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Student Shows 2012: Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment

Charlie Sutherland examines a diverse range of units in Aberdeen

Aberdeen, a school defined by its remote Northern location, has confounded this predicament through a unit system led by the leading Scottish practitioners Gokay Deveci, Alan Dunlop and Neil Gillespie.

All very different in approach and sensibility, the units offer a diversity that is uncommon in other schools outside London.

Of the students’ work I saw in the Big Crit, the annual post-exam shindig, all were focused on Aberdeen (others were Glasgow-based), so there was an expectation that localism and a sense of place might be on the agenda. Alas, the city’s ills are all too familiar and the points addressed equally so.

Urgent issues of the smaller townscapes were tackled, but some were more ‘beach haven’ than Stonehaven – a pity, since no school sees any glamour in really addressing the shambolic state of our small towns and rural development.

Standout unit

It’s a tricky one – I would vote for the unit led by Neil Gillespie, since he’s a good guy.

Standout students

Scott Doig for his intelligently defined project poised on a site which engaged with history, the city and the natural landscape, beautifully modelled and drawn.

In a word


AJ reviews of every student show in the UK are in AJ26.07.12. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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