Another look at Critical Subjects

Earlier this year, back in July we joined up with Orms architects and the students of the Architecture and Design Summer School and had the chance to explore 95 Wigmore Street, a project featured in our current edition whilst John McRae,talked to the students about Orms’ transformation of the building. 

The series ran between the  3rd and 19th of July bringing together students from sixteen countries and architects to explore architecture and the questions it may pose through the medium of sight and experience. 

Interestingly, the students attended Debates rather than lectures during the series on subjects that pushed their preconceived ideas and knowledge. They also engaged in abstract modelling instead of learning points; and design challenges rather than the design orthodoxies.

Some of the topics discussed during the series include-

Evidence-based design; Do architects rely too much on research (and junk science) to justify their work?

What is modern about modern architecture; Is “modern architecture”: a software package, an ironic term, a dated concept or a positive aspiration?

The return of craftsmanship; Is anything different between a slowly produced, hand-crafted product, and a machine-made version?

And, amongst others: What is architecture for?

Critical Subjects offered a unique opportunity for 36 of the keenest students of architecture to engage in a series of intellectual architectural challenges facilitated by leading names in the field, to network with key architects, to engage in meaningful debate and to challenge their preconceptions.

By bringing together 36 students and immersing them into their future profession at an early stage both the architects and students have gained from the experience, the students gaining vital experience and knowledge from their senior peers and the Architects themselves get an incite into some of the students fresh new ideas.

To see our last Feature on The Critical Subjects Architecture Summer School click here.

Words: Jessica MacNally

Videos: Austin Williams, associate professor, XJTLU university, Suzhou, China

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