The energy and enthusiasm of the staff and students produce a collection of exciting projects of increasing excellence. This year’s themes of Olympics and East London urban redevelopment respond to current trends. All Design briefs from Year 1 through to Diploma demonstrate the strengths and power of Architecture to surmount the increasingly difficult questions of design for mega-events, and the real legacy of having the Olympics in one’s back yard.
Although often considered to be large and immovable, buildings, structures and enclosures contribute to the process of change in an increasingly unpredictable world. At UEL our students engage directly with social and economic factors through live projects and real clients, as well as sites that they can walk through and experience every day. Interaction with and responsibility for the world we live in enhances Architectural education. Focus at UEL has always been on materiality and exploration of form through a diversity of materials and an economy of means. However students work, whether through advanced digital explorations, or 1:1 constructions, the UEL agenda of making is an educational strategy that enhances learning to induct students into their professional responsibilities. At UEL our aim is to develop in students of Architecture a practical and creative knowledge base through critical thinking and professional judgment. We encourage students to discover solutions for themselves – through experiential learning, materially through physical models, intellectually through rigorous discourse, and spatially through explorations that combine all of the above.
Capturing the imagination through drawings, models, and installations helps to communicate ideas about social engagement, form and experience. At UEL we have an increasing emphasis on involvement with local community and urban regeneration projects. Architecture at UEL is a thought repository of urban and architectural developments and proposals for all of East London. UEL architecture is a first point of contact for discussions of large and small scale interventions and every corner of Newham exhibits UEL Architecture’s contribution, from a meanwhile project for Ash:Sakula to a brick vault shelter for lingerers, both at Canning Town.
Research projects in the public realm are part of long term collaborations and design considerations. This years design briefs include but are not limited to, a Velodrome, exciting proposals for an ‘Olympic brick’, theatres in the Wanstead Flats, urban design in the Thames Gateway, new typologies of Higher Education in North Woolwich, and designs for Weymouth Bay, Olympic Sailing venue. All of the work here, from Year 1 through to Diploma and Masters, demonstrates sophisticated approaches to design and making driven by technical explorations within a localism agenda, whether close to home or further afield.
Events include First Year’s constructions in Ecobuild, Year Four Construction Week live projects for Article 25 and a celebratory and self-reflective Open Jury with Guest Critics such as Tony Fretton and Gort:Scott in a new structure with on-going workshops and discussions in every room of the Architecture building. The Guest Lecture series, entitled, Poetic Making featured Ken Shuttleworth of MAKE among other inspirations, such as, Hopkins Architects elegant Velodrome.
At UEL Architecture, our ethos of design and materiality is reflected through the work presented here. Yearbooks are produced each year to illustrate the diversity of architectural teaching and the range of approaches at UEL.
This year we celebrate the hard work and impressive results in a theme of Making East London 2012.