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Student shows 2013: Plymouth University

Mark Pearson reviews Plymouth University’s end of year show

There is a freshness and openness to the work produced by the undergraduate units which is largely untainted by the all-too-common infatuation with the latest imagery from journals. However, it is within the work of the upper MArch where the school’s character clearly emerges.

Standout unit Krzysztof Nawratek’s unit was supported this year by Michelle Adams from Dalhousie University and based on a huge former tractor factory site in the outskirts of Warsaw. The challenge was to find a ‘middle ground’ between industrial/employment uses and residential uses. Individual projects inhabit different parts of the complex, creating intriguing inserted fragments, rather than forming composed buildings in a conventional sense.

Standout students Chris Turner and Daniel Green effortlessly combine food production with smart manufacturing and living, and began with shared contextual research - turning the mapping of power and local territory through time into an intriguing, elegant 3D construction. Both students generate organisations and spaces reminiscent of Cedric Price’s thinking - more ‘structures of possibility’ than buildings. Four weeks of enforced model-making means work has a tectonic spirit and points towards the architect as motivator-enabler, rather than form-giver.

In a word Charged

Mark Pearson, executive director, Regional Design Support, Design Action

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