Rakesh Ramchurn visits CSM’s new campus and reimagines London as presented by seven CSM graduates
As this is CSM’s first year at the university’s new Kings Cross campus which sits in the middle of London’s biggest redevelopment site, it seemed right to let students draw on the surrounding area for their final year projects. Students were asked to imagine London in 2050, and to re-interpret one of seven sites around the campus according to their hypothetical view of the needs and challenges of the future.
The fact that the student show is exhibited at the campus forces you to pass the building sites around the area and helps you to imaging the zone as a blank canvas open to the suggestions of this year’s student crop. Work is exhibited on the first floor and consists of drawings, plans, sketchbooks, montages and 3D models. The display itself is grouped according to the seven sites being re-imagined, however, this demarcation isn’t made very clear.
All students were given the same brief, and almost all of them envisioned a dystopian future with environmental crises, overcrowding and food shortages as the key markers of London in 2050. Some projects were essentially refuges such as mental health or wellbeing centres, spas or community hubs. But the ones that drew most attention were those that tackled the problems of the future in fanciful and innovative ways.
Michael Padraic Gorman designed the Kings Cross Invitro Beef Centre, a structure where artificial beef was ‘grown’, combined with an information centre that aimed to make the meat more palatable to cynical visitors, who then had the option of trying the product on an elegant rooftop restaurant. Also on the subject of meat, Ashley Fridd designed the Pigeon Place, where the capital’s loathed birds are turned into a resource as food or fertilizer. Marina Andronescu’s project was more down to earth, designed to help the boating community of Regent’s Canal, and stood out for her beautiful colour sketches.
In a word
AJ reviews of every student show in the UK will be published in a special issue of the magazine on 26 July. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.