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CONCERNS Concern(s): verb (INVOLVE) Front Cover: Beau Birkett BA (Hons) Furniture & Lifestyle Products Back Cover: Jamie Green MArch Architecture

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Editorial Design: Tom Tebby

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Copyright © Birmingham City University 2016


to relate to; be of importance or interest to; affect. (usually followed by with or in) to involve or interest (oneself): he/she concerns him/herself with…. – n. something that affects or is of importance to a person; affair; business. regard for or interest in a person or a thing. important bearing or relation. an annual review by the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.

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CONTENTS 6 10 12 16 17 18 20 22 24 25 25 26 27 28

BA (Hons) Product Design, Furniture and Lifestyle Products, 3D Designer Maker MA Product Design BA (Hons) Interior Design MA Interior Design BA (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Pt. I) MArch Architecture (RIBA Pt. II) Pg Dip Architectural Practice (RIBA Pt. III) MA Zero Carbon Architecture & Retrofit Design MA Conservation Of The Historic Environment BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture Grad Dip/ Pg Dip/ MA Landscape Architecture MA Design and Visualisation MA Design Management

30 44 48 60 72 98 124 126 128 132 142 152 160


Introduction BSoAD Student Successes BSoAD Annual School Awards Make and Do Technology Co.LAB Work Placements Study Trips Cultural Context Enterprise Research Knowledge Hub and Steamhouse Association of Architectural Educators (aae) Events and Lectures


Year 1 BA (Hons) Architecture student workshop hosted at Glenn Howells Architects, Birmingham



BA (Hons) Architecture work placement


Welcome to Concerns 2015-16, our annual end of year review which this year includes the work of Interior Design and Product Design students alongside Architecture and Landscape for the first time in the reconstituted and re-named, Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. The new School also includes Design Management and Design and Visualisation, whilst a number of our courses also have international programmes in Hong Kong, China, and India, all of which has given the School a new critical mass, evolved our philosophy, and brought exciting new opportunities. Although the disciplines joining us from the School of Fashion, Textiles, and Three Dimensional Design have only been with us since August 2015, I’m proud to say that it already feels like one School, a tribute to all of the team and their much vaunted collegiate nature. Whilst on one hand we will be redefining these new courses in the context of a School of Architecture and Design, we are also exploring overlaps and multidisciplinary opportunities for all of our students within this exciting range of disciplines that explore design through the scales. Our revered Co-Lab live project module will no doubt take on a new vibrancy, as will

Cinema Square

other areas of the curriculum such as History and Theory, Technology, and Professional Studies. Our Enterprise activity has been the other stand out story this year with two major projects attracting national and international attention through our Co-Lab Consult enterprise vehicle. Firstly, Knowledge Hub, a masterplan design which aims to stitch together the area around BCU’s city centre campus via a cohesive public realm strategy by linking the area from Aston University and Innovation Birmingham down to Digbeth, and secondly, SteamHouse, a proposal to convert the former Typhoo factory into a cross innovation / collaborative working hub which will bring business, practice, and academia together in an exciting new model. Knowledge Hub was presented at the international property fair MIPIM by the University’s Vice Chancellor (along with project partners Node Urban Design) on the Birmingham City Council stand, whilst SteamHouse received £14 million of funding in the Government budget. The School has been alive with an incredible atmosphere this year with students utilising the whole

New Designers Exhibition, Business Design Centre, London, 2016

of the Parkside building as well as their studios, and especially the workshops to make some amazing models. It’s been fascinating to see them switching between hand drawing, CAD, and physical model making with such ease and enthusiasm to truly explore design processes. As ever, our Graduate Shows were eagerly anticipated and this year they were bigger and better than ever with an incredible turn out from industry, alumni, and friends of the School.

Finally, a thank you to our generous supporters.

The show featured a number of sponsored prizes, including a £1000 prize from the Class of 1966 who were celebrating 50 years since graduating from the School! There are far too many supporters to mention here but special thanks go to Ibstock who continue to sponsor the MArch trip to New York (there was a special Retrospective event at the Show to celebrate over 30 years of this trip), and to Niyaa People for being the main sponsor of this year’s Summer Ball at the Botanical Gardens. I hope that you enjoy the work and the incredible talent on display in this review and gain an insight into the new Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.

Professor Kevin W Singh Head of Birmingham School of Architecture and Design


I’d like to thank the staff team and visiting tutors for their incredible efforts this year at embracing change whilst ensuring that it is “business as usual”, and especially the staff who have joined the School who have been fully committed to the new challenges ahead. We are also blessed to have so many friends and generous supporters, not least the 50 or so practices that welcomed our 2nd Year BA Architecture and Landscape students for our two week work placement scheme. The students always learn a great deal and enjoy it so much that some of them don’t want to leave!

MArch Architecture trip, New York, 1994. Ibstock retrospective exhibition




StarPack Student Design Competition Several first year students were successful with creative packaging designs entered into the prestigious Student Star Pack competition. 2 commendations, 2 bronze and 2 silver awards were presented to winners at the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining in London. Concepts included a series of ‘pet pod’ carriers, a portable keyboard stand and an articulating cardboard and leather light. Hugo Parnell Hopkinson - StarPack Competition

Louisa Anne Ryland Award Beau Birkett, a third year BA (Hons) Furniture & Lifestyle Products student was the recipient of the Louisa Anne Ryland travel bursary. Beau plans to conduct further research and development of his current range of products and furniture designed using Polyethylene felt. He plans to spend a month in Sweden, liaising with suppliers, manufacturers and design professionals.

Beau Birkett- Louisa Anne Ryland Award

Kieran Smith, MA Landscape Architecture, used the award to fund primary research for his MA dissertation into ‘ Freedom and Bicycle Urbanism’. His dissertation abstract demonstrates the value of the award in enabling him to spend time in Copenhagen and Amsterdam and use this to develop his research base.

RSA Student Design Award


Product Design student Kenneth Lee of the Birmingham City University-accredited Hong Kong Design Institute was presented with the Eden Project Award and £1,250 for his entry, ‘50/50’, submitted as part of the global RSA Student Design Awards 2015/16. The RSA Student Design Awards is the longest running student design competition in the world, challenging young people across the globe to tackle real-world issues facing society, the environment and business. Kenneth Lee - RSA Student Design Award

Saint-Gobain PAM UK MA Product Design and MA Design Visualisation students collaborated with an International Company Saint-Gobain PAM. Saint-Gobain is the premier supplier of ductile iron and cast iron products to the UK’s key utilities including telecoms, highways, civil engineering and construction. Our postgraduate students developed and communicated future concepts and narratives for access and drainage covers. The award was given to Ziqiao Wang with Zifei Qian being highly commended.

Royal Horticultural Society Travel Bursary.

Ziqiao Wang - Saint-Gobain PAM UK Award Winner

David Green, who has just completed the Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture won a £2000 RHS travel award. David used this to participate in a two week Japanese Gardens Intensive seminar and workshop series in Japan. Atkins Global Special thanks to Atkins Global for continuing to sponsor an award for the most promising student with a 10 week salaried placement, which was awarded to Trishna Patel, and The Landscape Institute Midlands Branch John Knight award which was awarded to Nathan Onions (BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture) and Ula Bujauskaite (MA Landscape Architecture)

Product & Furniture Design students collaborated with an International Packaging Company Tri-Wall, for a Hong Kong exhibition. Tri-Wall is a market leader in cardboard manufacture and construction, making its products in Monmouth, Wales and holding its international headquarters in Hong Kong. Second year students from the UK and third year students from our Hong Kong Product Design programme exhibited a range of products at PMQ – a creative hub for local design talent located in Sheng Wan, Hong Kong Island.



