The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Visiting Board reviewed the BA (Hons) Architecture and MArch courses at Kent School of Architecture and Planning last week, and concluded its validation on Friday 21st June. The RIBA validates architectural education in the UK, and worldwide, and its seal of approval is an important marker for the quality of any institution’s provision of architectural education.
I am delighted to report that the RIBA Visiting Board recommended a full five-year unconditional validation for our Part 1, BA (Hons) Architecture and Part 2, MArch, programmes. This is the best possible outcome, and an endorsement of the quality of our offer at Kent. We look forward to welcoming new entrants to our validated programmes in September, and success to all our continuing students.
We are pleased to announce that two of Kent’s architecture graduates, Steph Elward and Fergus Littlejohn, have had their work selected to be included in RIBA’s Fresh Perspectives Exhibition.
Fresh Perspectives is a display of recent student work from across the country in response to the theme of RIBA’s current exhibition in the Architecture Gallery, Disappear Here: On perspective and other kinds of space. Perspective is one of the enduring, fascinating and important concerns of architectural thinking, representation and practice. This new display is a celebration of the theme, drawing on some of the brightest work from architectural students and recent graduates.
Kent’s School of Architecture was one of just 13 schools selected from across the UK. Fresh Perspectives is now open for view and runs until the 29 September 2018 at the RIBA Practice Space, on the third floor at RIBA London, 66 Portland Place, London W1. https://www.architecture.com/whats-on/fresh-perspectives-student-show
Timothy Brittain-Catlin will be taking part in an evening of events and discussions at the RIBA in London to mark the current exhibition of designs by Stirling and Mies van der Rohe for the No 1 Poultry site in the City of London. The evening is entitled ‘RIBA Late: Less is more. Less is a bore?’ and offers a programme of talks, events, film and music from 6-10pm on Tuesday 28th March.
Timothy Brittain-Catlin is deputy chairman of the Twentieth Century Society, which led the successful campaign for the listing of James Stirling’s late masterpiece. His talk is entitled ‘James Stirling: Victorian Architect’.
Kent School of Architecture MArch student James Bussey received the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing at Part 2 at the 2016 RIBA President’s Medal awards ceremony yesterday, Tuesday 6th December 2016 at the RIBA in London; the award was given by RIBA President Jane Duncan.
James Bussey’s project entitled ‘The Company’ is set on Helgoland in the North Sea. An interpretation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was a key starting point.
The project narrative begins in 1848 with the shipwreck of an outsider and it chronicles the evolution of the island and its society. Urban development evolves over a timeline of 150 years culminating with a citadel, the location for key civic and religious activities. The drawings, presented here in the style of a graphic novel, depict the protagonist Elisa Hecker’s experience of architecture on the island. The final architectural proposition is the citadel constructed over the town.
Regarding his time at Kent School of Architecture, James would like to thank his Unit 3 tutors Adam Cole, George Thomson and Tom Van Hoffelen who ‘were exceptional teachers, helping me to have the confidence, skills and ability to achieve a project I was proud of.’
This year’s RIBA Meet Your Mentor event was hosted at the Kent School of Architecture on Wednesday 9 November in the Digital Crit Space.
The mentoring scheme is offered to Stage 3 Part 1 undergraduate students who are RIBA Student Members, as practical preparation and help for their upcoming year out in industry. The scheme is run with RIBA South East and Schools of Architecture in the region to strengthen links between the Schools, their students and the RIBA practitioners.
It give students an insight into professional practice; through personal contact and regular involvement, mentoring gives opportunities for students (the mentees) and practitioners (the mentors) to discuss and develop joint understanding of professional practice in the context of the rapidly-changing role of architects. It is also excellent preparation for the year out in industry.
At the ‘Meet Your Mentor’ event, the mentors and mentees had initial discussions and made arrangements for future meetings to enable the mentees to gain an introduction to life in the practice office, and gain knowledge of current working projects.
Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt has been invited to speak at the RIBA 10th Research Symposium, which will be held at the RIBA HQ at Portland Place, London, on 17 November 2015. The Symposium, which is entitled ‘The Design Quality Proposition: Ensuring and Communicating Design Quality in Architectural Practice, will bring together practicing architects, clients and academic researchers to explore how design quality is evaluated in contemporary architecture. Three case studies, which include the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, Wilkson PassivHaus Primary School, Wolverhampton and Royal Road Social Housing, Southwark, will be presented. Given the role as the ‘rapporteur’ on the research undertaken in preparation for the Symposium, Henrik will write a review of the three case study to be published in the RIBA Journal after the event. Sharing the evening slot with Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett School of Architecture, Dr. Schoenefeldt will be talking about the history and philosophy of performance evaluation as a tool for measuring design quality in architecture. His talk is entitled ‘Inquiries into the History and Philosophy of Performance Evaluation’.
