Tutors: Diony Kypraiou (Year Leader), Sam Aitkenhead, Zoe Diakaki, Ro Spankie, Allan Sylvester and Julian Williams
Diony Kypraiou is Senior Lecturer, architect and researcher. Her work explores practices of polyvocalism and performativity in design, exploring analogies staged across theatre, psychoanalysis, interiors and architecture. She is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy, UK.
Sam Aitkenhead is a designer, researcher and maker working across architecture, interiors, graphics and product design. His work explores ways to reduce environmental impact through design and material innovation.
Zoe Diakaki is an architect and interaction designer whose work sits on the intersection of architecture, scenography and immersive technologies.
Ro Spankie is Principal Lecturer and Subject Lead for Interior Architecture. Fascinated by the role of the drawing in the design process, she has exhibited and published work related to the interior in the UK and abroad.
Allan Sylvester is Visiting Lecturer, a practicing architect, and founding partner of Ullmayer Sylvester Architects, a design- led multidisciplinary collaborative practice.
Julian Williams is an architect and Principal Lecturer and has established the new Foundation Year in architecture and design at the University of Westminster. His research focuses on teaching and learning.
Spatial Narratives & Thesis Project
Third year’s spatial narratives focused on the relationship of body, mind and spirit. Drawing on conditions of isolation, the desire to reconnect with nature, and inspired by the history of Quintin Hogg’s Chiswick Sports Grounds as our site of exploration, the year began with in-depth archival research on the site’s history, followed by a collaborative site survey. Through a series of hands-on workshops, students studied the quality of light and the way it affects wellbeing. They pursued their design ideas by integrating the surrounding landscape to support physical and spiritual activity, and offer moments of comfort, pleasure, and care. Term I concluded with innovative and transformative spatial propositions for the Polytechnic Re-treat, reimagining the existing cricket pavilion as a prototype retreat for students and staff of our university.
The Thesis Project is the main pursuit for Year 3 students. Each student identifies a host building and devises a programme based on analysis and personal design interests. Ideas are explored through an array of techniques including material experimentation and 3D scanning. The diversity of schemes and depth of speculation is indicated by a sample of project descriptions and locations: ‘Mian’ Museum: A Chinese eating culture and noodle museum in Haggerston Bath; People’s Palace: Transforming a derelict auction house for the Yemeni Community Association in Newport; Secret Garden: Allotment garden and café for the New Horizons Youth Centre in St. Dunstan’s in the East; Dr Martens Inventions Lab: A retail laboratory to tinker with inventions and enable self-expression in Covent Garden; A Virtual Reality travel experience in a redundant department store on Oxford Street; Bespoke Pop-Up: A recording studio for Kraftwerk on Broadway Market; Rewilding the urban stable at Chiswick; The Caustic Beacon: Transforming a historic riverside lighthouse into an immersive, sustainable hub.