Asmah Mohd Jaafar - Tri Wall


Course Title Winners BA (Hons) Architecture BSoAD Studentship Award Sam Evans BA (Hons) Architecture Level 5 HS2 Gallery Competition Michal Palczewski/Hassan Al-Hashimi (BCU) Greg Stockbridge (University of Birmingham) BA (Hons) Architecture Niyaa People Award Natalie Marsh BA (Hons) Architecture Birmingham & Five Counties Architectural Nadia Pinto Association Trust Green Book Award Highly Commended: Will Radburn-Todd Commended Ram Verma BA (Hons) Architecture Oscar Naddermeier Medal winner Aqsa Mahmood BA (Hons) Architecture RIBA Bronze Medal Nomination Ayesha Kaur & Emraan Mayow BA (Hons) Architecture/ Peter Broad Memorial Design Award Callum Sohal MArch Architecture


BA (Hons) Architecture/ RIBA Drawing Prize Callum Sohal MArch Architecture MArch Architecture Hays Architecture and Engagement Award Steven Turley MArch Architecture Louisa Anne Ryland Travel Award John Burton Kieran Smith MArch Architecture RIBA Silver Medal Nomination Callum Sohal & Nick Joyce MArch Architecture RIBA President's Awards Dissertation Hannah Greyson MArch Architecture Scarab 1961 50th Anniversary Award Joelle Bolt MArch Architecture

3D Reid Nomination

John Burton

MArch Architecture Associated Architects Award Gurveer Bhachu Muhamad Afdhal Bin Mohd Maarof BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture

Landscape Institute Midlands Branch John Knight Prize Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Landscape WS Atkins Prize BA Landscape Architecture Architecture

Nathan Onions Trishna Patel

Course Title Winners PG Dip Landscape BSoAD Studentship Award Architecture PG Dip Landscape Landscape Institute Midlands Branch Architecture John Knight Prize Postgraduate

Ula Bujauskaite

PG Dip Landscape Architecture

James Lamb

BSoAD Prize for Best Project

PG Dip Landscape BSoAD Prize for Postgraduate Portfolio Architecture PG Dip Landscape Pegasus Planning Group Prize Architecture for Best Landscape Planning Project

Ula Bujauskaite

Jenny Anderson Joelle Darby


BA (Hons) Furniture & BSoAD Studentship Award Beau Birkett Lifestyle Products BA (Hons) Furniture & The Furniture Makers - Furniture Design Thom Harwood Lifestyle Products Book Award BA (Hons) Furniture & The Louise Anne Ryland Award Beau Birkett Lifestyle Products Product Design Programme Product Programme Award: Making Beau Birkett Product Design Programme Product Programme Award: Presentation skills David Wang Product Design Programme Staff Award: Most Improved Student Michael Grubb Product Design Programme Product Programme Award: Digital Making Mathew Yau BA (Hons) Interior Design Leadership Award (Student Academic Leader) Hannah Bradshaw BA (Hons) Interior Design Leadership Award (Student Academic Leader) Zoe Jones BA (Hons) Interior Design Interior Design Programme Award: Making Harriet Lehky BA (Hons) Interior Design Interior Design Programme Award: Visualising Charlotte Joseph BA (Hons) Interior Design Staff Award for Most Improved Student Henna Kumari Dass MA Product Design/ Saint-Gobain PAM UK Award 2016 Ziqiao Wang MA Design and Visualisation Zifei Qian Highly Commended Zhihui Mai: Highly Commended


15 Year 1 BA (Hons) Architecture student site visit to Warley Woods, Oldbury

MAKE AND DO In 2014 Jonathan Ive (Chief Design Officer at Apple) said, “So many of the designers that we interview don’t know how to make stuff. Because workshops in design schools are expensive and computers are cheaper�.


Making is encouraged on all courses in the School of Architecture and Design at Birmingham. This is supported by the excellent workshop facilities and technicians within the faculty. These facilities include traditional woodworking, metalworking, ceramic, glass, plaster and plastic as well as laser cutting, waterjet cutting, CNC cutting/routing, CNC milling and 3D printing. All of these processes are available free of charge to students in the faculty (except some higher end 3D printing). Whilst many institutions are removing workshop facilities, BCU is committed to investing in the resources required for making. The 2016/17 academic year will see a significant enhancement of the technician team, including a new technical manager, and enhanced capability in laser cutting and 3D printing.

TECHNOLOGY The technical resolution of design projects is often perceived as an uncreative (perhaps even unnecessary) aspect of the process in design schools. This perception is often reinforced by the separation of design and technology teaching. At Birmingham School of Architecture and Design students are encouraged to consider ‘detailed design’ as part of their studio projects: Technical resolution then becomes an extension of the exploration that begins with their design concept. This strategy is underpinned by the tutors teaching in studio who bring a wealth of practical knowledge as well as academic expertise. In addition, students are able to access specialist advice within the school on a range of topics including structural engineering, material assembly, historic building conservation, sustainability, Passivhaus design and building energy modelling. Practical exploration of materials and manufacturing processes in the workshops is also a key strategy for developing technical skills. Technicians are a valuable resource of practical and technical knowledge covering a wide range of materials and processes. Most importantly students learn about designing with different materials by touching and working them directly.

17 Agnieszka Michalska

CO.LAB Collaborative Laboratory is a cross-disciplinary architecture and design initiative within BSoAD. We focus on ‘live’ projects and research where our students and staff engage with real clients, delivering outcomes across a range of scales and formats. This year, Co.LAB set up cross-departmental projects within the ADM faculty to develop new strategies in collaborative practice. There has been a continued focus on making with our metalwork, craftsmanship and fashion collaborations whilst we introduced two new projects exploring the cultural heritage of the city through public art and music using archival work.




This year students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes participated from BA (Hons) Architecture, BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture, MArch Architecture, BA (Hons) Art & Design and MA Zero Carbon Design & Retrofit.

Aluminium Tectonics Team

5 3 0 1 YEAR YEARS


Co.LAB Minerva Works Final Presentation


Co Lab Pop Music archive To assist with the design process, a meeting was organised in order to scan

Co.LAB St Edmunds mentoring

Co.LAB projects this year:

Figure 12.1 (Top) Finished 1:2 model prototype with supporting structure digital removed. Figure 12.2 (Bottom Right) 1:2 model prototype as presented at the summative review. Overleaf Figures 13.1 and 13.2 show the proposed arrangement of cladding clusters suspended beneath the entrance overhang.

Figure 12.1 Mann, S (2016)1:2 Prototype Edit [Edited Photograph] Figure 12.2 Mann, S (2016)1:2 Prototype [Photograph]

Co.LAB aluminium tectonics

Wyre Forest explorations Aluminium Tectonics Modern Gazetteer: Public Art Zero Carbon Birmingham Music History Digital Fashion Minerva Works Economy Design Mentoring Pocket Park

partner: Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership partner: Ash & Lacy partner: Eastside Projects, Civic Society partner: BCU Research partner: Birmingham Music Archive partner: BA (Hons) Fashion Design partner: MAAP partner: St. Edmunds Secondary School partner: Node Urban Design

Extra-curricular events: Concrete Workshop Birmingham Space Jam

partner: The Concrete Lady partner: Backpack Studio

find us online: w: fb: tw: @bham_colab bl:

Co.LAB Wyre Forest Timber exploration


Folding Process


Co.LAB Pocket Park

Aluminium Tectonics workshop 1



Of the UK housing stock is responsible for the annual carbon emissions. It is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe

Less electrical power consumption (with 11% from solar panels) (BedZED Statistics)





Of energy in buildings is either used inefficiently or unneccesarily

of todays existing building stock will still be in use by 2050. Estimated savings of 20-40% of energy




Less energy per sq. metre from houses built between 2000 - 2005 than houses built before 1950s

Co.LAB digital fashion

annual carbon House 1950s Semi-detached emissions. It is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe



Of the UK housing stock is responsible for the annual carbon emissions. It is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe


Of energy in buildings is either used inefficiently or unneccesarily

1980s Detached House


of todays existing building stock will still be in use by 2050. Estimated savings of 20-40% of energy



Less energy per sq. metre from houses built between 2000 - 2005 than houses built

2002 Detached House


Of energy in buildings is either used inefficiently or unneccesarily

Less electrical power consumption (with 11% from solar panels) (BedZED Statistics)


of todays existing building stock will still be in use by 2050. Estimated savings of 20-40% of energy Less electrical power consumption (with 11% from solar panels) (BedZED Statistics)



