Dr Nikolaos Karydis: Lecture at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Dr Karydis has been invited by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to give a lecture on the “Architectural Encounters between Byzantium and Islam from the 10th to the 13th Century”.

The lecture is supported by the History Faculty of the University of Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum. It will take place at the Ashmolean Museum, on Tuesday 12 November, at 2:30pm.

The programme of the entire lecture series may be found through the following link

CASE Open Lecture 12/11/13 – Doug King


Doug King:

Building on Evolution


CASE is pleased to announce that the next open lecture of 2013/14 will be given by Doug King. His lecture entitled, Building on Evolution, will be given on Tuesday, 12th November 2013 at 6pm in the Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Building Design magazine ranked Doug King as the 11th most influential person in UK sustainable construction in 2012. Doug has been a lifelong proponent of high performance, high efficiency buildings from long before ‘sustainability’ became a fashion statement. He has contributed to the design of numerous pioneering buildings, including: Sainsbury’s Greenwich Eco-Store and the Weald and Downland Gridshell, both shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. The Genzyme Centre in Cambridge Massachussetts was, until recently, the largest LEED Platinum building in the world. His design for the Innovate Green Office in Leeds broke the BREEAM Excellent ceiling by such a margin that BRE had to introduce its new ‘Outstanding’ rating to catch up. Doug is a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bath and Chongqing and also teaches in Beirut and Russia.

‘Building on Evolution’
As a building physicist, everywhere Doug King looks in the built environment he finds evidence of underlying physical properties that have probably influenced the choices of generations of builders. From structure to roof tiles to paint, the properties of certain materials and methods appear to have brought tangible benefits to buildings, despite these rarely being overtly recognised. In ‘Building on Evolution’, Doug King discusses some of the hidden physics that has influenced buildings across history and which could potentially point us to new opportunities for creating high performance, low impact buildings, that have not yet even been imagined.

The Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system

On  20 November 2013 Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt has been invited to give a lecture at the Engineering Club in London, focusing on his current research into the Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system. He will present recent research findings regarding the design of the historic system, its technical development and performance. Details about the talk can be found at: http://www.engineeringclub.org.uk/talks.asp.

Dr. Schoenefeldt is also giving a talk at University of Westminster on Environmental Experimentation in the mid 19th Century this Thursday 7 November 18:30 – 20:00.

For more information on Dr. Schoenefeldt’s research, please visit our website.

KSA Shelter Project Winners


Despite the elements being against them, Stage 1 stuck it out and stayed the night in the shelters which they had constructed. On Tuesday morning, it would appear that all the shelters survived the night and the occupants remained safe and dry!

Winners; Joe Oswald, Andrew Warwick and Ed Sutcliff said that their project took quite a long time to plan and design. One of the challenges they faced was that the design used up all the available materials so there was no margin for error. They found that as the construction of their shelter went on, small parts of their design had to be adapted to give them the structure they needed.


Stage 1 Design Tutor, Henry Sparks, commented on the shelter’s interesting design and said it worked very well.

Well done to all our Stage 1 students for the success of their Shelter Project and congratulations to Joe, Andrew and Ed for their impressive end result.

RIBA South/South East’s Student Mentoring Scheme – Anna Malicka

Stage 3 – BA (Hons) Architecture

1st meeting

The first meeting with our mentor took place in the UCA on Thursday 14 November. After the group talk to all participants of the programme each of the mentees had chance to talk to their assigned mentors.

My mentor is an architect based in a London architects firm. He seemed to be very excited to work with us as he used to have external mentors whilst he was a student and thought it was a very valuable experience. He showed us the project that he was currently working on in Camden, London. He brought with him a lot of drawings of the construction starting from general room plans and finishing on the design of tiny details like the sockets. We were overwhelmed by the number of drawings that were drawn only the one family house. I knew before that the work we do at University is only a tiny part of the ‘real-life’ projects. However, this exceeded all my expectations.

Our mentor made a great impression on me and I know I will learn a lot from him.

2nd meeting

We arranged the second meeting two weeks later in the London office. Despite the fact that we had to get the very early train to London, and I’m not used to getting up so early, I was very excited for the upcoming meeting.

First impressions of the office was that it was of average size. We were introduced to the whole team and our mentor explained the role of each individual working at the practice. Then he gave us a quick tour around the office. I quite liked the idea of storing samples of materials so that every time you design something or describe your ideas to the client you can use them. Afterwards, our mentor took us to his desk and showed us other projects they do. It was very fascinating to see real projects from conceptual drawings to the photographs of them being realised and inhabited.

I felt that the most interesting part of the visit was about the everyday life of an architect and things they have to deal with that are not necessary connected with architecture. Our mentor told us that he never spends a whole day on designing as he has a lot of different things to do that we’re not taught at school. He showed us that with the exception of CAD and Photoshop we also have to become familiar with other programmes we wouldn’t necessarily have expected to use. For instance, they have to use Excel all the time to keep track of the costs, expenses and earnings of the project. Also he showed us that there are a lot of publications that we can read while struggling with the legal and contractual procedures.

