Dissertation

Successful museums should by definition be a building designed to display a set of artefacts in a manner that ensures that the architectural design is an integral part of the understanding of the collection. This paper argues that the 19th century models for museums (and architecture) based on an understanding of tradition; provide a better synthesis of object and architecture, than short lived 21st century ‘fashion’ spaces.

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Nomination for the George Jackson Travelling Award 2012

Earlier this month I was nominated for the  the George Jackson Educational Foundation Travel Award. This is an annual award given to students from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design based on their academic achievement and proposal for travel.

I would use this trip to travel to Berlin, Germany to further my research into the identity and culture of people during the 1930’s a time when the far right and the far left had different ideas but left their mark on the city.

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On the Road to Architecture Part 4

I do believe it is about time for me to update you lovely people about my journey to university and my chosen subject to read of Architecture. At the last contact I had been made an offer by both BIAD and Oxford Brookes for architecture courses and I was thinking about the technology that I needed to acquire to do this course.

On the offer front I have made BIAD my first choice for architecture on my UCAS form, this is mainly because I feel as a university it has a much better feel that at Oxford. Even though Oxford is a nicer area for my studies I believe it has to be Birmingham all the way.  Some people may be confused by this decision over a ‘higher’ placed university, but that university did not fit me and it also did not fit my ethos of an environment that should make you happy the second you walk in, much as what Birmingham provided me.

In terms of technology, I do believe I will be purchasing a Macbook Pro sometime soon as at the moment they are running a free iPod Touch offer and printer rebate. That all sounds lovely and inviting for me. I may in the future by an iPhone but it depends on my financial situation.

Talking about finanaces I have a good solid chunk of money coming my way, courtesy of the student finance people. As I am not staying in Birmingham this should tide me over nicely.

My next update should be after my A level results.

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On the Road to Architecture Part 3

On Tuesday I went to Birmingham City University for an interview and the open day, I was a tad worried as everyone else arrived with massive A1 folders probably brimming with art work and I had an A3 folder full of product design; oh and my lamp.

I love Birmingham it is a cosy little campus, with creative students at every turn. The kind of place where having designers block is probably not possible. When I went for my actual interview (with the course director) I found the whole experience amazing we talked about all kinds of random issues and it was great.

Today I have been notified that I have a conditional offer for BCU and I am chuffed.

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On the Road to Architecture Part 2

Well it has been a few weeks since my UCAS has been sent off; progress of my education has been made beyond my hopes before it went off.

Initially Birmingham City University contacted me first and put an interview date and then so did De Montfort, and now Oxford Brookes which completes the set. I am really pleased that ‘Brookes university actually allowed me the privilege of having an interview/portfolio review, as apparently they have over a 1000 applications and must cut it down someone significantly at interview stage.

I did apply to Nottingham University, but was rejected for architecture. This was mainly because I did not meet the entry criteria (which I never checked) which was an astounding 3 A’s at A2. Nottingham did  not completely reject me, they offered me a place on a new course called Sustainable Built Environment which looks pretty good and I would be willing to go there.

So overall progress has been made and I am very pleased.

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On the Road to Architecture

Students Architecture

It seems to me that most of my fellow students are constantly doing subjects which give them a reduced workload and less responsibility – an easy run through university. It became apparent to me that I was probably one of the only sixth formers who were doing a subject which needs massive commitments and long hours in order to complete it.

I am of course talking about Architecture. That funny subject that takes over 7 years to finally finish and is protected by the government in the same likes as being a doctor for example. That means if you were to go outside and show you’re an architect and you weren’t on the register – the police could prosecute you.

My first port of call to get on an architecture course is to of course visit the schools in question and look at what they are about. It is important at this point to ignore anything league tables show because in a since they are just mathematical bollocks.

The first I visited was Birmingham City University; you might be thinking now why an A at A level achiever wants to go to a school with such stigma attached. Well the simple answer is I really do not care about its name; I wanted the quality of its teaching. I was pleasantly surprised, the work was top notch, the facilities were excellent and I had an overall feeling of eccentric warmth in the building. This school was going to be on my list, not just because of that, but because it was based on a complete and famous art campus. This campus has so much creativity going on it might as well explode with ideas of the future flowing through it.

On my magical road trip, we went north, left my home in the midlands and went to the glorious once industrial centre of the world Sheffield. The city was beautiful, the trams were delightful; they were clean and fast moving (well done to Sheffield for re-introducing probably the best form of public transport ever). However, when we went to the area were architecture was my overall optimistic opinion dropped. The supposed 2nd best university for architecture (as the AJ points out) was based in a monolithic 20 storey tower, 60’s gray façade. It did not look good at all for the future of this school in my opinion. The talk for the university was for some strange reason in an old decrepit chemistry building, and we thought well can we look at the actually place of study. So we went to the tower and were greeted with the un-usual system of lifts that did not work and that I have a fear of, walking up the escape stair shafts up 15 storeys in the sweltering head (my mom almost died from exhaustion.) But it would be worth it as it was a top 5 university, sadly it wasn’t, the work was for all intensive purposes rubbish. It lacked any imagination and was gray and drab much like the university. The talk was terrible when we got in it, the room was stuffy and the tutor was boring and un-charismatic. I left disappointed, the city was fantastic but the university was less than average. I still do not know how a Russell group university would be so lacking in any attractive substance. Saying that the university is being re-developed so in 5 years time it may be a different story but atm it is not right for me in a sense.

My last journey south was over an hour from my home in the fine sleepy city of Oxford; leafy and green with a general lovely atmosphere that greeted me. Our first challenge was to get on a special park and ride at Uni-Part; this was more of a challenge than first thought as the university was not allowed to put signs up as to where it is. When asking the locals we managed to find the gigantic building that was nestled behind a gigantic gas tower next to the BMW Mini factory.  If this was an improvement that would be it, more signs needed to point the way. We got on the free park and ride buses that took us to the campus that I wanted. Although the building was 60’s it had be modernised and was clean and tidy. I loved the overall aesthetic it was a comfortable place to study that I would see myself working it day to day with ease. The same with the architecture department it was on par with Birmingham and I would be happy to study there. The students were friendly to which is always nice to see that they are enjoying it. Upon leaving I knew it was right to go on my UCAS form for the right reasons.

What did this all show that you should always look at the university you want to go to, because if like Sheffield it would only let you down. I could of barrel rolled into that university and I would have left almost instantaneously. Now all I need to do is complete the portfolio and get a conditional it is going to be a hard 6 months but I am sure it will be worth it.

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