Co.LAB Zero Carbon Of energy in buildings is either used inefficiently or unneccesarily


Of the UK housing stock is responsible for the annual carbon emissions. It is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe


Of the UK housing stock is responsible for the

1900s Terrace houses


of todays existing building stock will still be in use by 2050. Estimated savings of 20-40% of energy


Less energy per sq. metre from houses built between 2000 - 2005 than houses built before 1950s


Monitoring studies in 2003 found that heating requirements at BedZED were 88% less than the UK average


Monitoring studies in 2003 found that heating requirements at BedZED were 88% less than the UK average


Heating requirements of a typical BedZed home are around 10% that of a typical home




Heating requirements of a typical BedZed home are around 10% that of a typical home

Monitoring studies in 2003 found that heating requirements at BedZED were 88% less than the UK average

10% 25%

Heating Less requirements electricalofpower a typical BedZed home consumption (with 11% are around 10% thatpanels) of from solar a typical homeStatistics) (BedZED


Less mains water consumption (BedZED Statistics)


Monitoring studies in 2003 found that heating requirements at BedZED were 88% less than the UK average

Less mains water consumption (BedZED Statistics)


Less mains water consumption (BedZED


Heating requirements of a typical BedZed home are around 10% that of a typical home

WORK PLACEMENTS BA (Hons) Architecture and BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture Every second year architecture and landscape student undertakes a two week work placement in an practice. The scheme includes Birmingham practices such as AA, Glenn Howells and D5, as well as practices in London and Manchester such as AHR, Hawkins/Brown, and Hopkins and for landscape Fira, Townshend, and Martha Schwartz Partners.

This variety of practice allows great flexibility in placing students appropriately. Students discuss their career goals with staff and are matched with a practice whose profile complements these ambitions. Following the placement students share their experiences through pecha kucha style presentations.


The placement is part of the Praxis module.


STUDY TRIPS Barcelona Study Trip

New York Trip

In February 2016 students spent a week in Barcelona on a study trip. Various excursions and tours allowed students to explore the city, culture and rich heritage and the ‘Gaudi fest’ was a chance for students from first, second & third years to share activities and experiences. The study trip was organized by Richard Underhill (Level 6 co-ordinator) as a means of complimenting the academic experiences of students and enhancing the appreciation of cultural and critical perspectives.

2016 marked the 32nd anniversary of the Ibstock sponsored New York trip, now a longstanding institution in the School. Highlights included a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum with personal and professional insights into the sites history and reimagination from Mark Wagner of Brody Davis Bond, and a surprise access-all-areas tour of Grand Central Station which gave us specular views over the main concourse from the high-level glazed bridge links. As is customary in recent years, the students themselves are the tour guides, and Ross Hennigan’s poetry on the Juilliard School as Kylo Ren, (Adam Driver a graduate of the school) was particularly memorable. Other visit highlights included new Whitney by Renzo Piano (in my opinion not a patch on the Breuer original that it replaces), walking the Highline, ping-pong in the Bavarian bar below the Standard, and the Donald Judd House and Studio on Spring Street.

MArch Belgium Study Trip


Each year, the four MArch design studios undertake European study visits to learn from precedents, to make links with partner organisations and where appropriate to the studio agenda to base thesis projects in that location. In October 2015, MArch Studio 3, organised and led by studio leader Holly Galbraith (Visiting Tutor), visited three cities in Belgium; Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent. The study visit complemented the studio agenda for the year which considered the complex boundaries and borders that affect the outer edges of inner cities and the type of architecture that emerges as a consequence. The studio brief asked students to develop social housing propositions for Highgate Park, Birmingham which would be influenced and enriched by the plethora of precedent they visited overseas. The students immersed themselves in the rich history, urban grain and housing typologies that Belgium had to offer; undertaking detailed site survey and photographic mapping exercises during the visit to record the buildings, city squares and streets that were visited. As seen opposite (bottom left), the students participated in a guided tour of Renaat Braem’s house and studio before critically appraising the Kiel Housing development (1951-58) and Braem’s architectural influence on late twentieth century social housing.

Thanks go to our friends at Ibstock for their continued support of this trip.


CULTURAL CONTEXT History, Theory and Cultural Context In an architecture and design school history, theory and cultural context is taught to practitioners and not historians. Therefore, as well as a basic knowledge of different periods, the lectures and seminars are designed to give tools to evaluate, assess and critique the environments in which the students will eventually operate as practitioners. Whether discussing the ancient Greek Polis, or the Library of Birmingham, Chartres Cathedral or the Bauhaus School at Weimar, history is presented as a live issue, something very relevant to the way we work today. The various courses together contend that knowledge of the historical environment is as critical for our future as technical knowhow, and must be understood in order to support, or challenge and critique, contemporary orthodox opinion on social and environmental sustainability. Demolition, building, re-building, remodeling and renovation all require observation and skill, and in this endeavour the lecture room can be as critical as the workshop.


RESEARCH There are currently 24 full and part time PhD students in the School of Architecture and Design covering topics from ranging from zero carbon retrofit and urban planning in Europe and Asia, to well being and design pedagogy. In addition to this, and building on our expertise with live projects, we are also looking to develop strands in project-based research.

As a part of this development, and along with other schools from Portugal, Spain and Belgium, Professor Christian Frost and Alessandro Columbano led six students on an externally funded research workshop on the use of steel in domestic architecture at the ZĂźrcher Hochschule in Winterthur, Switzerland. The event, sponsored by Swiss Steel, has led to further research collaborations in Spain and the UK.


As Chair of the Association of Architectural Educators (aae) I am pleased to be able report on another eventful and successful year. The 3rd aae conference under the theme research based education was held at the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL in April 2016. The conference was a resounding success with over 130 delegates attending Keynote speakers included: Lesley Lokko Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg and the author of nine best-selling novels. She is the editor of White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Culture, Architecture (University of Minnesota Press, 2000). She was a co-founder of the current MArch programme at the University of Westminster, Architecture, Cultural Identity and Globalisation (MACIG)

Etienne Wenger Etienne Wenger-Trayner is a globally recognised thought leader in the field of social learning theory, communities of practice, and their application to organisations. He has authored and co-authored seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning, where the term “community of practice” was coined. The proceedings and several video interviews are available at aae2016 Selected papers will be published in the aae journal Charrette later in 2016. The most recent issue of Charrette Architectural Education in Scotland is available free online. Victoria Farrow, Secretary of the aae, organized an aae BIM Camp at BCU in January attended by over 180 students, staff and practitioners. Hannah Vowles Chair, aae


Achim Menges Registered architect and professor at the University of Stuttgart, Achim Menges is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design. He is also Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. His work is based on an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with structural engineers, computer scientists, material scientists and biologists.

Isakun Chinchilla Moreno Izaskun Chinchilla’s teaching, research and public engagement activity has been carried out in London, Madrid, Paris, Geneva, Alicante and Barcelona, among others. The work of Chinchilla’s own practice founded in 2001 has been extensively published and exhibited, including the Venice Biennale. She is building a Media Library in Castillo de Garcimuñoz (Spain) and working in housing projects, museography projects and urban planning commissions.

ENTERPRISE - CO.LAB CONSULT The School has strengthened its enterprise strategy through its Co.LAB Consult initiative and a developed consultancy programme. It focuses on three key areas: • • •

Broadening the engagement between staff, students, professionals and communities. Developing skills for student/graduate employability. Enhancing skills for academic and professional development for staff and practitioners.

The strategy aims to integrate entrepreneurial and collaborative practices into all of our design programmes and research outcomes by linking staff expertise to these areas.


We also want to become a major producer for cultural events and activity in the region, broker and commission large collaborative projects between different organisations and commercial companies. Our engagement will promote innovative practices and knowledge to the wider architecture and design communities.

