You find me relaxing tonight, after a very busy week and a very long day! Today we had our interim crit as we are halfway through our 12 week project; what is a crit you ask? This formidable word that is forever on an architecture student’s mind is when we pin up all of our work for a project, and are critiqued by our tutors and quite often external critics (lecturers from other uni’s or architects from real firms!) – we present our designs right through from site and conception to design in front of fellow students and these critics, followed by intense questioning!
I should probably explain what our project is about, especially for those of you wondering what exactly and architecture student gets up to in studio: our site is in Newport, (at the end of Commercial Road for those of you who know the city!) situated on top of an old dock that’s been filled in – in the heart of an industrial areas and with lots of history to draw on. Anyway, it’s called ‘Power of Making’ and is all about the process of making and craftsmanship – looking particularly at timber and steel. The brief therefore requires workshops, and in making the site a destination and public space we also have to have galleries, a café, shop, educational areas, a library and more – so the biggest project I have done to date – second year of architecture = hello master-planning!
So, today. I always find crits to be an interesting affair, on one hand it’s interesting to see other people’s projects, hear what they have to say and maybe even ‘borrow’ an idea or two. But on the other hand, standing up in front of a group of peers and critics is more often than not nerve wracking. Today was a particularly large group, 20 peers and 4 critics (3 practising architects and a professional artist). What’s funny is when the critics get so involved that the occasional argument breaks out between them over your scheme. I was fifth to present which gave me enough time to realise that…Phew, we’ve got really positive external critics giving good constructive feedback, something that may be tested, however, when they get to my pin up which seemed disproportionately thin considering the hours that had gone in. Luckily, the critics liked the ideas that I’d formulated over the past week and enjoyed my display. Overall it was a helpful crit with a clear message that was, at one point, shouted by a rather over enthusiastic critic… “MAKE MORE MODELS!!”… Expect to see photos from the workshop next week.
Following on from the crit I am now on a hunt with a friend to find local joiners in Cardiff that will give us some free offcuts to test a secret recipe for staining oak a lovely black colour.
In other news, SAWSA (the Student Society of the Welsh School of Architecture) is adding another lecture to the lecture series tomorrow. The series gives students the chance to hear from practising architects (some local, some from further afield… all notable none the less) about working in the real world and life after uni. Tomorrows lecture, by ANS group Europe, is about living walls and green roofs and promises to be interesting and helpful for those of us hoping to integrate such things in our designs.
For more information on SAWSA check out their facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2909835143/?fref=ts
That’s about it from me for now, Time to catch up on some much missed sleep from the past week.
Until next time