Student Shows 2014: University of Huddersfield
Richard Waite reviews the University of Huddersfield’s end of year show
Huddersfield’s ‘special effort to impress’ has paid off. Previously let down by the school’s lifeless, office park-like home, the architecture show has come to life in the double height space of the university’s Quayside building.
In a reversal of last year’s fortunes the undergraduate work outshone the MArch efforts - the school handed out a record 18 firsts to its 65-strong Part I cohort.
According to school head Carl Meddings, the diverse intake of already skilled-up students from across Europe – in particular Romania, Greece and Cyprus – has help lift standards across the board.
Yet Huddersfield’s output remains as practical and nuts-and-bolts as ever. Even Danny Higham’s cavernous Memorial to the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City – potentially an otiose promenade through light, shade and remembrance – has been made useful to the city as a cleverly designed link to the metro system.
Standout units & students
The school does not run a unit system but again showed a consistency of teaching and the school’s mantra of ‘contextual regionalism’ clearly underpinned most of the work displayed.
Part I student Ecaterina Stefanescu’s artist colony and art gallery in Ho Chi Minh City was impressive and accomplished. A strong idea – how to promote the underground art movement - with a considered response to the urban context and an actual building which could probably go on site next week….
- Richard Waite, news editor, The AJ