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Student Shows 2012: Leeds Metropolitan

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Richard Waite on an inconsistent Leeds Met show

Leeds Metropolitan has made great strides in recent years, but the departure of influential professor of sustainable architecture Greg Keeffe a few months ago is a loss. The work on show was patchier than usual, and in places lacked the thoroughness, rigour and resolution now expected of the school. But the eco-ethos remained strong. Sustainability in Leeds, as shown through bee highways and clothes upcycling projects, is not a box-ticking tag on.

Presentation of the students’ efforts was again a solid mix of models (a huge replica of Salts Mill) and accomplished visuals, with the highlights to be found among work by undergraduates such as Joe Walton.

Standout unit:

Tutors Dennis Burr and Sarah Mills are creating a name for themselves – once more their Part I studio boasted tactile models and the most thought-provoking work. Focusing on Bristol and Istanbul, the walls showed off interrogations of place and programme, resulting in some highly polished projects.  

Standout students:

Among Mills and Burr’s stars-in-the-making were Ashley Ball and Sam Stalker. Ball’s decommissioning facility for military equipment on Bristol’s waterfront was gritty, practical and topped with touches of delight (including a hidden alchemist’s den). Stalker’s neo-Gothic Freemason’s lodge disguised as a radio tower was beautifully presented. Though the Part 2 work was weaker, diploma students Ben Ponsford and Joe Roper looked handy.

In a word:

AJ reviews of every student show in the UK are in AJ 26.07.12. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

Leeds Met: Sam Stalker's Level 3, BA Architecture - Bristol - long section of Freemason's lodge housed in a radio tower

Leeds Met: Sam Stalker’s Level 3, BA Architecture - Bristol - long section of Freemason’s lodge housed in a disguised, Gothic-style radio tower

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