The teaching programmes we offer are innovative and yet relevant to the needs of contemporary graduates. Our design teaching staff are drawn from experience within the School and from some of London's best practices. They combine innovation and intellectual rigour with practical experience. Design teaching operates within studios and units on the Architecture programmes and within and across years in Landscape. It is supported by lecture courses, seminars, workshops and visits focusing on history and theory, technology and practice.
Both the Architecture and Landscape areas engage in strategic projects which cross levels and courses, offering the opportunity for engagement between years and have allowed the School to collectively engage with strategic thinking at the scale of the city and the landscape. This year, for example, all Architecture students are working on a project with Design for London, part of the London Development Agency, helping them to critique and build upon policy, as it emerges.
At another scale the School has a strong tradition of thinking through making, taking advantage of the wonderful facilities and the culture which comes from being part of a Faculty of Art and Design. On some courses students have the chance to choose options in bronze casting, stone carving, concrete or rapid prototyping. You might also choose to engage with a Live Project, working on real sites, constructing physical structures and engaging with communities.
The strength of the School has been reflected in the excellent coverage that it has had over the last year, appearing a number of times in national architecture journals and receiving excellent reviews in the Architects Journal and Building Design, from serious critics like Jonathan Woolf. We had some success in last year's RIBA President's Medals 2008, where Alexandrina Ritsova received the Komfort Award for imaginative interior space and, more recently, Paolo Scianni was amongst the six top graduating students in the UK as chosen by Building Design's Jury.
The School can also be understood as a research space, at many levels. Members of staff operate at the highest level across the breadth of our disciplines, encompassing historical, theoretical, building science and practice based research. Of recent note is that Irina Davidovici, who teaches History and Theory across the School has been awarded the 2009 RIBA President's Award for an Outstanding PhD Thesis. Archilab, directed by Dr Stephen Pretlove is a respected building science research centre with expertise in environmental, lighting and acoustic design. Practice based research starts with the Head of School, Daniel Rosbottom who is a director of drdharchitects, an internationally acclaimed practice who have in the last year won international competitions in Norway and Belgium and are part of the highly publicised Ordos 100 project in Inner Mongolia, China.
Beyond individual staff members the work being undertaken by the architecture students in relation to the London Development Agency’s East London Green Grid Programme is an example of a research project engaged with by the student body as a whole. This has been a tradition in the Landscape area for some years, where the Landscape Interface Studio regularly engages with real clients and funded research.
BA(Hons) Landscape Architecture
"The course is great with lots of different types of projects, materials and scales."