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First look at entries into 3DReid student prize


The AJ can reveal the first project entered into the UK’s largest student prize

Nominated by Birmingham City University, part-time student Jamie Rodgers will be battling against the ‘best of the best’ from the country’s schools of architecture to land the £1,500 up for grabs in this year’s 3DReid student prize.

Rodgers, who is currently working at MAKE, describes his final year Part II thesis as ‘exploring the notion of borders and territories with specific reference to the American/Mexico border’.

he said: ‘It investigates the idea of consumerism and the exploitation of the Mexicans by the Americans since they colonized the area with regards to socioeconomic, political and environmental issues.’

Schools have until 10 June to nominate their ‘best’ student.

All nominations will be showcased at an exhibition during the London Festival of Architecture at 3DReid’s Oxford Circus office.

The exhibition will run from 21 June to 2 July, open to the public during normal working hours.

Previous winners include Gavin Lowden of University of Northumbria (2009), Ross Perkin from the University of Edinburgh (2008) and ex-Bartlett Student Sara Shafiei (2007)

Previous story (AJ 18.05.10)

Deadline nears for 3DReid student prize

The deadline for 3DReid’s Part II student competition is drawing close, with only four weeks left to enter for the £1,500 prize

UK schools of architecture must nominate their best Part II student by 10 June to be eligible for this year’s 3DReid / AJ Student Prize. The first nomination received by the practice will be written up in a special AJ online feature.

All nominations will be showcased at an exhibition during the London Festival of Architecture at 3DReid’s Oxford Circus office.

The exhibition will run from 21 June to 2 July, open to the public during normal working hours.

Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites and help shape the final shortlist. All entries will feature online. In 2009 over 5,500 people voted.

The shortlist will be announced on 5 July. The winner, selected by an panel of judges from the architecture sector, will be announced within the month at an evening event at the practice’s Glasgow office.


Readers' comments (13)

  • Very striking images, even beautiful, but I'm not sure one could classify them as architecture. Of course that may not have been the intent, but it does highlight the problem with most architectural schools. They don't teach architecture!

    As for the young man's quote "‘It investigates the idea of consumerism and the exploitation of the Mexicans by the Americans since they colonized the area with regards to socioeconomic, political and environmental issues." That "colonization" has led to the decline of many an American communities. Secondly, hispanics are pouring in to the united states for a reason, my family being an earlier example, so this pitty party is a bit misinformed.

    I thought American Schools had their head up their Bumgardens, wow!

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  • Dear Anonymous,

    As a previous graduate from this very school of architecture i can confirm that the school does indeed teach 'Architecture'. At part ii level the course focuses heavily on design & theory... important areas of consideration within the realm of 'Architecture', with the more mundane & contractual areas of study highlighted during the professional practice post graduate course.

    You do not classify this as architecture? Is it because is has no building regulation drawings et al... can you truthfully justify your statement?

    The images (which are only an excerpt of the complete works produced) clearly show that this student has thoughtfully addressed a very interesting brief with skill, care & design excellence...

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  • Can I justify my statement? Sure, if you allow the use of a dictionary definition "the result or product of architectural work, as a building" in defining architecture. But as you tellingly write, that would be the more "mundane" aspects of architecture. I'm sure this student has been very diligent in completing his lessons, but I can't say the intention of his professors was to teach architecture as commonly understood. Then again, a common understanding is not really the objective, to the detriment of the public.

    All the historical buildings (prior to modernism) we where taught as antecedents to our profession where created with-in a very different context to the contemporary academic emphasis of design & theory emphasis you accuratley describe. I wish you and this young chap all the best in your careers, but unless you end up in Atilier Zahahadid, you will be sorely disappointed in the mundane reality of architedture, and will only have your scholastic indoctrination to blame for the disapointment you will feel.

    As sculpture and/or philosophy, I could call this kind of work brilliant, but architecture it ain't.

