WINNER - DISSERTATION MEDAL
OLIVIA GORDON Bartlett, University College London Wordrobe Tutor: Sarah Jackson The aim of this dissertation is to use the famous extract from C S Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where Lucy enters the cupboard and first discovers Narnia, as an index for a personal storage system. This is used to house my own narrative on the theme of closet space, an individual 'wardrobe of words'. My writing then, in inhabiting the 'fixed' text of Lewis' novel, uses the predetermined structure of the story to develop my own investigation of the theme of cupboards.
In effect I aim, like Lucy, to enter the mundane space of the wardrobe and discover a 'whole country' within. The methodology I use is similar to George Perec's in his essay 'Think/Classify' where he explains, 'The alphabet used to 'number' the various paragraphs of this text follows the order in which the letters of the alphabet appear in the French translation of the seventh story in Italo Calvino's If On One Winter's Night a Traveller.' Rather than letters, I use the words of my chosen extract as a means of classification. Reading and writing between the confined lines of the text becomes a way of 'slotting between' as one would file objects in a cupboard, generating a spacious place of creative investigation. The method of classification created through this process of reading and writing questions the opposition of orderly classification versus random spontaneous thought. It is here that the theme of the research develops: an exploration of the nature of the space of the closet, both as a mechanism for control and categorisation but also as a place to explore the freedom of the imagination. And so, following Lucy's journey from exterior to interior, my dissertation investigates these alternate themes and reflects on the implications that such a duality might have for the architect as designer and definer of space.
TUTOR PRIZE SARAH JACKSON Sarah Jackson is an architect and architectural historian; she teaches at the Bartlett and is a design review advisor for CABE.
Jackson has taught in the Bartlett's history and theory department for five years. The main focus of her teaching and research is centred round ideas of making and detail.
ANGELA HATHERELL Oxford Brookes University Who do they think we are? Perceptions of architects in twenty-first century Britain Tutors: Helena Webster and Ben Stringer Who do they think we are? Who do we think we are? Although I am not legally entitled to call myself an architect, I feel, after six years of study, having been indoctrinated with the language, ideals and points of reference of an architect, that I am now more architect than not. However, I do not wish for this to come across as a paranoid exponent of a conspiracy theory against architects. A 'no-one likes us we don't care' attitude fails to enhance anyone's reputation, but if architects are found to be distant and aloof, with a 'take us or leave us' mentality, then it does seem that they (we) are going to be 'left'. Who knows, perhaps we will discover the opposite to be true. However, I doubt that. I can only make judgements based on my personal experience of calling the RIBA for the purposes of researching this project. I was told by the receptionist that unless I was a member I couldn't speak to anyone and should instead ring the premium-rate information line. Architects? Aloof and elitist?
Well superficially their (our) professional body shows clear signs of being just this, so what about the members? And what does everyone else think about architects? Do non-architects care about architects? Do they know about architects? And what is this knowledge based on and informed by?
COMMENDATION - DISSERTATION MEDAL MAX KETTENACKER University of Cambridge Appropriating a fractured past: The story of place-making in Kaliningrad 1945-2000 Tutor: Professor Andrew Saint In 1990 my father, a West German living in England, introduced me to an East German vicar who at the time of reunification was the acting East German ambassador. They married on 3 October 1991, precisely a year after the day of German reunification when they first met. The marriage did not last.
Ever since, however, I have been fascinated by the demise of the Soviet bloc grappling with abrupt Westernisation, and in particular by the fate of the inherited Soviet urban landscape. The city of Kaliningrad tells a unique story. Originally the German city of Königsberg, Kaliningrad became part of the Soviet Union after the Second World War. In post-communist Kaliningrad, the spatial effacement of the Soviet era has led to an increasing desire for discourse on Kaliningrad's multiple identities.
Now, a dialogue concerning the city's German heritage has been allowed to enter the public domain.
However, the question remains of what will guide the regeneration of the symbolically charged city centre without regressing to reproduction and artifice? And how can two seemingly incongruous urban identities be reconciled to shape a city that reflects contemporary post-communist Kaliningrad?
COMMENDATION - DISSERTATION MEDAL JAMES WYMAN Royal College of Art Curve Tutor: Joe Kerr The recent surge of interest in the work of Frederick J. Kiesler (1890-1965) has largely been related to contemporary experiments in 'blobitecture'. The extraction of Kiesler from his own historical context has concentrated primarily on the architect's long-running project 'the Endless House'.
Eminent historians and critics, such as Charles Jencks, cite Kiesler's famous work as the 'canonic beginning of a recent biomorphic history'. However, any analysis of Kiesler's work outside the legitimate context of his own lifetime should be a cause for concern - particularly when no genuinely detailed historical appraisal of Kiesler's career exists. Curve attempts to address the current imbalance by examining Kiesler's oeuvre in relation to his own lifetime. It aims to examine any unanswered 'questions of plagiarism' and to explore neglected aspects of Kiesler's career.