MA Show explores urban environment

Students from MA Architecture and Urban Design are exhibiting work at Mithras House until October 19.

The MA in Architectural and Urban Design brings critical debate together with creative practice, in order to develop designers of the urban environment. Engaging with the analysis of city spaces and developing their own projects, students speculate as to how cities will evolve and be used in the future.  ‘Urbanism’ and ‘urban design’ are ambiguous terms that surround and reflect both the physical and mental attributes applied to the built environment. The material of roads, pavements, buildings, railways, bridges and so on represents the ‘physical’. The ‘mental’ spatial context is represented by narratives, histories, personal perceptions and anticipations. The two sensibilities combine to form a layered knowledge of the city, which could be compared to a mature palimpsest or to semi-obscured archaeology. In this context ‘the city’ is studied in an intimate manner with particular emphasis placed on the space of the private realm and its seamless engagement with the public domain.

Design 1: Urban Strategies is an introduction to design strategies, methods and issues pertinent to the design studio, exploring the potential of different approaches to design. There is a strong emphasis on the development of conceptual ideas and their correlation with the development of design strategy.  The Independent Project runs concurrently and is concerned with the identification of places of ‘conflict’ and negotiations of space. The module encourages experimentation in a specific field of study. Students have developed projects in fields of architectural and artistic practice, creative design, techniques of communication or new technologies.  In the Critical Readings module skills are developed in critical practice through an analysis of cultural, historical, theoretical and practical issues in architecture.  This module provides the opportunity to carry out initial investigations that will drive Masterwork projects.  The emphasis in Design 2 is upon curiosity and speculation. This year the design work is located in and around Pool Valley, Brighton where the infrastructures contribute to the historic and strategic importance. Students question the potential experience of the connections between the journey, the transport station and the city; how they may be understood and developed through interventions at a human scale. New spatial networks intersect, engage with or disrupt established routes and systems. The brief is to identify and link a series of previously ‘ordinary’ spaces and transform these to provide a potential experience that is distinctive and extra-ordinary.

The Masterwork is the final stage of study, requiring students to perform as self-reflective critical researchers, laying down the foundations for innovation in their future practice.  Projects are developed from an agreed research proposal and these may be text-based or design-led, bringing critical investigation and creative responses together.

Students showing work

Sunemi Bae

Marwa Bensaid

Wenrui Kang

Yan Liu

Zhecong Pan

Chiou-Zhen Wong

Rufat Abdullayev

Jake Alexander

Ivy Dias Coles

Flynn Shen Fong

Julie Jeong

Amal Saif

Shen Zheyu

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