Time to catch the blog up on current events after a (much needed) weekend break in Cornwall!..
Last Thursday was a busy day with guest lecturers, microwave fires, and of course the first year technical review! We each had a separate design and technical review and as usual there was some great work up on the walls and lots to talk about!
At lunch (after the chaos of the the fire alarms!) we had Stephen Graham giving a talk as part of the ‘CTS: Interface’ series entitled ‘Cities under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’. It was a thought provoking talk about current urban environments that could have easily been mistaken for a seminar on a dystopian future as seen through the eye of an infra-red spy camera at 20,000 feet in the sky! Exposing some of the dangers that utilising military technology in a civilian environment poses to western democracy, he attempts to “expose the hidden corporate and military structures behind everyday life” (Heathcote, E, Financial Times).
After a swift drink at JSV for a traditional post-review pint it was off to the evening PADS lecture from Professor Jeremy Till, the architect, writer and educator to give a talk on some of his previous publications that he describes as his ‘greatest hits’. Anyone familiar with his work will know that he promotes an architectural intelligence beyond the production of objects, and in particular in terms of social and political agency. This is a field of thought that is closely aligned with the school of architecture here at Plymouth, and in fact many of the students that I spoke to after the lecture in Thursday felt he was very much ‘preaching to the choir’ and that the practice of designing buildings as objects to be looked at, a practice that still pervades the mainstream of architectural education is one totally alien to those that have studies at Plymouth from year one.
On Friday we had Peter Jones, a lecturer in graphic communication in the studio to give a workshop on poster design. This gave us a good opportunity to start thinking about how we were going to communicate the main ideas and themes of our projects at the final review!