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Student Shows 2012: Birmingham School of Architecture

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Laura Mark is disappointed by the lack of emphasis on hand-drawing at Birmingham

This year’s show was laid out around a central space featuring collaborative projects produced by students and staff at the school and practices from the local region. The focal point was an impressive bar which was designed by two of the school’s former students. Smaller rooms ran off this central space, each featuring an individual unit or year group.

The work was heavily computer-based with some impressive computer renders. But it was disappointing to see the lack of emphasis on hand-drawing. However, the use of models was encouraging and it was clear there was a focus on materiality.


It had to be the MArch unit going under the alias ‘Happiness’. Here, students had come up with architectural interventions for a post-riot Tottenham.

Standout students

Sophie Britten won the school’s RIBA Drawing Prize for her calm and thoughtful drawings. Her project focused on creating spaces for the elderly of Tottenham. It was an interesting investigation into the traditions and perceptions of our ageing population.

Also outstanding was Jamie Ho’s FAT and Archigram-influenced work, which explored the multicultural population of Tottenham, aiming to create community cohesion through music and dance.

In a word


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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