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Student Shows 2015: University for the Creative Arts

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Danka Stefan takes a look at the University for the Creative Arts’ end-of-year show

One of the defining features of the Canterbury School of Architecture is its location within the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). This setting encourages an emphasis on the school being ‘a place to make; a place to think; and a place to take action’, while avoiding the pitfall of reducing architecture to artistic representation or vacuous theory. The lively show occupied most of the campus and combined areas dedicated to Fine Art with those exhibiting Architecture and Interior Design.

As in previous years, the Master of Architecture show was in the spotlight. Standout students came from the 5th year unit, working on the island of Cyprus. Yvonne Jackson looked at Varosha, a desolate former modernist tourist idyll, her urban interventions shown through a series of evocative drawings and models. Aaron Bright explored through a series of beautifully drawn boards the fact that Cyprus has become a popular venue for marriage, proposing wedding venues (and Love Pods).

Like in the past years, the degree show continued to focus on strong sectional drawings in all of the final projects. It was almost a pity that some of the early projects were sidelined as they demonstrated a great attention to detail, as for example Ben Ravensdale’s work speculating on the future of East London. Final projects were set in Hamburg, with Alexander Liew offering an exploration of the city’s spires and showing a dedicated attention to the use of colour, and Michael Water wittily proposing a building where cars are modified to fit an increasingly car free green society.

As part of the BA Interior Arch & Design final year students worked with the Soane Museum on interesting micro interventions, and later with Hackney Council on proposals for a new creative industries incubator/hub. Standout students were Gemma Willis, Samantha Chan and Christie Leong.

Canterbury School of Architecture continues to grow strongly, with a grip on robust architecture and going against the tides of overinflated theoretical approaches to the field.

Danka Stefan of Guy Hollaway Architects


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