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Thursday31 July 2014

Architecture student shows 2011: London Metropolitan University

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The strength of Londonmet is its diversity.

The strength lies in the diversity of its students, its units and the forms of practice it supports.  However underpinning this pluralism is a shared commitment to the importance of socially engaged forms of practice and to the transformative power of things that are made carefully and well.  This care to a wider society and care for production is an important combination particularly as we enter a period, in this country, defined by increasing carelessness.

This commitment takes many forms. At one extreme are units working on live projects in tough places such as India, the Ukraine, Mexico, Sierra Leone and Bosnia at the other are units carefully repairing and dignifying existing contexts like Paestum, Porto, West Belfast, Liverpool and many parts of London.

In all cases there is an emphasis on resolution and on applying and testing proposals in the context that made them. Some students engage directly with users and clients others take material and technical resolution to an obsessive level, prototyping elements of their buildings, testing materials and modelling the effects of time.

The Faculty has an emphasis on practice it hosts the Architecture Research Unit and has its own Projects Office.  In the current show there are units run by DSDHA, Cottrell Vermeulen, Stephen Taylor, Patrick Lynch, Alun Jones, East, David Kohn, CHORA, The AOC and many more. Many of our students also set up practices and undertake their own projects whilst studying particularly within the context of the Free Unit.

 Many visitors have said that this year’s show has a special quality compared to recent years. It feels intense, agitated and provisional. Perhaps this reflects the profound changes happening in society, education and practice. There is change in the air. Students are repositioning themselves and looking for new ways to be relevant and accountable. These are challenging but exciting times!

Professor Robert Mull

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