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Student Shows 2014: University of Central Lancashire

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John Bridge reviews UCLan’s end-of-year show

I have been a frequent visitor to UCLan’s degree shows over the years, and since the inception of the architecture degree, this year was arguably its most impressive. For many years there has always been an undercurrent of technical ability within the students’ body of work, which may stem from the school’s successful Architectural Technology BSc. However, UCLan’s Architecture course has created its own identity through new facilities and a strong and talented student base.

The pragmatism of the school’s pedagogy didn’t seem by any means restrictive, if anything, the variety of lecturers and tutors has provided an interesting Petri dish of stimuli to the students. It was clear that the incorporation of social requirements as well as a number of considerations towards aspirational ways of living, provided the students with the freedom to develop their studies of architecture through different mediums. It was refreshing to see a variety of graphical output, from paintings and models, to 3D visualisation and a keen intellectual narrative by each and every student.

Standout units & students

The school offers a variety of ateliers. The standout atetlier was Creative Thinking. It incorporated a strong sense of problem solving on social issues. Through technology and simple pragmatic solutions, using realistic ‘up cycled’ materials with innovative systems, I felt like I was being treated to a glimpse of the future, a vision into the realms of possibility, while backing up those ideas up with detail, research and theoretical argument. In terms of students, Luke Jones stood out -  his design was a statement against the economic construct of our society, a symbol not of conversion, but of protest, a projection of an alternative social narrative. A place that offers a different way of construction and a different quality/outlook of life in a city.

  • John Bridge, architect, Croft Goode

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