The Diocese of Portsmouth operates 142 parishes of Anglican faith around the Hampshire Coast and Isle of Wight. During 2009/10, within a developing strategy for improving their churches and associated buildings, the Project Office were invited to look at 6 areas of specific community need; churches in Portsmouth, Gosport, Leigh Park, Havant and Fareham and a community drop-in centre in Portsmouth. Each of the projects had a specific brief of improving the facilities for community welfare through enhancement of the built environment that challenged any previous conceptions of the Client, Church Staff and congregation.
Following a hiatus of nearly 5 years, the Project Office has been given the opportunity of connecting with 3 new Clients from the Diocese of Portsmouth. This year the Summer Interns Programme was led and coordinated by over 30 Brazilian undergraduate students from the ‘Science Without Borders’ initiative who have been studying Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design and Graphic Design at the University of Portsmouth for the past academic year.
Each project started with a site visit, introduction to the Client and their needs and an outline ‘gut’ reaction as an immediate design response. Then, over the proceeding 2 weeks, a scheme was developed, finalised and presented to the Client.
Clients: Canon Nick Ralph and Leigh Rampton (Portsmouth Diocese), Father Paul Armstead St James Church (Milton), Father Ian Newton St Michael and All Angels (Paulsgrove), Reverend Andy Wilson Christ Church (Portsdown)
Tutors: Martin Andrews, Bryony Whitmarsh, Roberto Braglia, Francis Graves and Emma Dalton
Students: over 30 Brazilian Students from Undergraduate Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design and Graphic Design courses
Research Question: Project Office Clients have, in the majority of cases, worked with a cohort of students who hail from the UK and EU. This project dramatically changed that dynamic. The ‘Science without Borders’ project, run for 6 weeks during the Summer of 2015, provided 3 Portsmouth Church Clients with the opportunity of working in collaboration with over 30 Brazilian Students who had been studying Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design and Graphic Design as part of a year-long exchange programme. What approach would the Brazilian students take to these projects Would it vastly differ from other UK and EU student cohorts? Could the projects be run concurrently using 2 languages (English and Portuguese)? Would the Brazilian students be familiar with the unique context of the Church of England when compared to their own understanding of ‘Church’ and ‘Community’? The outcomes, as you will see, were both surprising and inspiring…