YEAR THREE – DS3.6
Tutors: Michael Spooner & Julian Williams
Michael Spooner was an associate director to dRMM for 12 years, leading on the design of schools of Birmingham and Exeter, and the Stirling prize-winning Hastings Pier. He now combines teaching and examining while running a collaborative practice studioSpoon.
Julian Williams is Principal Lecturer, and currently developing a Foundation year for the Architecture Courses. He organised the AAE2019 conference and is doing research on teaching and learning. He is currently involved in developing community solar projects for his own neighbourhood.
What kind of spaces will be needed for teaching in the future and how can they nurture understanding of the physical world of weather, climate and the future of our planet?
Our students have explored these questions by examining the value of the neighbourhood as a ‘world-in-itself’ using the concept of the 15-minute city, buildings as a ‘third teacher’, and by using environmental design principles to inform strategic design and quality learning spaces.
During the year we engaged with what it means to design for an overall-zero embodied carbon and zero carbon-in-use target, and to consider how architecture can work to enhance site biodiversity.
The students’ work has involved the design of simple passive and active technologies and the means by which children and their communities might engage with climate change through the embodied experience of climate (weather) and its visual/tactile effect on building materials and constructions.
For their first project the students were asked to design a prototype community teaching space that would include activities missing from the locale needed to create a children’s 5-minute city. The site, a car park of the Brandon Estate adjoining Kennington Park, opened up discussion of the history of the estate’s landscape setting and the role of art in shaping place and identity.
The second project was to design a new single form entry primary school on a development site adjacent to Archbishop’s Park in North Lambeth. The designs include activities to support the school’s own 15-minute city and engage with the adjacent public realm.