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Student Shows 2012: University of the West of England Architecture School

Rob Gregory sees incredibly creative and convincing work at the UWE show

There is a lot going on in the Department of Planning and Architecture at the University of the West of England Architecture (UWE). For a relatively new school, year on year, it is good to see growth in numbers matched by greater levels of confidence and ambition, among students and in dialogue with staff.

UWE runs courses that cross over with Planning, Environmental Engineering and Technology. When you walked around the show, the apparent universal competence in computer visualisation appeared to sit alongside thorough technical reports and fully reasoned Design and Access Statements. As you would hope, when the synergies worked, you saw incredibly creative and convincing pieces of work with the immeasurable notion of design excellence graded alongside more onerous and measurable technical components.

Standout unit

BArch Unit 5, entitled Architecture and the Body, led by Rachel Sara with David Littlefield. It began with a workshop at Laban Dance Centre in Deptford and an urban documentary entitled Inhabiting Strangely. From such ice-breakers, a wide range of sensual projects emerged in designs for a Mother and Baby Prison, a Slavery Museum and an Archive.

Standout student

Kevin Woodward, who designed an archive where the memory of buildings knocked down in Istanbul could be stored in a vertiginous columbarium

In a word

Comprehensive

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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