STEAMhouse interior visual

Consultancy Projects: Knowledge Hub, partner: BCU and Node Urban Design STEAMhouse, partner: BCU, Birmingham Production Space


Typhoo Wharf, Knowledge Hub. Visuals by Irena Dumitrascu and Samuel Mann

The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design was commissioned by the University to work up an urban design strategy for the Education Quarter, a loose district in Eastside containing several Higher Education and public institutions.

The plan proposes seven public squares that activate the streets, connect key spaces together, encouraging

Part of the urban strategy includes STEAMhouse - a major piece of cultural infrastructure for the city – producing space for the creative industries, artist studios, fabrication workshops, co-working and incubation programmes. These spaces are designed to drive sustainable regeneration in the Digbeth area using the arts and local communities as key drivers. The Knowledge Hub proposal was part of Birmingham City Council’s MIPIM delegation in April 2016 and was featured in the Birmingham Post. STEAMhouse received HM Treasury funding and was announced in the Chancellor’s Spending Review in March 2016.


We set up a collaborative design process between Co.LAB Consult, MArch Architecture students and Node Urban Design group, bringing their expertise alongside the research capabilities of school. The exchange resulted in the ‘Knowledge Hub’ – a campus strategy devised as an urban test bed for new cityscale ideas under themes of innovation, health & wellbeing, culture and enterprise.

a night-time economy and opportunities for students and graduates to incubate new ventures in distinctively designed market stalls.

EVENTS/LECTURES Landscape Lecture Series Claude Cormier (Canada) Andrew Charleson (New Zealand) Kim Wilkie (UK) Noel Farrer PLI (UK) This has been supplemented by a lecture series on ‘Flooding: A Catchment Level Approach’ with contributions from: Ted Wilson (Royal Forestry Society ) Sue Illman (PPLI, CIC) Alan Simson (Urban Trees and sustainable urban drainage ) Kay Hawkins (Business modelling design for profit ) Martin Rogers NFU, (rewilding and river catchment) Robert Kitch (The role of Landscape Architect as expert witness)

Katy Marks w

Citizens Design Bureau

Architecture Lecture Series


Robert Sakula - Ash Sakula Architects Katy Marks - Citizens Design Bureau Piers Taylor - Invisible Studio Meredith Bowles - Mole Architects

Katy Marks is the Director of Citizens Design Bureau.Having studied at Glasgow School of Art, Madrid and Cambridge University, Katy set up an Arts Culture and Environment Centre in Soweto, South Africa for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and went on to co-found the ImpactHub workspace for social entrepreneurs, which has grown into a global network of 82 co-working spaces. Katy went on to work for Haworth Tompkins Architects where she was project Architect on the National Theatre Studio, Young Vic and most recently the Everyman Theatre. She left to establish Citizens Design Bureau, who were commissioned to design the interiors of the Everyman. We are now working on a new West End Theatre for Sir Cameron Mackintosh and a variety of community and workspace projects. Katy was nominated as Emerging Woman Architect of the Year 2015 and Citizens Design Bureau is included in the Architectural Foundations’ compendium of the most influential new practices established in the last decade.

30th Nov 5:45pm Rm P.436 Parkside @Bham_SAS

Materials Lecture Series: Exploring Materiality and its Impact and Understanding on Designers, Makers and Architects Ian Hunter - Materials Literacy co-founder of ‘Materials Council’, ‘Industrial designer and former materials researcher at Foster and Partners’ – Lecture Topic: ‘Materials Literacy, learning the technical and emotional language of materials’

Chris Lefteri - What is a Materials Designer ‘Materials Expert, Author, Consultant, Speaker and Industrial Designer’ – Lecture Topic: ‘’What is a Materials Designer’?

Margaret Pope - How To Go About Sourcing Materials ‘Founder of the first UK Materials library at The Royal College, Researcher, Materials Collection Advisor, Consultant on sourcing materials’ – Lecture Topic: ‘How to go about sourcing materials, Case Studies from Architects and Designers’

Jakki Dehn - The Creative Potential of Natural Materials ‘Internationally acclaimed expert on sustainable materials, founder of the sustainable materials library at Kingston University’ – Lecture Topic: ‘The Creative Potential of Natural Materials’

SCIN Gallery - Materials: Boundary Pushers, Problem Solvers and Shape Shifters Annabelle Filer ‘Founder and Managing Director of SCIN Gallery, a Materials Sourcing and advisor Gallery Lecture Topic: ‘Materials: Boundary Pushers, Problem Solvers and Shape Shifters’


Chris Lefteri - What Will The Future Feel Like? ‘Materials Expert, Author, Consultant, Speaker and Industrial Designer’ – Lecture Topic: ‘What will the future feel like? The Changing Role of Materials and Design’



BA (HONS) PRODUCT DESIGN BA (HONS) FURNITURE & LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS BA (HONS) 3D DESIGNER MAKER The Product Design Programme is made up of 3 individual degree awards – BA (Hons) Product Design, BA (Hons) Furniture & Lifestyle Products and BA (Hons) 3D Designer Maker. The three awards focus on the design and development of creative, contemporary and innovative products and furniture, considering user centred design, social context and commercial understanding. Students are encouraged to explore materials, techniques and processes in relation to scales of manufacture, from one-off to design for mass production.

enhancing employability, communication skills and professional practice.


From 2017/18 the current degree courses will be replaced with a single over-arching programme - BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Design New Designers The programme provides a diverse range of career opportunities, from solo designer maker to developer of products and furniture for standardised high volume production. Students are taught a range of research and design methods alongside continual practical skills development. Live student projects take place throughout the course,

15 students were selected to exhibit at the UK’s most important exhibition for emerging design – New Designers. The event showcases the work of 3000 talented graduates from the best design courses in the country. The exhibition is hosted in the Business Design Centre in London in early July.

BA (Hons) Product Design, BA (Hons) Furniture & Lifestyle Products, BA (Hons) 3D Designer Maker 33

New Designers Exhibition, Business Design Centre, London 2016. photos, David Wang


Mona Lee

Kalandra Mcfarquhar

Ingvild Funderud Bjornstad

The selected students had the opportunity of explaining their work to industry professionals, media, manufactures, and retailers. This valuable experience provided the opportunity to forge new contacts and create new opportunities for future development of their work. Jason Nicholson Programme Director BA (Hons) Product Design Staff

Visiting Lecturers: Natalie Cole Dean Cain Kyle Cadmore Simon Horrocks Andrew Trujillo

‘Studying at Birmingham City University has allowed me to obtain a broad range of skills ranging from Photoshop to welding and given me the opportunity to learn a variety of software and technologies including 3D computer modelling and using 3D printers to ideate and conceptualise. I’m now capable of taking a project from the initial stages of conceptualisation (sketching) right the way through to planned pre-production (working prototypes and technical drawings). The acquisition of these skills and my enjoyable experience at BCU has encouraged me to continue in education, specifically at BCU where I’ll be undertaking a Master’s Degree, starting in September 2016.’ Benjamin Banks – BA (Hons) Product Design


Jason Nicholson – Product Design Programme Director, First Year coordinator, Senior Lecturer Wayne Pottinger – Second Year Coordinator, Lecturer Richard Underhill – Third year Coordinator, Lecturer Malcolm Hastings – Senior Lecturer David Muston – Senior Lecturer Dr Sue Dawes – Senior Lecturer Brian Adams – Lecturer Nuno Lourino – MA Programme Director – Product Design

Kieran Clayton

36 Beau Birkett


38 Michael Grubb

39 Tom Harwood


Dan Dixon

David Wang


Alex Round

42 Beau Birkett



The MA Product Design programme looks at theory alongside real-world practice and fuses the best of both in a unique approach to product design. The programme encourages and enables students to take part in debate and analysis to create exciting new concept proposals. These are then further developed into believable product narratives, backed up by supporting information and a wide range of intellectual, commercial and material viewpoints. From 2017 / 18 the current programme will be renamed - MA Product & Furniture Design Nuno Lourino Programme Director MA Product Design



Nuno Lourinho, Programme Director Graham Powell, Visiting Lecturer

Ziqiao Wang

MA Product Design

‘The Masters degree at Birmingham City University pushes us to look at the real world but then challenges us to rethink this accepted norm. This is particularly true of the conceptualism approach, which is often described as where science fiction meets science fact. It is this area of design where true innovation occurs, since there are no written rules.’ 45

Ziqiao Wang – MA Product Design

46 Ziqiao Wang




BA (HONS) INTERIOR DESIGN This academic year marked our first as part of the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, a pinnacle in terms of investment into our course, and a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a school with an enviable reputation and resources. With revalidation just around the corner we have aligned ourselves with school wide strategies and best practise, while we continue with a strong visiting tutor team of practicing interior designers, and a focus on practical industry-linked briefs.


we encounter. They can analyse existing spaces to understand the precedents used in their creation and the function they perform, with some historical context thrown in.

