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Thursday24 July 2014

Architecture student shows 2011: Greenwich University

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Located in the former Royal Naval College at Greenwich, the exhibition has a great view out over the river.

The tide is changing with a new head of school, Neil Spiller, at the helm. Design studios are repositioning themselves at zero degrees longitude, chartering ships to new and distant shores. 

Ateliers have explored diverse agendas, ranging from ‘Constructs of Architecture and Fiction’ in New York City to ‘Contested Space’ in Nicosia, Cyprus.  Time is of the essence for some: ‘Future Cities, Future Practices’ and a ‘Library of the Long Now’ jostle for wall space with ‘Blurb-scapes’ and a ‘Garden Computing Archive’.  Here, instant technologies and social networking rituals seek a tangible spatial presence in the city and landscape.

There is also a questioning of traditional practices and architectural procurement methods in programmes such as ‘A Guild for One’ and ‘Pure Fabrication’. 

Greenwich students and tutors are no strangers to the stay-cation either, with one atelier ‘Luxuriating in an Urban Health Resort’ in Deptford, another ‘Musing, Making and Moving’ around Brighton Pier, and yet another atelier of ‘Thinkers and Makers’ charting the troubled waters of the Thames Estuary.

There are modest and practical retro-fits of social housing projects.  Then there are the rather more ambitious ‘Innumerable Eccentricities of Cartography’ that Spiller and Watson’s own students delve into.  These read like a diagnosis for any school of architecture:

‘It will re-use and re-define the ‘list of stimulants’ described in the Excursus of ‘Collage City’, i.e. nostalgia producing instruments, stabilizers, set pieces, gardens, and ambiguous composite buildings in a search for a twenty first century architecture’. 

Text by Reenie Elliott

BA Architecture Programme Leader

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Readers' comments (4)

  • The standard of work has clearly improved. Judging by the images, i can see Spiller's influences.

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  • flow

    Yes I love the obscure hand drawn maps, and hand drawn sections with plenty of random string-esque lines. Beautiful.

    They look exactly like the drawings coming out of UCL c.2006. Was he a tutor there also? I hope not, otherwise cynics could argue that these poor students are mere fodder, and the real talent is with the tutor. Like a head chef, it would prove he can get the same visual results with any school, so long as the students are willing to throw original thought out the window, and follow a set recipe for cooking up fashionable drawings.

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  • zecks_marquise

    @flow - I am pretty sure that the work displayed here isn't from neil's unit. To belittle the efforts of the countless students and tutors in not one but two schools for a total falsehood reflects a striking amount of naivety. Jealous perhaps?

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  • Interesting. Are these courses producing architects or artists? Looking at the outputs on BD from the courses I wonder. Strikes me if you produce some interestingly vague images and counterpoint it with some obscure prose that explains it you get admiration from the profession. Perhaps I just expect something a bit more tangible after 3 or 4 years work?

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