In recent years the idea of embedding evidence-based practices in architecture, involving the empirical evaluation of design quality, has received renewed interests among the architectural professional, but it is not a new idea. It has been subject of discourses in architecture and related disciplines for over 200 years. In this talk Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt retraces how the concept of performance-led design has evolved in the 19th and 20th century. He will illuminate how scientists and engineers in the past exploited working methods originating the physical and social sciences to examine building performance, not only from technical but also from environmental and occupant perspectives.
For more details about the event please click here.
The Kent School of Architecture is proud to announce that its BA Architecture (Part 1) and MArch (Part 2) courses have been validated by RIBA for the next 5 years.
The three-day visitng board issued the following statement:
“Following the recent visiting board, the BA(Hons) and MArch courses in architecture at The University of Kent are recommended to be unconditionally revalidated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) subject to formal ratification by the RIBA Education Committee. We will announce more details once the recommendations of the Board are finally approved.”
Prof. Don Gray, Head of School, said, “The Board praised our engaged and articulate students, the integration of new research staff, and our embryonic study abroad programme. This is a terrific result for the school, and allows us to plan ahead with confidence. “
Charlotte has just undertaken a week of work experience at a local architecture practice in Hythe. The placement was offered to Charlotte after enrolling on the RIBA South-East mentoring scheme which is offered to Stage 3 Kent School of Architecture students.
Work Experience – Charlotte Earnshaw
I began the week by working on the same school scheme that I had been involved with on my previous visit to the practice to see the mentor I have been paired with on the student mentoring scheme. It was interesting to see how the scheme had developed and I was quite pleased that the areas I had been part of developing were working well within the overall scheme. Instead of developing the school further, I was given the task of planning out a small area of the site which was originally a school car park and playground space- the proposed area is due to become a housing estate of 15 units. I drew up the sketch scheme in CAD, a similar task to the one I did during my first visit. This task took several hours as various factors needed to be resolved.
Later in the week I moved onto a different housing project and took part in amending plans and elevation drawings, this project was due to meet a deadline on Friday so it was imperative that I worked efficiently and made use of the time wisely so that I was not hindering the development of the scheme by being slow. I feel that this experience was very important and I was able to put into context the importance of design flare accompanied by efficiency and ability to clearly and effectively communicate to other team members. I had been fortunate to work with a part 1 student in her year in industry during this design process which was helpful and I gained many useful tips during this process. I also used my knowledge of Photoshop and other display software to help layout sheets to be viewed at a large scale as presentation devices.
Large meetings were held throughout the week about the 2 projects I had been working with and further developments were made to both schemes, it was interesting to see the number of people required to be part of the process as I had not anticipated the importance of large meetings such as the ones held in these situations and have gained further understanding of the implication of time and money towards large scale developments of residential and educational developments.
In addition to the design work, I participated in mass tea/coffee making and A1 paper folding, both of which I am incredibly talented at!
By the end of the week I was feeling part of the team and was glad I had participated in a full week of mentoring rather than one singular day as it gave me a fuller insight into the general process of development. I am looking forward to a site visit on my third visit and am hoping to the see the school developments later in the year.
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.
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.
Due to its success in previous years, we will again be taking part in the RIBA mentoring scheme. The scheme is offered to third year undergraduates to support them during their studies and to help prepare them and provide guidance for their forthcoming year out.
The first meeting between the mentors and the students is due to take place mid-November, with continued contact throughout the academic year. The mentors are usually RIBA Chartered Architects with a wealth of experience in practice around the UK and/or abroad. The role of the mentor is to provide the students with an insight into the business of architecture and the experience of practice (for example site visits). Mentors may also help with advice on issues such as portfolio presentation, interview techniques, CV writing and presentation techniques to name a few.
We have had continued positive feedback from our students that have been involved with the scheme in the past. Many have commented on how the scheme provides invaluable advice for architecture students in their final year who are preparing for their year out. The site visits have been highlighted as being particularly useful for seeing a project develop through its various stages.