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Student shows 2013: University of Central Lancashire

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David Dunster reviews the University of Central Lancashire’s end of year show

The rituals of graduation exclude all but two approaches to the end-of-year exhibition: either all on walls, or design a show. At Preston the dismaying clutter of the London penumbra has been replaced by a cabaret. In a dark room at the end of a corridor in the Harris Building, the graduating class of the latest RIBA-accredited architecture school show their wares. Square lanterns hang over models in an orderly array. Each lantern exhibits drawings on each of its four sides. And the work is good, to do with buildings, even suggestive of what they might be made of, and indicative of where they might be placed. There are no fish farms floating over Hoxton. Afterwards, in conversation with the Wise Old Hack at the Writer’s Table, there suddenly appeared to be a ray of hope. For while the South-East had been written off for flights of plagiarist fantasy, the North had been written off for sheer prolixity. The cabaret at Preston hints at a return under its inspiring staff to architectural experiment. As the Wise Old Hack reminded us: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single professor in possession of a good brain must be in want of a school’.

Standout unit Preston doesn’t run units, only taking 40 students per year.

Standout student Jake Gill.

In a word Experimental-cabaret

David Dunster, formerly Roscoe professor of architecture at the University of Liverpool

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