Undergraduate Studio 3 is a Live Projects Studio supported by CassProjects. The Studio explores new ways of looking at the role of the architect and the practice of architecture whilst delivering a built project. The Studio also acts as an umbrella for students with self-initiated Live Projects and social and entrepreneurial agendas. For this project, 2nd year students revisited a previous structure initially built by Studio 3 students in 2008, and re-designed it on a £700 budget. They tested it on two new sites linking the East and West of London: Stratford (Abbey Gardens) in the East, and Hayes (Austin Housing Estate) in the West. Each site had real stakeholders such as clients and community groups.
The project saw several design phases and presentations to the client community in which students were instructed to work in a team, learning about the importance of collectivity and generosity. They learnt how to share authorship and credit each other, how to experiment by ‘making through hands-on construction’ and to experience the effect of sociability both inside the design studio and outside in the city. Students created ‘conversation kits’ using the project’s environment as a source of knowledge, starting a dialogue about the potential functionality of the future structure and the programs the community could undertake to improve the local area.
The Mobile Work / Shop transferred knowledge and secrets from the community garden in Stratford to the community aspiring to have a collective space in Hayes. The project will continue beyond the academic year – by when it will have been presented to both communities – with the next student cohort. Friends of Abbey Gardens (Stratford) are interested in starting an Artist in Residency program and using the structure as a studio for 3-4 week residencies for artists and designers interested in horticulture. Hillingdon Play Association (Hayes) will develop a project based on community consultation done throughout the year.
Client: Friends of Abbey Gardens / Hillingdon Play Association
Tutors: Torange Khonsari and Sandra Denicke-Polcher with Cass Projects (Jen Ng)
Students: Weon Young Choi, Ludovica Cirillo, Gerald Darling, Errol Houston, Riam Ibrahem, Hongjae Kim, Fadwa Mezughi, Haneen Shames, Mirko Solinas, Halil Yorel, Valerie Ziregbe
How can student live projects consider the role of the architect and the practice of architecture?