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Student Shows 2012: University of Greenwich, School of Architecture

Marwan Abdo finds a school trying establish its identity at Greenwich

Characterise the school’s approach?

Greenwich school of Architecture is still undergoing the process of change which began with the appointment of Neil Spiller as Dean in 2010. It is clear that the students are working hard to establish their identity within the new school ideology and design agendas. The new teaching approach is beginning to bear fruit; some exceptional work is coming out of the Undergraduate Units, which revel in the potential application of new technologies.

Drawings showed the development of strong and individual styles between the units and although, on occasion, some students had been too easily seduced by the moody image rather than demonstrating a clear design methodology; the most impressive work established a grasp of articulation, fabrication and materiality which surpassed the need for overwrought photoshopping. The radical shake-up is sure to have had its casualties; but the ambition of the school is palpable. It is apparent that the intention of the new guard is not to inch-up the league tables but to establish the school as a serious competitor. There is undeniable value in the scope of this ambition, and we should expect great things to come.

Standout units

Unit 7 (with special mentions U3 & U16)

Consistent and ambitious output characterised by an industrial aesthetic. The work demonstrated complex and well-articulated responses from the students who had engaged with the construction and materiality of their proposals, strong graphic communication and impressive model-making.

Standout student

Year 1 had produced a remarkable array of work. Impressively executed hand-drawings showed a control of hierarchy, assembly and materials which surpassed the expectations of first year students. It is impossible to pick just one, so special mentions to Dan Trenholme, Micheal O’Donell, Ionna Tamas and Ed Grace.

In a word

Watch-this-space

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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