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AJ Student Prize 2019: University of Plymouth

The two students selected for the AJ Student Prize by University of Plymouth 

About the School of Art, Design and Architecture

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch 
  • Location Plymouth
  • Associate Head of School Andrew Humphreys
  • Full-time tutors 9 
  • Part-time tutors 20 
  • Number of students 250 
  • Staff to student ratio 1:12 
  • Fees £9,000 


Freya Kay, BA (Hons) Architecture, Redefining the Vernacular

Undergraduate freya kay

Undergraduate freya kay

Project title Compassionate Cities

Project description The brief was to consider the compassionate city and what that might mean in terms of how we inhabit spaces that are in serious decline and perceptually ‘unsafe’. The primary strategy was to provide projects of destination to support the local Pannier Market on the west side of Plymouth City Centre. The market is a destination for a particular demographic and the accompanying propositions provided greater reflection of the true demographic representation of the city.The framework was set up within group collaboration and a neighbourhood plan was created: ‘The people told us to do this.’ Following this year’s unit, the work produced has since formed an introduction to the symposium ‘Re-Thinking Post Recovery Space’, part of Plymouth City Council’s City of Sanctuary initiative. 

Tutor citation ‘Freya’s work not only acknowledges the brief set to consider the compassionate city and what that might mean in terms of how we inhabit spaces in decline, but also sets up opportunities for greater social participation and cohesion across an area of the city that is in radical decline.’ Andrew Humphreys


Chanida Barrett, Chia Beh, MArch

Postgraduate chanida barrett, chia beh

Postgraduate chanida barrett, chia beh

Project title Regeneration of Iao Hon, Macau: Utopian Dreams and Everyday Realities 

Project description Iao Hon is one of many disparate projections of idealised landscapes – here a Modernist vision – on to Macau’s constructed terrain. Here we find the small – the close-knit neighbourhood, an introversion in relation to the enormity of China – and the large in the overblown, the symbolic and spectacle, and the global tourist destination, a connectivity with 300,000 people a day crossing its borders. Further juxtaposition is evoked in narratives of a side-by-side palimpsest of Portuguese and Chinese cultural historicity, with a present-day simulacrum of borrowed imagery. These conflicting agendas pose a challenge: do we eliminate this difference, ignore it, or homogenise it within some hybrid? Or can we not only accommodate but embrace this difference? Such an urban project is defined not only by what it takes from, but also by what it gives back, to the other. 

Tutor citation ‘Chanida and Chia’s work is marked by a richness of exploration across a range of scales and perspectives. Early work captures impressions of Macau through incisive written narratives and beguiling imagery. Later work carefully measured seasonal change, from lunar and tidal patterns to variations within the landscape and human inhabitation.’ Robert Brown