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  • Dear Anonymous

    Opinions are like Bumgardens (using your terminology),

    "Everybody's got one."

    As someone who has studied alongside Jamie (more like hung on to his coat tails) and spent over 15 years in practice, I can't help but disagree. This course, amongst much much more, has taught me that architecture is never "mundane" and the skills I've learned, can be injected into any project, from a new hotel, down to "Mrs Jones' Toilet Extension".
    Architecture is not just about 'the four walls'.

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  • It will be interesting to see how many of these projects still fall into the kind of self indulgent "me-chitecture" which has characterized student work in the last decade. Its a shame that iconography still seems to be the buzz word for students rather than exploring how we can shape a new world with the limited resources of the future.

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  • I need to point out a few things in the imagery that contradicts your assumptions about the architecture in this work Anonymous. Looking at the images closely it is very easy to see that represented are people who fall into two categories: abused workers / prisoners and those abusing - guards and militia. Additional to the white constructions and the Modernist buildings, is waste and military equipment. It is easy to gather that this is an allegory not intended to be read as anything other, hence there should be no argument for it being architecture as commonly defined.

    To that point the images are neither beautiful or striking, but brutal and ugly, and in that speak directly to the point of the project. In this the work speaks to the reality that architecture creates a framework for society, how we inhabit, move and socialize. You are caught up in a debate about looks - which I will not call an aesthetic debate, since you fail to recognize all the complex and relevant implications beyond the look. Hence, I say this is an argument about architecture that you are poorly defining as something that needs to be common.

    Think about architecture not as mechanics, but as a mechanism. Become familiar with people who speak to these things and begin to see architecture as it is: as both territorial and politicized, an activity that at once enables and limits.

    I do not worry about students who progress into the profession with this type of education, quite to the contrary, they will have the skills to navigate the realities of an endeavor wherein they will be asked to manipulate the complex inter-relations that all projects encounter. As Louis Henri Sullivan is quoted as saying: our architecture reflects truly as a mirror. Ultimately it is who we are. And I hope for all our sakes it is not about making it into what is commonly defined.

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  • interesting how this school managed to choose their best diploma student before their final assesment. Are others so bad that there is no one to choose from?
    I also have to agree with one of other commenters - it's not architecture, but merely architectural drawings.

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  • Whether you like the abstrat stuff or not, the work in question simply isnt even very good - it looks like a level from a dodgy computer game from 5 years ago!


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  • The realities of the working profession are for the majority of us far from that demonstrated by the students work here and no doubt will be of others submitted for this competition. But if university is not the time to explore these ideas of form, spatial and social relationships then when is?

    Architecture is after all two fold, encompassing both practice and theory. Many of the large named architects of today started their careers exploring largely theoretical ideas and publishing these rather than building in the traditional sense. Look at Rem Koolhaas and the work of OMA/AMO to site but one example.

    If architectural students are to become tangled by the web of polices, regulations and economics at such an early stage then what chance is there for exploration and development of creativity. I worry for those who believe architecture is solely about creating a front door.

    Of course, architectural education should ensure that a student is able to understand how buildings are put together and I am sure that this student’s full sample of work demonstrates this.

    Good luck to this student and the rest who enter as we all know a lot of hard work has been undertaken. As for the rest of us, back to that door schedule!

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  • To 9:24 anonymous,
    If school is not the time to learn what you will be doing in your professional carear, then when? Was it the tangled web of policies that led to the incredibly innovative Campidoglio plan? Why yes, Michelangelo was instructed to include two askewd medieval buildings in his new design. Was it tax regulations that led to the original and distinctive Charlseton S.C. town home design with the side porch? Why yes it was. Was it the economics of hypercapitalist turn-of-the-last-century that led to the stripped down heroic Chicago School? Correct again.

    My belabored point is that necessity is the much over-looked mother of invention. Modernist dogma would have you believe practical considerations can't drive a genius solution like theory can. Program is just another parameter, how one treats it is up to the architect.

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