“DRAW ME!” Level 4 joined us with enthusiasm and lots of fresh ideas. Throughout the year they have worked on building a creative baseline of design skills through practical applications and insightful investigative projects. Drawing skills, modelling, and 2D CAD have played a vital role in developing a sound understanding of interior spaces, the complexities of designing for function, form, and understanding how we as users interact with the different environments

“INDUSTRY ME!” Level 5 experienced a much more industryfocused approach, delving into each interior sector with a range different creative briefs to respond too. Live industry links are a key component for the year, with an awareness of relevant manufacturers, materials, and building regulations to bring real quality to the projects. The formidable Green Room Retail team joined us to deliver an exciting brief with new parameters. Focusing on the Green Room’s ethos, students were asked to look beyond the obvious interpretations. Interior students toyed with the potential of various materials through workshop experiments. Glass proved to be a fascinating medium in which to explore retail and experiential environments.

BA (Hons) Interior Design 51

Qianqian Zhang, Year 1 / Level 4


Esther Manamike, Year 2/ Level 5

Esther Manamike, Year 2/ Level 5

“THIS IS ME!” Level 6 showcased their final portfolio at the much celebrated BCU graduate show, standing alongside the rest of the School delivering a wide variety of projects designed to discuss relevant social issues and challenge the boundaries of design. Concentration has been on developing an individual approach to their Signature Project, which encompasses all the design skills they have learned throughout the course. Months of hard work, visual research and experimentation result in visualisation and planning that explores every millimetre of an existing or newly planned building interior. Presentation and communication skills are honed and re-honed as the final boards are printed and displayed.

“DISCOVER ME!” All 3 years of Interior Design joined together in Barcelona for a week immersed in creativity and artistic inspiration, visiting as much as they could squeeze into a day. The visit was designed to free students of boundaries and open their minds to new possibilities. JOIN ME! Building skills continuously through each year of study, we have encouraged students to re-order, manipulate and transform space. Student led discussions redefine the boundaries of design and clients they design for. The outcome is a selection of portfolio worthy projects, which touch each sector, and knowledge of professional practice and industry requirements. Glenda Strong BArch. Dip Arch. RIBA Programme Director BA [Hons] Interior Design


54 Dragos Alexandru


Sydney Davies

56 Charlotte Joseph



Harriet Lehky

59 Sarah Tipton

MA INTERIOR DESIGN MA Interior Design embraces the truth that true creative spirit is born out of a radical review of the interior design process. This year the programme has provided our postgraduate students with exciting spatial design opportunities and inspiring events that have enabled them to explore their creativity and the philosophical perspectives that have informed their unique approaches and contribution to the interior architecture and design realm in the twenty-first century.


Our goal on the MA Interior Design course is to help our postgraduates to develop their own signature ethical and creative design manifesto. “What does being creative mean to you?”, “How do you want to design in the future?” and “With whom do you want to work?” are key questions that we have asked our students to consider. This has helped us to enter into discourse about the significance of design values and the creation of unique cultural identities for our international interior designers. Students on the MA interior architecture and design programme have reported excellent student satisfaction results and have achieved an outstanding 96% employment rate after a period of only six months. They tell us that they have benefited from the experience of the programme and support of design practitioners, architects and researchers across a range of interior design fields: • Design Communication, • Creative Processes, • Sustainability, • Lighting, • Humanities, • Strategic Design Management. Delia Skinner BA, MA, M’ED, SFHEA Programme Director – MA Interior Design

Tutors: Delia Skinner - Programme Director Graham Powell - Visiting Lecturer Suus Mulligan - Visiting Lecturer Alumni Mentors: Huichao Feng - PhD study “The changing pattern of residential dwelling of the Mosuo Tribe in China” Tamadher Alfahal - Alumni of the Year 2015

MA Interior Design 61

Mengru Li


LIVE PROJECT – MR CHAMDAL’S APOTHECARY The MA Interior Design programme sits within the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. This vibrant community is made up of staff, students, designers, researchers and industry partners. Strong creative bridges between postgraduate courses, enables our students to tailor their learning to suit their unique professional ambitions. We encourage and support our postgraduate students to work collaboratively with other creative people both inside and outside the University. By doing this they cement rich cultural, creative and professional collaborations. The Rationale for the Design Systems Module: Engagement with industry and industry-based scenarios is a key aspect of this module. This industry orientated assignment focused the attention of our students on the leisure sector and required them to conduct research about how niche ‘grooming’ services are being situated within

global, regional, national and international contexts. Throughout the module students needed to prove their appreciation of international commercial cultures by justifying the potential connections that this research could have, with new market opportunities and design innovations. Establishing the Brief – students were asked to create an imaginative design scheme for a particular grooming sector. This needed to be a commercial viable offer - a grooming orientated business opportunity, that would launch a new brandscape for: “Mr Chamdal’s Apothecary”. In this project, our students refined the brand identity to reflect the philosophy and culture associated with the local entrepreneur – Bhavnesh Chamdal. They needed to consider the way that the brand values and characteristics associated with the brand, could be represented in an interior design concepts that they developed.


LI Yibo


LI Yibo - ‘Nightmare’ experiential installation

SIGNATURE PROJECTS Intangible Cultures and Lost Heritage has been a prominent global theme that has concerned our creative community during the last year. Projects have been refined that reinforce mindful connections between the creative practitioner, the design process and the evolution of purposeful and challenging design proposals.


The programme requires student to engage in the formation of persuasive and graphically ingenious self directed ‘Signature Projects’ that capture and convey their innovative design processes, unique proposals and astute insights that academically, professionally and creatively test their particular Design Hypothesis. The production of a distinctive and creative ‘Practice Portfolio’ has allowed them to showcase their unique design talents and the influence that this has had on others, shifting the perceived boundaries of the interior design profession towards new horizons.

66 NAN Cheng - ‘Nai Nai’ - Chinese Herbal Pharamacy


KE Yanyan - ‘Hong - Eating the Past’ - Conceptual Installation

68 LI Yibo - ‘Nightmare’ experiential installation


XU Zeng - ‘Cai Jioa’ - The Two Horse Motel


LI Mengmeng - Music and Scent Installation

LI Mengru - ‘Pitta Kaak’ Bakery

POON Hiuki - ‘The Taste of Tai O’ heritage space


ZHU Ruoyu - ‘Solo Philosophy Diner’



BA (HONS) ARCHITECTURE (RIBA PT I) Following the successful revalidation of the course in May 2015, where we received 9 commendations for good practice, we began the new academic year with mobilising agendas and clear themes for Year 1, 2 and 3: Principles - Process – Exploration. These themes would shape our studios and focus our attention on a complexity appropriate to each level of the programme. Year 1 Tutors: Victoria Farrow, Tom Tebby, Jemma Browne, Julie Fitzpatrick, Ollie Chapman, Lois Woods, Mike Hawkins, Joan Kerr Year 2 Tutors: Chris Maloney, Holly Rose Doron, James Thompson, Alistair Ogle, Alex Maxwell, Maria Law


2 and 3 dimensions, nurbs modelling and rendering, first-year students enjoy gathering a range of different presentation and representation techniques to gain confidence in communicating ideas. Documenting this journey together with their design development process online via blogs provides the group a good foundation for portfolios.

