Dec '04 - Aug '06
Right. Time to use this blog the way it's supposed to be used...
Last night we had a peer review. It wasn't a crit because Peter & John (our tutors) didn't say anything. They just sat there, listened and enjoyed the break from talking (and had a beer).
Everyone pinned up a small selection of their work and had 5 minutes to explain where their project is at right now. I manage to keep track of a few people's stuff normally, but there are some that I just never get a chance to hear about so it was good for everyone to get a glimpse of the work with just 10 weeks to go.
What follows are some dodgy cameraphone photos of each student presenting their work. The pictures are rubbish, so please don't judge the standard of presentation on these images! I'll put their year in brackets (4th or 5th) and include a little note on each project. They're in the order they presented in, which was pretty much random. If I get the facts wrong I'm sure they'll comment and correct me...
Caspar Rodgers (4th): Caspar has taken an architypal Hungarian village and is fitting all of it's functions, social hierachy and spacial requirements into a communist era towerblock in the suburbs of Budapest. Brutal.
Marcus White (5th): Marcus is designing a small winery and vineyard in rural Hungary. He's getting involved in all kinds of landscape stuff and I think trying to link the characteristics of the architecture to the characteristics of the wine types produced. It'll be interesting what direction he goes in with this technically.
Lyn Ang (5th): Lyn is doing a real narrative-driven project about the relationship between a Hungarian man and his Venetian wife and how this informs the nature of the places they inhabit. It's all about gendered space, apparently.
Harriet Comben (5th): Harriet has somehow ended up designing an industrial laundry to cater for every hotel bed in central Venice. It's actually damned interesting stuff and you'd be amazed what inspiration can come from taking apart household appliances (get the owner's permission first).
Amy Poulsom (4th): Amy's project is sort of a combination of a respite/nursing home and garden allotments. It's scary what dark ideas about death and old age can come from someone who seems like such a NICE girl.
[Note the large quantities of beer on the table in the foreground. Thy disappeared quickly. Maybe that's why the whole affair was so relaxed.]
Noor Abdul Aziz (5th): Noor is designing a silk farm on one of the islands in the Venetian lagoon. She has a habit of turning up every few days with some new little model of mind-bending intricacy. It actually hurts my head to imagine how some of them were made.
Jane Middlehurst (4th): Jane is designing a salami and paprika factory for a site near mine in Jozsefvaros. I still don't quite understand how a commited vegetarian has ended up doing such a carnivorous project.
Chris Daniel (5th): I took this pic, which is why I'm not in it. My project was an artisan-scale animation studio in the Jozsefvaros district of Budapest. It's changed focus SLIGHTLY in the last few weeks. I'll explain fully in a later post.
Tristan Wigfall (4th): Tristan is working on a sort of natural remedy and superstition clinic in rural Hungary. The idea is that he's treating all the folk remedies and herbal cures in a very serious and clinical manner. It's a really good idea conceptually and he's doing some cool things with it.
Yeo Jin Choi (4th): Jin's project is on a small island in the Venice lagoon with a long tradition of lace-making and fishing. The brief is a combined facility for lace-makers and fishermen making their nets. There's a really good contrast between the women and men doing their very different types of sewing...
Hazel Levine (4th): Hazel's site is also near mine in the Budapest Roma (gypsy) ghetto of Jozsefvaros. She's designing a new Roma Parliament which includes facilities for horse-trading and selling lacework. Politically-sensitive stuff, but she seems to be treading the line carefully.
Irene Yeung (4th): Irene's project is actually not in Hungary or near Venice, it's in a comparatively rural area of Hong Kong where she spent her early childhood. The brief is for a cricket farm and all kinds of different facilities for "cricket-fanciers". Apparently there are more of them than you'd think. She's doing some very specific stuff (e.g. a cricket operating table).
Konstantinos Karabatakis (5th): Koni is working on a gondola-repair centre in Venice. He's one of the most Architectural people I know (with a capital A) and has come up with a very cool design that is so far managing to be very Venice, but also just a little bit Koni. He's having some very amusing arguments with his engineer right now over how to avoid having any columns at all in the building. Very Koni.
[The umbrella in the middle of the table is nothing to do with us. Some kind of wierd experiment by a undergrad unit, I think. We didn't feel we should move it]
Serena Croxson (5th): Serena (like Lyn) is doing a narrative project about gendered space. Her story involves two women and their relationships with one man. The wife is very much mired in society and convention, the lover lives on a boat and is all about creativity and freedom. I think the idea is to define the man through descriptions of the women. Really nice CAD drawings too.
Jeanie Chang (5th): Jeanie had to arrive late after a meeting so didn't pin up. Her design has no site other than "somewhere in the south of England". It is a walled garden containing a small apiary (bee-keeping house) run by a single man. The whole thing is just damned elegantly done and the drawings and models really need to be seen to be believed. Really beautiful.
Right, well, that's everyone other than Pereen d'Avoine (5th), who couldn't make it cos she's ill (get well soon, P). Her project is an underground Turkish bath housed in a disused public toilet complex in Central London. Sounds gross, I know, but it's actually very pretty.
I'll now throw in a couple more pics of the evening in general, then that's your lot. Comments please, but remember that all these project descriptions are from my memory and therefore far less eloquent than anything their designers might write.
Everyone standing in judgement. Beer makes the comments flow more freely.
Everyone checking out Jeanie's drawings at the end of a long evening.
Marcus casting a closer eye over one of Jeanie's plans. He's damned critical after a few beers, that boy (but in a good way, of course).
You can see larger versions of all of these photos here.