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Student Shows 2012: Oxford Brookes University

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Richard Rose-Casemore from Design Engine Architects visits the Chetwoods show

The School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes is one of the largest in the UK and is now  established within the new Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment. The School also has a new physical home ready for the 2012-13 academic year, which is designed to stimulate creativity and to encourage cross-faculty interaction. (It also has a new permanent atrium gallery, which doubtless is where next year’s show will be held.)

This end of year show has had two showings: first in the School studios, and then transported in part for a three week run at Chetwoods in Clerkenwell Green to coincide with the 2012 London Festival of Architecture. The work on display is as rich and varied as the traditions of this progressive School would suggest.

With an increasingly impressive array of research-based specialisms; a new MArchD Applied Design in Architecture (a research excellence-led studio); imaginative field-trips; a new emphasis on ‘live projects’ linking practice and academia and an energetic OxArch Student Society, there is no doubt that Oxford Brookes now plays a leading role in the big conversation surrounding architectural education and research.

Standout unit

The post-graduate specialisms have always contributed to the school’s unique personality, in which global and local issues are tackled equally in striving for what is described as ‘a more sustainable and culturally more ambitious future’. My stand-out unit was Advanced Architectural Design’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’, led by Andrew Holmes, Toby Shew and David Greene, which produced thought-provoking work while characteristically pushing the boundaries of representation.

Standout students

The work of Richard Black and Jonathan Marsh was outstanding, but my favourite single piece was Louise Cann’s ‘Working Tomb Model’.

In a word

Enterprising

Richard Rose-Casemore is co-founder of Design Engine

AJ reviews of every student show in the UK will be published in a special issue of the magazine on 26 July. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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