Year 1 allows new students to gently embark on their journey into architectural education by learning and discovering it’s basic principles. The first year students have completed many exciting projects and continue to explore new design and communication techniques through their designs, which grow in complexity as they advance through the exercises. Building skills in hand drawing, sketching, orthographics, model making, CAD in

The quality of the students work has been commended by the RIBA during the mid term visit together with the external examiners, who described the work as “phenomenonal for first year level”. The students presentations have also been complimented widely on Twitter. Projects in Year 1 are linked appropriately to technology and cultural context modules. This pattern repeats itself at Year 2 and Year 3 where students are encouraged to feel confident having already practised similar

BA (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Pt.I)

Alex Williams, Year 1


James Timmins, Year 1


Ilze Kasa, YearVisual 1 1:50 Key

Ed Revans, Year 1

Denisa Osacenco, Year 1

ways of working in the previous years. As each student moves steadily through each stage of their course, building upon previously established ideals that continue to be reinforced and stretched. With new confidences, Year 2 students embrace the architectural design process. Students are exposed to real life practice scenarios, which are enriched by time spent in work placements and modules such as Co.LAB, which provides a vehicle for collaboration and experimentation. As a lively and active part of the programme the cohort gain better understanding of their place within the world of architecture. Working with engineering students from the University of Birmingham alongside design studio projects which require consideration of environmental design, communities, urban space and the public realm, the programme created is a solid stepping stone towards Year 3. Year 2 culminates with a Pecha Kucha and a celebration of Praxis work, a new module to deliver teaching in practice, management and law.

From the beginning of the course, a high emphasis is placed on students making their own choices. Upon departure from the University, the cohort is ready to embark on whatever challenge should present itself when in the world of work. Victoria Farrow BArch DipArch MArch, ARB, PGCHE Programme Director BA (Hons) Architecture


In the final year, the programme requires more independence from students. The suite of modules including cultural context, technology and design studio, allows students to discover their own values, set agendas and put forward more complex design proposals both conceptually and technically. Three design studio units encourage production and the exploration of architectural schemes which have been detailed to an appropriate level for third year students. Preparing the cohort further for professional practice following their experiences in Year 2, Year 3 promotes creative thinking, furthering confidences and constructs and environment for decision making.


Charlotte Arnold, Year 2

Roxana Cislariu, Year 2

Agnieszka Michalska, Year 2


Sophie Pettifer, Year 2


Studios for 2015-16 Move: The imagined and re-imagined stories of our spaces and structures in a new sequence. Tutors: Alessandro Columbano / Julie Widowson Nowtopia: Pirate programs and techno landscapes. Emergent low fi economies and new techno landscapes/displaced economies and ecologies. Tutors: Matt Lucas / Rob Jones


Sub-Centric: To empower household networks, creating participatory constructs to represent the city from the suburb. Tutors: Anna Parker / Paul Wakelam Industrial Resolution: Cataloguing the current and forgotten industries of Birmingham, creating an archive to restore identity of place and history into the working memory of the region. Tutors: Frank Breheny / Tim Richardson Part Time 4 Tutors: Spencer John / Jim Sloan

Year 3 Design is divided into four distinct studio groups led by a tutor with support from technology tutors and visiting critics. Each studio responds to an overarching meta-theme of mobility and infrastructure. All Studio projects are tested against the impending HS2 line that will dissect Birmingham and Warwickshire’s eastern corridor. Students begin with conceptual site explorations that respond to a common statement:

‘Consider, investigate and respond to the [existing and proposed] Civic Infrastructures across the Blythe Valley as an integrated composition of industrial, post-industrial, cultural, service, residual and ecological landscapes whilst it undergoes significant change around new social conditions, networks, connectivity, technologies and urban expansion.’ Students develop a small-scale intervention which subsequently informs their major project – a cross programmed HS2 Ltd. regional headquarters with a local innovation/incubation centre.

81 Aqsa Mahmood

82 Grace Mulligan



Emraan Mayow

85 Emraan Mayow


Nadia Pinto

Nadia Pinto

Ryan Taylor


Sam Evans

88 Stefan Munteanu



Will Radburn-Todd

Will Radburn-Todd

Latticia Morapedi


Matthew Daw

92 Maham Tahir


Train Station Modelling

1:10 Scale Although the models I have made have created the atmosphere I wanted to achieve, I think I could still push it further. I feel that the boundaries aren’t being blurred enough to create my desired effect.


Sarah Ives

Georgina Cormode

Amalin Binti Mahadon


Harvinder Dalla

96 Michael Daw


Ayesha Kaur



Welcome to the MArch (RIBA Part 2) at Birmingham School of Architecture, a progressive Master’s level programme within one of the UK’s foremost creative academic institutions, located in new, multidisciplinary studio and workshop spaces in Birmingham’s Eastside. The programme is ambitious and outward facing, exploring and constructing innovative modes of architectural education and practice. Led by an experienced and committed tutor team, four cross level design studios allow students to select from multiple theoretical, contextual and methodological trajectories that build on the School’s diverse research expertise. Students undertake study visits to European sites related to their chosen studio, this year seeing students travel to Belgium, Madrid and Berlin. This is supported by studies in research and theory, professional practice and technology. Students also participate in the ‘CO.LAB Collaborative Practice’ initiative, a series of live projects that place them outside of conventional fields of the architectural discipline, developing professional, creative and technically able graduates. Studio introductions are provided in the following pages along with examples of the innovative and original work of our MArch students. Mike Dring Programme Director MArch Architecture

Nick Joyce 53

MArch Architecture (RIBA Pt.II) 99

Callum Sohal


Year 5 Coordinator: Andy Hilton Year 6 Coordinator: Matthew Lucas Technology Integration Tutor: Henry Morris Visiting Critics: Joe Harris, SHA; For the last 20 years, the architectural profession has been complicit with the ideology of late capitalism, assuming that the economic forces of growth and expansion are the only means by which society can develop and prosper.


The current economic crisis makes us question whether a future of unlimited growth is not only possible, but taking into account environmental factors, actually advisable. We have reached a moment of crisis — economic, environmental and technological — where we have to make choices about the type of future that we want, but also the type of future we can actually achieve. Scarcity investigated a series of alternative voices, in doing so developing some of the neglected areas of contemporary urban life to find visions of the future.

Scarcity sought to understand the boundaries of ‘architecture’ in its many forms, investigating architecture as process; as story; as agent; as building, etc. Students asked; ‘What is our role? What are we here to discover? The studio used story telling / narratives as a means to develop architecture and experience a city through literature / characters / film. Scarcity students were engaged in participatory processes in Handsworth, co-constructing a series of interventions with the community across the allotment site including new social spaces, a bridge and a shop for retail of produce. Final year students also visited Madrid armed with a tactical approach for intervention that drew on experiences in Handsworth. Madrid has endured extensive austerity and political instability, leading to a restructuring of given structures and hence architectural space enabled through a variety of worker led cooperatives and confederalist networks, and this became the context for student propositions.


Using Harvey’s centralised theory and applying it to a real life scenario begins to make it more apparent and outlines its efficiencies. The 5 week intra-unit project highlighted one major aspect. The concept that even with autonomous societies a central board is required for it to achieve its objective. In the allotment example, a central board is in place of members from the Uplands to ensure its safe guarding and efficient running. This ensures every plot owner has equal rights and prevents the intervention of a capitalist model.

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Group project - Scarcity site project, Handsworth, Birmingham


With this in place, the thesis aims to develop towards creating a central programme as opposed to a central board that will be safeguarded by the southern barrios community to ensure it remains true to its values.



