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AJ Student Prize 2020: University of the Arts London

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

About Central St Martins

  • Courses BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch 
  • Location London
  • Head of school Alex Warnock-Smith
  • Full-time tutors 6
  • Part-time tutors 42
  • Students 327
  • Staff to student ratio 1:7
  • Fees UK/EU £9,250 (UG), £8,415 (PG)

Undergraduate

Finn Crawford, BA (Hons) Architecture, Studio 7: Imagining Collaborative Futures

Finn crawford radical temperance 1a

Finn crawford radical temperance 1a

Project title Radical Temperance

Project description Radical Temperance looks at alternatives to the City of London’s hyper-capitalism and its self-serving use of technology. Responding to the studio’s agenda of Designing Politics, Finn critically reflects on existing models of social relationships and access to technology. He introduces the idea of temperance to oppose the technological arms race and growing replacement of human social roles by machines, drawing lessons from Icarus and his fall. In response to the studio’s brief, Imagining Collaborative Futures, Finn gives agency to a radical arts movement of ‘digital secessionists’ who use arts and crafts to create a virtual world that uses technology to realise a socialist agenda of democratic open access. The proposal develops an open, public building, featuring a theatre arena with reverberating corridors for a political dialogue.

Tutor citation Finn’s project is exemplary in the way it deals with complex urban, conceptual, political, and architectural settings. Finn re-imagines how the relations between the production of culture and public and political performances in the city could be pushed through the intersection of sophisticated interactions between spatial, material, and virtual realms. The proposal is a layering of spaces and cultural references to create a multiplicity of experiences, interpretations, and meanings. Dejan Mrdja and Albane Duvillier

Postgraduate 

Lois Innes, MArch

1.closertohome lois innes

1.closertohome lois innes

Project title Closer to Home

Project description Closer to Home challenges the unethical prison system and sets out an alternative future for the young people of colour that are disproportionately incarcerated in this country. Prisons – and the way that we think about them – have changed little in the past 200 years. Despite overwhelming evidence that points to their inefficacy, our prison population in the UK continues to soar and these repressive environments increasingly serve more to stimulate criminal behaviour, than to act as its deterrent. Taking London’s oldest Category C prison, HMP Brixton, Closer to Home speculates on an alternative and largely de-carcerated penal model. It begins within the community, examining the environmental circumstances that first influence criminal behaviour, and the existing socio- economic capital that offenders can positively tap into. It proposes a policy re-shift, redirecting criminal justice expenditure and commitment to social infrastructure projects instead. This proposition is developed through a series of interventions and imagined stories, using the appropriately fantastical format of the graphic novel to express complex ideas, and to provoke more imaginative possibilities for our changing times.

Tutor citation Lois developed her project from the perspective of a young, black architect born and bred in London. Personal insights pertinent in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement have motivated and informed the work. Combining her writing talent with design practice, Lois has chosen the role of narrator and developed a graphic novel advocating the abolition of prisons in favour of community-based forms of education and training. Lois’s strong and independent voice finds expression in a powerful graphic novel that translates her social critique into an architecture of care. Ulrike Steven