Merlin Fulcher reviews Kingston University’s end of year show
In a bold and unparalleled move Kingston has concentrated all its 2013 projects on UNESCO world heritage. The exhibition was remarkable for its breadth of analysis which ranged from British coastal paths, tea drinking rituals, to Tel Aviv’s White City collection of 4,000 International Style Buildings. While sometimes overly stoic, the students’ projects were confident and intelligently timeless, particularly in the diploma unit focusing on Bern art galleries, led by head of school Daniel Rosbottom. The vertical project presenting London’s pubs as ‘intangible heritage’ assets worthy of UNESCO protection and a live project constructing a 9m-tall replica of Salisbury Cathedral spire stood out as inventive ways to mobilise the cohort. Not least because the ‘pain and joy’ of creating the landmark led to Studio 3.2’s speculative proposals for new settlements at Stonehenge and Avebury.
Standout unit Undergraduate Studio 3.3’s ‘urban decorum’ propositions for Pisa’s disused Santa Chiara Hospital, taught by Alfredo Caraballo, Karin Templin and Bruno Marcelino, engagingly explored individual and collective buildings’ responsibility to the public realm.
Standout student Diploma student Weng Kei Liu for her witty reinterpretation of Porto’s ancient roofscapes, which create a contemporary amenity space supporting traditional social life.
In a word Organic
Merlin Fulcher, AJ news reporter