The world around us is always organiz self. Also our specific intentions organ above and below, in front and behind,

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Jasjeet Bassi

So, even space and language are int exchange; I settle in the place and th philosophy that offers a fertile concept

tertwined. As we settle in a space, it is grasped as a distinct place. In fact, the act of dwelling is fundamentally an he place settles in me. This merging of space and self is one of the founding ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty´s tual ground for the understanding of artistic, architectural, and existential phenomena. (Palasmaa, 2009)


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SECTION AA - 1:100

Breathing is not only with regards to physical exertion but also plays a pivotal role in mental health. Allowing the mind to breath within articulated spaces references the role neuroscience has within architecture. Through structuring and articulating lived existential space and situations of life, architecture constitutes our most important system of externalized order, hierarchy and memory. Architecture slows down, halts, reverses, or speeds up experiential time, and we can appropriately speak of slow and fast architectures; it is evident that in our era of speed and acceleration architecture becomes ever faster. (Palasmaa, 2009)

Art and architecture structure and articulate our being-in-the-world, or the inner space of the world (Weltinnenraum)22, to use a beautiful notion of Maria Rilke. A work of art does not mediate conceptually structured knowledge of the objective state of the world, but it renders possible an i experiential and existential self-knowledge. Without presenting any precise propositions concerning the world or its condition, art focuses our view boundary surface between our sense of self and the world. (Palasmaa, 2009)

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zed and structured around distinct foci, such as concepts and experiences of homeland, domicile, place, home and nize space and project specific meanings upon it. Even one´s mother tongue, such as the unconscious notions of before and after, affect our understanding and utilization of space in specific and preconditioned ways.





Section A-A

Callum Sohal 0m






5. DESCENDING TO THE ERMITA As soon as the sun sets, pilgrims will continue their journey to the Ermita de la Virgen de la Torre located in Vilcalvaro where they will leave the statue of the virgin until the first Sunday of September when they will return to perform the rituals and move the virgin back to Vallecas. They will descend through the infinite stairs, another important part of this refectory journey.


Alina Voinescu


Perimeter drinking water collection points

Callum Sohal


FABLE - EUtopia

Year 5 Coordinator: Nic Howett, Jonathan Tuckey Design Year 6 Coordinator: Alexis Germanos, 3X Architecture Technology Integration Tutor: Pau Bajet Visiting Critics: Colin Way, SHA;

‘Context is not only topographical and is also historical…My concern for context is as an agent of architectural transformation. The place you build actually has formative influences on the nature of the building. And when the building is there it has formative influences on the place it is made’ Denys Lasdun.


In 1927, Fritz Lang, an architect by training, released his pioneering film Metropolis, a visionary image of the future amplified by fantasy architecture. Lang’s science-fiction epic expresses the fears of the technological and social revolutions of the interwar years yet it was also attune to the utopian zeitgeist that had emerged at the dawn of the modern era. In the same year, the Berlin based architect and urban theorist Ludwig Hilberseimer published his book Großstädte Architektur (Metropolis architecture) in which he redefined architecture’s relationship to the city. In his hypothetical Vertical City (Hochhausstadt) he brings modernist rhetoric to its logical conclusion; leisure, labour and circulation are all conflated, reducing the city to its reproductive conditions. As Germany’s policy on asylum and recent temporary rescinding of the Schengen Agreement threatens to unravel the fibres of Europe’s ideological dream, so too the wider debate about political migration in this country continues to threaten the future of the UK’s membership in the European Union. In these contexts,

Fable speculated on a rejuvenation of the utopian city as Europe responds to the demands of mass migration and on-going humanitarian crisis. Students (re-)considered the concept of utopia in political and subjective terms and in relation to architectural discourse and speculation, exploring utopia as an expression of desire - to explore utopia is to explore our hopes and desires, the dreams of humankind. Berlin, the epicentre of political, social and architectural ideology in the 20th Century, was the location for student enquiries. The migrant crisis has once again put Berlin at the centre of European politics. Earlier this year, as her EU partners failed to arrive at a coherent response to the prevailing humanitarian crisis, Germany controversially announced to grant asylum to 800,000 refugees by the end of 2015. In this context, students imagined the innovative and permanent architectural typologies that will respond to sudden population influx as entire communities are re-settled in the city. Re-evaluating the relevance of the European modernist legacy, students explored the Kreutzberg area whose isolated population is 50% ethnic Turkish, seeking solutions to prevent further ghetto-isation of the city’s new citizens. The new Berlin townhouse typology and the concept of the Kiez (neighbourhood), which lies at the centre of Berlin’s phenomenology of urban space, underpins students responses. Built into the post-reunification Planwerk Innenstadt (City centre master plan), these ‘self-built’ communities are structured around the historic ground plan and reinforced through contemporary and radical interventions. To many Berliners the Kiez are the essence of urban life, the ‘hereditary biotope.’

Fable Group Model



Nick Joyce


The spaces in the apartments are presented with a clear sense of heirarchy. Entering the inner sanctum, the visitor is immediately drawn to the central stepped recess at the heart of the room. This isolated feature serves as a momentary distraction, drawing the visitor in to open up their view to rooms beyond. Here, the richer and careful styling of the main accommodation reinforces the heriarchical nature of the rooms. The arrangement around the inner sanctum is another reference to the breakdown of the plattenbau, causing a sense of disconnection and structural breakdown through its role as a contrasting interface between the rooms. 120

Nick Joyce


Razvan Pop

Combined Elevation of Karl Marx Allee and Straight Street


Straight Street

Tim Rushton

Karl Marx Allee

studio fable

Architectural Speculations 1 1 To 1 City


Afdhal Maarof

Kin Yew Mah

Razvan Pop



Razvan Pop


Year 5 Coordinator: Rob Annable, Axis Architecture Year 6 Coordinator: Mike Dring, BSoAD Technology Integration Tutor: Frank Breheny Visiting Critics: Paul Graham-Raven; Phil Twiss, Gensler; Phill Shepherd, BPN Architects

“Corbyn imagines a socially just and well-educated state which enables its citizens: for this the proposed restoration of higher education grants is critical. A national investment bank promoting state investment in housing and re-nationalised infrastructure is a hugely intelligent and effective economic policy.”


Tom Holbrook, founder of 5th Studio, quoted in The Architect’s Journal, vol.242, Issue 9, 4.9.15 In the context of a renewed interest in the welfare state, speculations on the future of mobility and the pressing need for housing, during 2015/16 Plastic called for a reimagination of the civilian dream in contemporary terms, in structuring a new conception of urban living, through an exploration of future practice and the role of the architect and the idea of open source architecture. With this in mind, Plastic; • studied housing design and typology from the single dwelling to the multi-unit block. • examined different models of dwelling and their relevance to different funding and ownership scenarios including publicly provided, self/custom and other possible models. • speculated on the changes to dwelling in the city caused by advances in vehicle technology and changes in cultural attitudes towards private automobility.

in order to: • learn how to make homes that fulfill our dreams, arrange our rooms and assist our machines (after Moore). • imagine dwellings in landscapes created by a reinvigorated welfare state (after Corbyn). • plan for future patterns of mobility (after Google). Shepheard’s triptych - Strategy, Tactics, Operations - structured students investigations into housing. Strategies were considered at the broad landscape level, involving ideas of the civic commons and networks, Tactics at the interface of the site and building, and Operations at the scale of the ‘machine’ (according to Moore’s definition) and an intimate association with space. Charles Moore’s ‘Three Orders’ was used as a critical framework in testing seminal housing examples at an Operational level, looking at the qualities and characteristics of public and private realms. These were evolved using Wes Jones’ technique of ‘souping up’ precedents to achieve new levels of performance and experiences of space, testing them in context by rapid-prototyping combinations of typologies, volume and density with the help of digital tools. Throughout these studies students developed skills and interests relevant to the current debate around future practice and the role of the architect. Birmingham’s Inner Ring Road was the Strategic context for the projects, working with an infrastructure fiction that considered future patterns of private and public mobility and the potential impact on urban, and domestic space. The studio contributed to an on-going research project at Lancaster University that explored issues related to the car-free city. The resultant projects considered a variety of Tactical housing models, drawing on lessons of the study visit to some of the many cohousing projects in Berlin.

John Burton










S T UDI O PL A S TIC Joh n B urt o n FT 6

S T UDI O PL A S TIC Joh n B urt o n FT 6

The space provided is landscaped to provide multiple use opportunities. Possession of space is emphasised by the use of social meeting points. Art is applied to units acting as a handsome gesture to key elements and vistas along linking and joining paths. Hazards such as water define edges between these areas. Incidents occur to denote a change of spatial practice from the way it is used to the way it is navigated.



