Folkestone Triennial prep underway

As part of this year’s Folkestone Triennial arts festival, one of KSA’s Structural & Environmental tutors, Ben Godber, has been working with artist Jyll Bradley, framer Mark Derbyshire and Creative Foundation to create the ‘Green/Light’ project.

Ben describes the project as follows:

“I have been working with the artist, Jyll Bradley, for just over a year to help realise Green/Light which will form part of the Folkestone Triennial 2014. Both the Triennial and the former gasworks site have a particular significance for Jyll, having been born in the town in the year the gasworks closed. The former gasworks site presents a number of challenges, and it was a pleasure to be able to involve former and current students of mine from the University of Kent in realising the artist’s vision”

Past and present KSA students have been on the site in progress and helped install screw pegs along a grid.

For more information on the Triennial, click here


[Image taken by Jyll Bradley, 2014, sourced from Godber & Co.]

Open Day rakes in a crowd for KSA

On Saturday 12th July the University of Kent held a General Open Day at the Canterbury Campus. The event was fully booked and KSA were looking forward to meeting lots of prospective students. After setting up a stall in the main sports hall on campus, visitors from across the country, as well as some international individuals, came to meet staff and students from the school and to find out what KSA had to offer them.


Two tours were given later in the day, with a total of approximately 200 people getting familiar with the department situated in the Marlowe building. A talk in the main Marlowe lecture theatre was delivered by both the Head of School, Professor Don Gray, and Deputy Head of School, Professor Gerald Adler. Three student ambassadors were also present to give more personal experiences of the courses and general student perspectives. Copies of the 2014 End of Year catalogue were available to purchase, so applicants could grasp a flavour of the quality of work KSA students produce.


We hope everyone who visited the Open Day found it useful, if you do have any further questions, then please feel free to contact us: The next Open Day will be held on Wednesday 17th September and you can book your place here.

End of Year Exhibition: A School’s Triumph

In its 9th year of running, Kent School of Architecture has gone from strength to strength through its dedication and hard work of both staff and students. The End of Year Show 2014 certainly was a spectacular culmination of the projects the students had been working on during the academic year, leaving staff humble with pride after the amount of support they had been giving the students throughout the year. And what better way to make a statement than the BFA (‘Big Friendly Arrow’) hanging from one of the cranes originally being used during the current construction of the Templeman Library extension! Anyone else around campus who would approach the arrow outside the Marlowe Building would definitely then brace themselves for an exhibition that opens its doors with brimming confidence and finesse. An initial thank you must be extended to the workshop team, Kevin Smith and Colin Cresser, and any volunteers who helped assemble the BFA. It should also be noted that Kevin and Colin had worked tirelessly to put together many of the plinths and other woodwork that made up a lot of the exhibition layouts. The students are certainly grateful for their contribution.


As the numbers of guests gathered in bulks on the opening evening held on Friday 20th June, Professor Don Gray, Head of School, conducted his introductory speech and distribution of special awards given to students. Amongst these announcements, it is with pleasure to announce that Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin (Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies) has been promoted to Reader, especially after the success of his recently released book ‘Bleak Houses: Towards a Theory of Failure, Architectural History and its Losers’. The student awards are as follows; for which KSA extends their congratulations:

  • Most Innovative Undergraduate Work: Hannah Rozenberg
  • Head of School Prize (BA Hons) : Gulce Onganer
  • Head of School Prizes (MArch): Peter Evans and Rosie Seaman
  • Portfolio Prizes (MArch): Rosie Seaman and Jennifer Bull
  • Hays Prize for Written Work (MArch): Jennifer Bull
  • Stage 3 Architecture Portfolio Prize: Natasha Ho
  • RIBA Kent Prize for Part 1: Zuzana Sojkova
  • RIBA Kent Prize for Part 2: (M.Arch): Sam Ashdown
  • Stage 1 Article Prize: Themba Mtwazi
  • Purcell Prizes for Passivhaus Research led by Henrik Schoenefeldt: Adam Nightingale, Jessica Ringrose, Rosie Seaman, Sam Ashdown, Karl Bowers, Natasha Gandhi, Tim Waterson, Katarzyna Kwiatek, Thomas Hayward, Miguel Peluffo-Navarro, Cordelia Hill and Sam Fleming
Jennifer Bull
Jennifer Bull

The Undergraduate exhibition (Stage 1 in part of Studio C downstairs, Stage 2 in the Marlowe Foyer & Stage 3 in the Digitial Crit Space upstairs) was an impressive display of students starting out their journey in architecture and a pleasing reflection on what they had achieved so far, in terms of acquiring new skills and taking on challenging projects. The Stage 3 projects included Modular (Canterbury student accommodation masterplans) and Urban (School of Arts building proposals based in Rochester). The combination of physical models, drawings and utilisation of 3D BIM software was a perfect example of how the students were making the most of the development of their projects and help prepare their first professional architectural portfolios.


The MArch exhibition was held in Studio C downstairs and immediately paved the setting for a unit system that created sheer diversity via the range of projects. Unit 1 (led by Michael Richards & Michael Holms Coats) looked at ‘Cinque Ports’: the coastal cities of Kent and it was this space where visitors were greeted by a sea (no pun intended) of delicate, intricate models in the middle of the space, to show these students had thought carefully about how they physically built up their schemes. Unit 2 (led by Ed Holloway & Peter Ayres) looked at the Isle of Portland and the importance of Portland stone. It was interesting to see how the students could take one material and use it to tell a story within their schemes. Unit 3 (led by Corinna Dean & Diana Cochrane) looked at the urban infrastructure and cultural language of Istanbul, Turkey. There was a real burst of culture in the space with a video showreel of observations in Istanbul, as well as a lot of rapid documentation on how the schemes could help the Turkish community. Finally, Unit 4 (led by Shaun Murray & Yorgos Liozos) looked at Canvey Island near Leigh-on-Sea, before designing pioneering villages that reformulate environmental issues. The technical approaches by the students were so bold and complex, very large areas of landscape and topography were shaped and reformed too.

