PROGRAMME DIRECTOR: CHLOE STREET TARBATT
Our lively undergraduate programme is based at the Marlowe building, located in the centre of the Canterbury campus, on a green hillside overlooking the historic city. Our school prides itself in its multicultural, flexible and outward looking approach, wherein difference is celebrated and experimentation is encouraged; the variety of styles and approaches to design evident in our student’s work is testament to the broad international and social mix we represent here at Kent School of Architecture and Planning. Our simple ‘horizontal’ approach to design teaching design - whereby each cohort is set the same design brief across the year group - allows students the agency to develop their own personally distinctive ethos in relation to the brief, un-tethered from any notion of a ‘studio diktat’.
We continue to build on our strong regional approach for design projects, with Kent and Medway operating as a live test-bed for placing our notional, or live, interventions. This south-eastern corner of the UK offers a socially, economically and historically rich environment for developing a strong understanding of context on a variety of levels.
Stage One took a fresh direction this year under the authorship of its Stage Coordinator, Rebecca Hobbs. The design projects were based locally in Margate and Canterbury, and utilised the strong creative culture of the region to devise a set of linked briefs designing spaces for the local artistic community.
Stage Two was under new authorship, with Felicity Atekpe taking the helm. Felicity’s stewardship saw the Autumn term ‘Architecture and Landscape’ design module take an open approach, with students asked to develop their own briefs around the theme of ‘artisanal production’. The Spring term design project, ‘Collective Dwelling’, convened by Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin, continued its scholarly and inquisitive analysis and recording of local vernacular domestic architecture, based in the historic town of Dover.
Stage Three took Margate as its focus once again, riding on the wave of regeneration being stimulated by coastal funding opportunities. The adaption and extension of the Theatre Royal in Autumn term, convened by Fiona Raley, was based on a ‘live’ brief prepared in collaboration with Thanet Council, who were keen to harness our student’s creativity to help inspire future funding opportunities. Students were then tasked with further demographic research during the Spring term to develop their own proposals for a ‘Wellness Centre’ on the site of the abandoned Lido, convened by Dr Ambrose Gillick.