Graduate Show 2019: Josh Hancock: MA Architecture

I enjoy speculating on big-picture problems through a critical and playful design process. 

I am interested in pushing the boundaries of the discipline, as well as increasing the possibility of wider-public engagement. My design process and proposals are always very thorough and analytical, recognising the importance of social-fabric, site context and ingrained meanings etc. For me, the most prolific influences tend to be rich and characterful projects that are highly perceptive of their context. I enjoy vibrant and referential designs that bring a strong sense of charm and character to our built-world.

Top view of drawing

Please tell us about your final year project

“Brighton Seafront: Events, Spectacles, Anarchy and Delight”

My thesis is a polemic investigation of Brighton seafront that re-introduces an architectural language of delight and anarchy, as there is a danger of more ‘logical’ urban planning and overly constringent regulations. As a famous (or infamous) seaside resort, Brighton has never been one to play by the rules. In relationship to my MArch 1 thesis, the project investigates and promotes exceptions to the standard architectural rules. My interventions purposely do not follow traditional logic and aim to raise specific questions about the British seaside and the wider planning and development structure in the country.

split view of development

The designs celebrate the contradictory nature of vernacular seaside design, Victorian innovation, colonial exoticism and current requirements of seaside-resorts. They offer spaces to escape and seek pleasure for mass culture; recapturing a sense of nostalgia and spirit-of-place. Traditionally, the greater animation and character of seaside architecture, the greater success.

Presented are a collection of meticulous analysis documents and then a series of more playful proposals reflecting the architectural language I have interpreted.

Why is architectural scale and communication important along Brighton seafront?

What is the architectural language of seaside events and spectacles; and how does Brighton seafront epitomise or accommodate this?

long view of development

How have you found your course/time at Brighton?

My time in Brighton and on the MArch course has been interesting and challenging. The city is a great place to live and study in; and I have purposely focused on the local area as a context for my MArch 1 and MArch 2 Design projects.

What are your plans after Graduation?

At the start of the summer I am attending the Studio in the Woods course, led by Invisible Studio. As more permanent plans go, I am hoping to live and work in London for a couple of years, continuing on with my design interests as described above. I would love to work on a broad range of sectors within the city for clients who encourage more vibrant and original architectural thinking.

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