Kent School of Architecture are privileged and grateful for everyone who has been involved with arranging the exhibition; all students who selected work and curated the spaces, as well as academic, administration and workshop staff who all provided exceptional help to the students during the course of the year and leading up to the end of term. The success of the exhibition and the beautifully put together catalogue would not all have been possible without the main co-ordinators, Stage 5 students Rosie Seaman and Peter Evans. Many thanks to the committee and helpers who assisted Rosie and Peter with all the arrangements.

Peter and Rosie
Peter and Rosie

Until next academic year, we wish everyone a wonderful summer and we look forward to our upcoming 10th Year Anniversary, as well as the University of Kent’s 50th Anniversary in 2015.

MArch 5th Years: That final FINAL crit

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.

Spring Term crits end on a high

The final week of the Spring term in the Kent School of Architecture was in full swing with both intercrit and final crit assessments. Students from different year groups were scattered across the studio spaces in Marlowe building with either pinned up sheets, models or digitally presented drawings, in order to get useful feedback on the work they had produced so far.

The week began with the BA (Hons) Stage 1 final crits for the module ‘Building Design’. For their brief, the students designed an art gallery based in Barcelona, and it was a culmination of the basic skills they picked up over the first year of their architectural journeys. From using pencils and drawing boards to present their ‘shelter’ projects at the very beginning of the year, it has been a fantastic progression to see students going out of their comfort zone to use mixed media, colour and textures to ultimately give them extra sufficient material for their portfolio assessment in the summer term.

At the same time, MArch Part II Stage 4 students received intercrit feedback on their ‘Design 4’ projects. The four Units spread out over Monday and Tuesday, and each Unit got the opportunity to not only explain their up-to-date schemes with their own tutors, but tutors from other Units contributed to the crit panel too. This enabled fresh new perspectives, especially for other tutors who were curious to see what the other Units have been up to. There was even an appearance from the Head of School, Don Gray, who assessed Unit 3’s project based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Thursday proved to be a buzzing day for crits with both Stage 5 Technology intercrits and Stage 2 final crits for the module ‘Collective Dwelling’. Stage 5 were expected to have drilled down the technical aspects of their design projects and all received specialist input from technology and structural tutors, as well as being given an indication by Unit design tutors on what they need to push for before their final assessments in the summer term. Stage 2, on the other hand, had completed their schemes to design student housing blocks aimed for an urban development site near the River Stour in Canterbury. Design tutors collaborated with volunteering MArch students as crit panellists in the Digital Crit Room, and then pinpointed the potential in the projects and see whether the students started to get to grips with construction details and considerations given to lighting, views or other contextual analysis.


KSA would like to wish everyone a well-deserved break during Easter and all the best to students preparing for final marked submissions in the summer term.

Srimathi Aiyer (MArch)

British Council selects students for Venice Fellowship

Kent School of Architecture is pleased to announce that two of its MArch Part II students have been selected for a work-study fellowship at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Jasmine Davey (4th Year) and Jessica Ringrose (5th Year) will each spend a month in the beautiful city of Venice and right in the heart of the 2014 Biennale, directed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas. This year’s theme is ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914 – 2014’, which will be subject to much debate, discussion and create a fresh understanding of the world’s take on the development of Modernist ideas. The British Pavilion will host ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’: how international influences of Modernism have mixed with long-standing British sensibilities. From around the UK and beyond, a total of 50 students from 12 architecture schools and institutions will each be supported by a financial grant to take on this work-study opportunity in the world’s most important architectural festival that will run from June to November this year.

Jasmine (who will be in Venice in September) and Jessica (who will be going in June) will spend four days a week invigilating the exhibition in the British Pavilion. Both have proved through the application process that they are reliable, organised and competent for the task of overseeing the day-to-day running of the pavilion and, in essence, become the public faces of the exhibition. In addition, Jasmine and Jessica will spend three days a week undertaking a research project focusing on ‘Absorbing Modernity’ and can stretch their investigations to cover a number of core sub-themes and evolving ideas. They will ultimately be producing a written piece that centres on individual conclusions, which will then be published.

Jasmine says: It is a rare, fortunate opportunity to get a chance to be a part of the Biennale. I am really grateful KSA have made this a possibility. The application had quite specific questions that got you thinking about the theme for the Biennale this year, so it will be interesting to see how the study I take on will develop from the interests I have about architectural developments from 1914-2014. At the moment, I think I would like to research what cultural gems we choose preserve (I see preservation as something that only became important after 1914 and is interesting to look at alongside the modernisation of design) or something to do with the avant guarde movement.”

Jessica says: “Almost every architecture CV has the same information; whether a person has done Part I, II, III etc. so this experience will add something else to my CV. I am very much interested in the National Identity of Architecture, but as I will be in Venice, I would probably look into the identities of other countries featured. I think Absorbing Modernity is how we present ourselves to others, how Britain is distinguished and do we actually export anything influential to other countries?”

This week, the two students will be attending a three day residential induction school in London, in order to network with other Biennale Fellows, staff and receive pre-departure information and advice. We at KSA wish Jessica and Jasmine the very best of luck in their preparations leading up to their fellowships and, of course, congratulate them in becoming suitable ambassadors for this unique event.

For more information about the Venice Biennale, click here.

-Srimathi Aiyer (Stage 4)