-15th June at 184-192 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ, a short walk from London Bridge Station. KSA students and staff are warmly invited to visit the exhibition, which will be open from 10.00-17.00 all through the week.

In addition to Stephen Proctor and Andrew Matthews, the participants in the discussion are Louise Wyman, Head of Strategy, Homes England, and Susie Stirling, Head of Placemaking and Housing, The Scottish Government. Further details including information on booking for the discussion can be found at https://www.proctorandmatthews.com/news/lfa-2018-where-do-houses-live.

Proctor & Matthews, one of the most highly regarded architectural practices designing housing in Britain, have been friends and supporters of KSA for many years and have offered post-Part 1 and 2 experience to several of our graduates.

Also as part of the Festival, Dr Brittain-Catlin, the publications chairman of the Twentieth Century Society, will on Thursday 14th June join the launch of the latest book in the Society’s series of monographs on British architects: Arup Associates, by Kenneth Powell.

Dr Nikolaos Karydis: Lecture on the Construction of Gothic Cathedrals

On Tuesday 27 March, Dr Karydis will give a talk about the construction, mechanics, and science of Gothic cathedrals. This talk will take place at Canterbury Cathedral and is conceived as a focused introduction, and source of inspiration, for historians, literary scholars, art historians and beyond working broadly on the middle ages and early modern period in Europe (including the British Isles). This talk has been commissioned by Birkbeck, University of London and forms part of a CHASE training programme entitled ‘Network: The Matter of the Archive before 1700’.

Image: Study of Gothic Vaulting, Nikolaos Karydis, 2006.

MAUD Paris field trip

MA Architecture and Urban Design students take on Paris

During this term, MA Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) students will be studying the role that the natural landscape plays as the primary infrastructure of our cities, and of Paris in particular. The field trip to Paris was intended as an initial step in discovering the underlying landscape of central Paris by walking the places and spaces where aspects of the ‘lost’ landscape are still apparent. Over the three day trip, students visited the office of a well-respected Paris architect and went on walking tours, which contextualise what the students learn in their theory and history of urbanism lectures.

The study tour started with a visit to the site of the spring term Design Module AR84. The site is set within the valley of the Bièvre river (a ‘lost’ tributary of the Seine within the 5th and 13th arrondissements in south-east of Paris), where the students are expected to design new urban interventions within this historic city and respond appropriately to both the historic riverine landscape as well as to the present-day urban context.

The second day included a visit to the office of a prominent architectural practice called ‘Arte-Charpentier’, followed by an extensive walking tour of the ‘Les Passages Couverts’ from Rue Monmartre to the Palais Royale – a link series of traffic-free arcades and a remarkable medieval legacy that escaped the massive urban renewal program by Haussmann in the 19th century. The tour included visits to the Place Des Victoires and the Palais Royale, both innovative examples of 17th century city planning, followed by a visit to the courtyard of the 18th century Louvre to see the Grande Axe (the 19th century 5km axis of architectural monuments which runs from the Louvre to La Defense in the east) and the glass pyramid by I.M. Pei which opened in 1989. The day concluded with a walking tour of Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis, two natural islands in the River Seine and the spiritual and historical centre of Paris, followed by a visit to the Centre Pompidou.

On the final day of the field trip, the group split into separate visits to the Eiffel Tower, La Defense and Ruisseau du Bac / St Deni, assembling once again to visit the exhibition at the Pavilion D’Arsenal, the Paris Centre for Architecture and Urban Planning located in the 4th arrondissement.

Student comments;

“The walking tour of the path of the old Bièvre river in Paris, was both informative for our project this semester and also a good way for us to be connected with the project.”

“We walked through the streets of Paris to see how the former rivers and tributaries shaped not only the streets of Paris but also the surrounding neighbourhoods. The information we were able to learn over the past few days will only add an invaluable layer of richness to our project.”

Erlend C. L. Birkeland Student Profile

 

 

 

 

 

Full name: Erlend C. L. Birkeland
Degree subject and level: Architecture BA, undergraduate stage 1
Home country/Nationality: Norway/Norwegian

1. Can you give us a bit of background to why you chose a UK qualification (E.g. national/global reach, career prospects, skills and experience gained…)
I chose to study in the UK partly because I wanted an education that was a bit different from the Norwegian architectural courses. In that way, I am hoping to bring some other perspectives and views on the subject when I begin practising as an architect in Norway.

2. What do you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?
The most inspiring thing about my degree is the fact that we get time and space to test different ideas and develop ourselves whilst learning a lot about a wide range of topics. That is the fantastic thing about architecture: when learning it, you can’t simply learn how a wall should be built or why structures don’t fall down. You have to learn a bit about history, psychology, sociology, art, composition, physics – and at Kent School of Architecture and I feel we get the opportunity to do that.

3. How did your perception of your subject change as a result of your course and studies? (E.g. What did you think of ‘design’ before and what do you think now?)
Before I began at Kent, I thought architecture was quite a bit more technical and full of memorising details than what it actually is. Yes, you have to understand quite a bit about how a building stands up, but you will learn that naturally as the course proceeds. The hard bit is to come up with the design you like.

4. What advice would you give students hoping to apply to your degree/course?
If you choose architecture, you have to be really interested in it. This isn’t a subject you study at the university a bit each day before you go home and have the rest of the evening off. The design process will be your life, so put some effort into learning good and effective time management.

5. Is there a memory of a trip, a workshop, a course or a speech that you attended that really stands out in your memory? Why?
In December, after all the work for the first semester has been finished, the year 1 students at Kent go to Barcelona to sketch and have a great time off and become even better friends. Working in the studio is the way we mostly make friends on this course, which is fantastic. Then after all the hard work at the end of our final project, we go into the beautiful city of Barcelona together with the enthusiastic teachers and that binds us together even more. It’s a wonderful dynamic.

6. What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to become an architect developing public buildings and public spaces for others to enjoy. To create spaces where people can meet each other and create memorable moments is what I really want to do.