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Student Shows 2014: University for the Creative Arts

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Guy Hollaway reviews Canterbury School or Art’s end-of-year show

UCA tests architecture between the two extremes of direct human experience and topical macro socio-economic issues using highly creative and engaging briefs. I was expecting to see the ‘Will Alsop’ effect, however, the school and its students have their own identity. The degree students showed a strong sense of sectional perspectives and there was a tremendous intensity and range in the communication of the projects between physical creation, film-making, animation and digital fabrication.

Standout degree work came from Declan Harvey, who created a complex project that tests the ideologies of Bertholt Brecht in relation to epic theatre, providing a focus for street performers and buskers in Hamburg.

Abdulbari Kutbi designed a North Sea marine ecology research station, wittily taking advantage of cities’ vulnerability to flooding.

Diploma student Christopher Beckett showed considerable skill with his project for Western Heights, Dover, and Radu Gidei presented an outstanding theoretical concept to rethink the way airport terminals are designed, incredibly presented on his own self-built iPad display.

The interiors course at UCA has been strong year-on-year, though this show displayed a lack of body of work in favour of a minimalist exhibition, which seemed to sell the students’ abilities short. Impressive work was seen from Zerrin Kabaoglou with her project for the UN buffer zone in Nicosia, Cyprus.

UCA continues to be a creative, well-balanced course.

  • Guy Hollaway, founder, Guy Hollaway Architects
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