Later we went to the construction site of the house we were told about on our first meeting. The house is located in Camden and is nearing completion. However, the final finishing work is still going on and is due to be completed in spring 2014, with the practice refurbishing and redesigning the whole thing. It was very exciting to see the building after seeing the drawings beforehand. We’ve also now met the owner of the house and the lady told us that it’s a shame we didn’t see the house in the state they purchased it in as it has already changed dramatically. Our mentor promised us that he will show us the pictures as they record every stage of the project. Some parts of the building were built from scratch, for example a beautiful sculptural staircase which will become a central and focus point of the house. I liked it a lot. We were shown some interesting details and were told a couple of stories about the construction of the property.

After the site visit we went to the nearby café to talk about what we had just seen and got to ask any questions that we had. Our mentor spoke in more detail about his experience of first starting in practice and gave us a lot of great tips and advice for the future. The next meeting is arranged for after Christmas break.

Sino-UK HE Collaboration visit

Kent School of Architecture (KSA) recently hosted a visit (16 October) by prominent figures from leading architectural institutions in China.

Organised by the British Council, Beijing, the delegation was led by Professor Zhu Wenyi, Vice President of the Architecture Society of China and Dean of Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture. He was accompanied by 10 colleagues from five other Chinese universities, who were interested to discuss long-term collaborations with KSA. These discussions included opportunities for staff and student exchanges, as well as research collaborations.

This was the second stage in a collaboration that began with an invitation to KSA’s Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti from the British Council, Beijing, earlier in 2013. The collaboration, which involves partners from the Architectural Society of China, one of the most important professional organisations under the Ministry of Housing and Rural-Urban Development of China, involves six prominent Chinese universities well-known for their architectural departments and four selected UK universities with interests in UK/China higher education collaboration in the areas of architectural, urban and industrial heritage design.

Professor Fontana-Giusti, who is Director of CREAte (Centre for Research in European Architecture) at KSA, said: ‘On behalf of the School, I was delighted to welcome students and colleagues from China. The students have taken part in seminars and lectures at the School of Architecture that enabled them to learn more about the education in the United Kingdom, while our discussions with Professor Zhu Wenyi and his colleagues helped us to identify areas of further exchange and research collaboration.’

Also welcoming the Chinese delegation were Deputy Head of KSA Professor Gerald Adler, KSA’s Director of Research Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, its Director of Internationalisation Dr Manolo Guerci, Director of Learning and Teaching Michael Richards, Dr Nikolaos Karydis and representatives from the University’s International Development Office.

Stage 1 Summer task: Collected History

Over the summer, our new Stage 1 students were given several tasks to complete before the start of term. One of these tasks; Collected History asked students to decorate a shoebox and present a collection of memories that they felt defined them and the environments which have shaped and positioned who they are so far.

Design Tutor Rebecca Hobbs was particularly impression with student Ben Nourse’s box.


Commenting on his box, Ben said:

My aim for the box was to convey a three dimensional memory map/collection, leading to my current position in life. I focused the composition around, what I consider one of my key memories, building my treehouse with my dad. The treehouse in particular opened various doors for me which are now vital to my life. Creating the box has allowed me to reflect on my journey, from a naive five year old boy, to a first year at the KSA.


Kent School of Architecture BA Architecture Shelter Project 2013

Shelter Project

The first year students on the BA Architecture course at the University of Kent will camp out on the grass adjacent to the Marlowe building in shelters that they have designed and made on the evening of Monday the 28th of October 2013.

The project is aimed to give the first year students an insight into the practical side of real live building. They have to design the structure to withstand wind and gravity and also organise the waterproofing. They have to do this with only a limited palette of materials which tests their ingenuity.

The shelters have to survive for one night then the materials are recycled as far as is possible, some parts ending up in architectural models later in the year.

This is a project, which has been run for several years, always proves to be great fun for all (even if the participants do get wet!). There is a prize awarded the following morning (Tuesday) by the head of Kent School of Architecture for the most innovative and successful shelter.

The shelters will be erected during the morning and afternoon of Monday the 28th of October and you are invited to visit the construction site.

MArch student Srimathi Aiyer displays work at the People and Places Exhibition


MArch Student Srimathi Aiyer is currently taking part in the 4th annual Exhibition run by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust entitled ‘Growth’. This exhibition contains work from the Trust’s bursary scholars and shows how these individuals have achieved both academic and professional success.

‘The sub-theme behind this year’s exhibition is based on the idea of ‘Growth’. After three successful exhibitions at Scott Brownrigg, we decided that the message portrayed this year should reflect our growth and maturity within architecture. Our common interest is the built environment; we pursue ways to improve on it, to ignite excitement and inspiration in the next generation of designers and architects’ (Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust).

The exhibition will be running from the 7th October to the 29th November 9am-6pm at Scott Brownrigg, 77 Endell Street, London WC2H 9DZ.

Exhibitors: Oscar Barnabas, Osita Nwachukwu, Kirk Morisson, Srimathi Aiyer, Nichelle Channer, Marcus Brown, Andrew Osula, Lisa Basu, Adam Malekzadeh and Yinka Danmole.