The University of Huddersfield has a practical approach to architecture, says Richard Waite
This year’s show was rammed with workable blueprints, which, if not always jaw-droppingly beautiful, could almost universally be taken off the wall and built tomorrow.
There was coherence in the output, which must come from the school’s drive towards what architectural subject leader Carl Meddings calls ‘contextual regionalism’.
Last year, the re-validated school moved into a new home which, though uninspiring in itself, has meant that the wannabe architects are closer to the model shop. They have certainly used it. If anything was missing from work displayed, it was in-depth details of the design journey (at Part I) and evidence that thinking green is embedded in that process.
The school does not run a unit system as such, but claims in its 2012 Yearbook to put a ‘design studio ethos at the core of the [learning] experience’. Student work shows a consistency of teaching.
Postgraduate work of note was Phil Tomlinson’s Urban Farm and Cookery School for Ho Chi Minh City – an Archigram-esque production platform on stilts. But the standout student was Jake Barrow with his plans for modular insertions into the urban fabric of a ‘transitional Vietnamese city’ (see file attached). Clever and do-able.
In a word
Richard Waite, AJ news editor