Student Shows 2014: University of Nottingham
Robert Evans reviews Nottingham’s end-of-year show
The show is characterised by a consistent exploration of designs with large (often perspectival) sections and plenty of models, with overall monochrome look. A clampdown on Sketch-up, coupled with efforts to improve drawing skills in first year, lend much of the show an appealing handmade quality. Nottingham students are traditionally well grounded in the tectonics of building, showing an interest in materials and making, sometimes at the expense of unfettered innovation.
The ‘vertical’ second/third year degree units seem to be providing the second years with a turbo-boost. Sixth year, meanwhile, is served by two complimentary studios: Michael Stacey’s MARS zooms out from dolls houses to mega-structures, while Katharina Borsi’s Urban Mediations zooms in from urban analysis to tactile detail.
Standout unit & students
Alison Davies and John Ramsey’s Unit 2a South African ‘live’ project is a built manifestation of Nottingham’s practical ethos. Students travelled to help build a small school, using their ingenuity to improvise on vernacular building techniques.
Individual work that stands out includes Rob Neal’s wide-ranging Mending Berlin thesis project fuses rigorous research and contextual sensitivity with mature restraint, while Michael Ramwell’s inhabited concrete bridge over the Lower Thames has a muscular ambition.
In the degree show, Krysryna Massey’s beautiful presentation, Alex Bramhill’s pencil drawings and Rachel Clubb’s hardwood war-game model also caught the eye.
- Robert Evans, director, Evans Vettori