In October 2010 Architecture and Design Scotland delivered an exciting workshop aimed at 5th and 6th year students considering an application to study architecture at university level.
15 young people from in and around Glasgow participated in the five day course which was delivered by professional architect Craig Dunn who also tutors at Strathclyde University.
The course was designed to give the young people experience of working through a project from client brief to presentation developing their skills in site investigation, sketching, drawing, research, design, model making, photography, Photoshop and presentation.
This innovative workshop offered the young people an opportunity to design for a live client as a site was identified by the Glasgow City Council Stalled Spaces initiative that would be ideal for them to use. The site was a disused piece of land in Easterhouse, belonging to the Archdiocese, which is being given temporarily to Beechwood Nursery School to use as a forest school site.
This gave the students an opportunity to visit their site with the client in mind and provided a tangible basis for their project. Beechwood Nursery School provided a brief for the students to work to and this was supplemented by research into existing Forest School sites and the theory and purpose behind them.
With all this in mind the students spent several days designing, refining and model making. They worked as a design team with groups of two or three students working on small sections of the site to create one cohesive design for the entire space.
The course culminated in a presentation of the students’ designs and ideas to an invited audience including the client and representatives from Strathclyde University Architecture Department and the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art.
The audience were very impressed with the standard of the work produced and the level of enthusiasm and commitment displayed by the students. Several of the students have since successfully gained acceptance onto a university course and will be beginning their studies in September 2011.
“I thought that the students got a superb deal. Independence, invaluable skill sets, exposure to the built environment as well as working together in a relaxed environment. All in all, the workshop has demonstrated how much enthusiasm and talent is in the next generation if they are given a chance. Well done facilitators for providing the environment as well as a well balanced supervision.”
Lecturer + Studio Tutor
Mackintosh School of Architecture
As a grounding for young people to find a route into an architectural career I thought it was a fabulous stepping stone. Having a ‘live’ client added to the sophistication of the project and gave the task that all important link to the real world. The work produced by the participants was lively, thoughtful and presented to a degree which I felt was close to the early work of Year 1 University students. What did impress was the confidence and understanding of topical design issues that each participant was able to discuss with the invited audience. Strathclyde University would certainly be keen to see more applicants who have undertaken this sort of project in their portfolios, and it increases their chances of being accepted onto our course.
YEAR 1 STUDIO DIRECTOR
Department of Architecture
University of Strathclyde
A downloadable teaching resource will be available here soon to enable teachers to deliver the course to Higher and Advanced Higher Art students.