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De Montfort University School of Architecture

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[STUDENT SHOWS 2011] De Montfort is often dubbed a school with a shady past, but anyone visiting this show would certainly forget this

This school has made its comeback and an impressive one at that. An influx of new staff in recent years has brought a turnaround. The school has established an obvious style, focusing on well-crafted models and exquisite drawings. The design is sleek and well conceived.

Many of this year’s final projects were based abroad, a result of the school’s postgraduate field trip to Italy, which inspired projects based in Rome, Pisa and Venice. There were a great variety of projects and students were obviously given the freedom to follow their own interests.

Held in what would normally be the school’s computer lab, the usual clutter of computers and plotters were hidden away to make room for models and purpose-built display boards. Use of this room was an ingenious idea as the large spans created a particularly open space for displaying work. The result was a well thought-out and obviously designed show layout with an equally co-ordinated colour scheme.

One of the star pupils of this year’s show was Christopher Christophi, also nominated for the 3DReid student prize . Christophi designed a research centre monitoring algae growth in Venice, using stunning visuals to illustrate his idea: ‘Recent pressures from both the near-completion of the MOSE flood gates and the ever growing problem of benevolent invasive macro algae growth has made the Italian government aware that Venice is not immune from these problems,’ Christophi explains.

‘In March 2009, the Italian government announced a, yet to be approved, £200 million bio-fuel project to convert invasive macro algae into bio-fuels to generate electricity for part of Venice.’ Chistophi’s project imagines the facilities that will support these projects’.

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