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Student Shows 2015: University of Portsmouth

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Darren Bray takes a look at the University of Portsmouth’s end-of-year show

Portsmouth School of architecture has put real world 21st century issues at the head of both its undergraduate and MArch units, which creates not just a platform for outstanding work but great intense debate among its students. There is a real drive here to deliver students with real world skills, a strong moral ethical design sense as well as making them think like entrepreneurs.

In BA3 the food bank project now creates ‘archipreneurs’ as students give life to their own manifestos declaring their aims & architectural policy. We get both poetically & politically provocative work as well as an intense socio-political debate. As always the work on display places technical and environmental integration with innovation, but now with the added ingredient of social theoretical background.

Stand out highlights of the degree work come from Haakon Egil Lie in his stunning visualisations and 3d printed model, Paul Moss treats to a technically, environmentally and beautiful folded roof, while James Novim creates a innovative thermal wall.

In the postgraduate Emergent Studio, Sarajevo, Bosnia + Herzegovina is this years focus for A place for reconciliation. Students are asked to deal with the complex history that lies beneath this region incorporating a time line of conflict and architecture in the 20th century with a focus on the Balkans. The Emergent studio deals with challenging global issues where students get to grips with contextualism in creating responses to scarred political and environmental landscapes. Amelia Samways & Ama Duah are two of the M.Arch Emergent students with wonderfully reflective, thoughtful, poetic and atmospheric proposal. 

In a world were Assemble have become the leaders of archipreneurialism and Bjarke Ingels is challenging the meaning of global vernacularism. Portsmouth has put both of these 21st century issues at the fore front of its manifesto for educating our next generation of designers.

Darren Bray of PAD Studios

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