John Burton


[ C o n t in u e d i n t h e f o l l o w in g d o c um e n t w i t h i n t h i s p a c k . ]

[ C o n t in u e d i n t h e f o l l o w in g d o c um e n t w i t h i n t h i s p a c k . ]





Steven Turley


Andrew Wilkins Visual representation of the potential pedestrian movement through the raised semiprivate garden of the intentional neighbourhood.

S l a b

B a t c h

P r o d u c t i o n



Jamie Green 1-150

Secondar y Street Elevation

117 Michael Day

STUDIO 3 - Boundaries + Borders

Year 5 Coordinator: Holly Galbraith, Niall McLaughlin Architects Year 6 Coordinator: Prof. Christian Frost, BSoAD Technology Integration Tutor: Shaun Young Visiting Critics: Rod Heyes, Caruso St.John; Gavin Orton, BPN Architects

“A border- the perimeter of a single massive or stretched-out use of territory- forms the edge of an area of ‘ordinary’ city. Often borders are thought of as passive objects, or matter-of-factly just as edges. However, a border exerts an active influence.”


Jacobs, J. (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities (p.257) Birmingham is a city of boundaries and borders. From the dominance of permanent ring roads, railways and business specific ‘quarters’ to the contested edges at which old meets new, residential confronts industrial and city ambiguously becomes countryside; the city comprises a series of blurred and defined edges around which people live and work. Thwarted by the polycentric urban agglomeration, the West Midlands built-up area, to which it belongs, the city of Birmingham has struggled to achieve definition at its outer edges. As a conurbation, the city of Birmingham sprawls into its southern suburbs of Edgbaston and Moseley. It amalgamates with Solihull to the south-east and

Walsall, Dudley and everything in between along its northern fringe. Birmingham’s boundaries have become blurred. Once, individually distinct, from the industrial Black Country to the leafier suburbs, it is now too difficult to distinguish between an active centre and the wider sprawl. On a local scale, a similar scenario is occurring within the city centre itself. Fascinated by the conglomerate urban landscape that is constrained within the inner ring road, Studio 3 investigated the ‘ordinary’ outer edges of Birmingham’s inner city, undertaking a placemaking exercise within these microcosms to regain clarity between suburbia and the urban fabric of city neighbourhoods. The studio considered the process of housing densification as a means of developing coherence in an overlooked area along this inner city, outer edge. Coupled with a rich history of philanthropic activity, the disparate environs of Highgate Park present a serendipitous urban tapestry within which students situated their speculative projects, in doing so discovering its latent urban identity. The resultant projects offer a dynamic assemblage of homes and infrastructures that re-imagine this fragment of Birmingham’s outer centre, challenging Birmingham City Council’s desire to sub-divide and zone its centre with activity specific ‘q uarters’, promoting an architecture that evaluates before reappropriating the existing condition.

Studio 3 group model Figure 1.01 Highgate Park | Site Model 1:500


Studio 3: Rowton House elevation

Highgate Park | 06

Fig 36a. Shop on Street.


[Academic use only]


Adam Creswell

Gurveer Bhachu

Fig 35a. Proposed Ground Floor. Scale 1:100.


Joelle Bolt

Fronts & Backs | 68

Fronts & Backs | 69

Joelle Bolt


Hannah Grayson


Dan Jew

Matthew Moran

Dan Aubrey

Adam Wattus


Alberto Rodighiero

PG DIP ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE (RIBA PT III) This professional practice course can be commenced following 24 months’ relevant practice experience and includes personal reflection, a case study, practice and professional examination and an oral exam. The course duration is two years, however, can be completed within 10 months. Enrolment takes place in the autumn and spring of each year. The course that prepares students for the exams is delivered through a number of two-day modules at the School, spread over several months and leading to the oral exam in either December or June. This fully accredited course covers the criteria set down by the Architects Registration Board and adopted by the RIBA, giving exemption from the RIBA Part III examination. On completion, successful candidates can register with the ARB entitling them to use the title ‘Architect’. They can also apply for chartered membership of RIBA. The course aims to provide education in architectural practice that provide skills, knowledge and understanding that are not only for the purposes of professional qualification but that can be taken forward in to practice to form the basis of life-long learning and professional development. To achieve this, the course provides students with:


• • • •

Knowledge and support for professional experience to enable students to satisfactorily complete the final examination and join the ARB. Ability to act in a professional manner and in accordance with the codes and standards of the profession. Critical understanding of the requirements of the legal framework for practice, practice management and construction procurement. Ability to identify good practice and excellence and adopt it in their professional life. Ability to identify their future learning needs and the opportunities of specialisation and diversification in their careers.

The Programme Director will provide guidance and support throughout the course.

Tutors Ian Shepherd Anthony Clerici Invited Speakers Ruth Reed Michael Dunn Michael Hardiman John Jacobs Rob Annable Robin Nicholson Bob Pritchard Matt Lucas Lucy Mori Lorna Parsons Adam Williamson Rachel Hobbis Tom Taylor Hans Haenlein Anthony Lavers Kevin Singh

PG Dip Architectural Practice (RIBA Pt.III)

Beyond Graduation

Madeleine Dring - Seymour Harris, Birmingham Paul Mulligan - BDP Helen Wootton - Glazzard Architects Ltd John Norfolk - Associated Architects Mary Kelly - Mary Kelly Architect Amanda Harmer - Harmer Fitz Architects Robert Hopkins – AHR Manchester Amanda Jones - Troyka Associates Ltd Bob Ghosh - K4 Architects Paul Hewes - IBI Group Phil Cole - Weedon Architects Sandy Greenhill - Vivid Architects Ltd Satwinder Samra - University of Sheffield

Our ‘Beyond Graduation’ programme provides support for those either working in practice or looking for work including those seeking to develop a career outside of architecture. The programme runs at both post-Part I and Post-Part II levels as a non-credit based course to help support students through their early career choices.

External Examiner Kathy Gal - Architectural Association

The School provides a Professional Studies Advisor (PSA) to guide students through the process as well as careers support, access to library facilities and IT resources. The School has a wide network of contacts to help support students into work. Ian Shepherd Programme Director Contact (Parts II & III) (Part I)


Professional Examiners



One of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in 2015 (COP21) was that a global agreement on achieving zero emissions needs be made as ‘soon as possible’ and the need to have ‘net zero emissions’ worldwide during the second half of the century is essential.

The course is closely associated with the operation of the BCU Zero Carbon Lab, a multidisciplinary research group at Birmingham City University where design thinking and advanced computer modelling methods are brought together to seek solutions to the toughest open problems in the built environment.

However, there is no global plan about how this will actually be done, and national policies, including that of the UK, are still to be aligned with these challenging objectives.

The course collaborates with industry through a Retrofit Plus project that develops scaling up of zero carbon retrofit of the nations homes, and with the ground-breaking Birmingham Zero Carbon House which is being monitored by our Zero Carbon Lab.

In the absence of a global plan, this course addresses the ‘how’ question and thus it makes a small but important step towards a global change in the right direction. This multidisciplinary course unifies design with technical, social and economic aspects of building performance. It develops a new type of professional, educated to rise to the challenges of climate change, and to deliver both new and retrofit design for zero carbon buildings or facilitate their procurement and approval.

Professor Lubo Jankovic BSc, PhD, FIAP, CEng, MCIBSE, MASHRAE Professor of Zero Carbon Design | Director, Zero Carbon Lab

MA Zero Carbon Architecture and Retrofit Design

Fig. 1 Collaboration with the open day at Birmingham Zero Carbon house that has been monitored by the Zero Carbon Lab over the past 5 years


Fig. 2 Workshop on Sustainable Economics: students are seeking a solution for financing a supply chain for zero carbon retrofit of buildings using complementary currency

128 Fig. 3 Zero Carbon Speculation: outline design of a human settlement on Mars, taking into account energy and food self-sufficiency

129 Fig. 4 Design of a zero carbon house made from shipping containers – course collaboration with an external client through the CoLab route.



The new post graduate course in Conservation of the Historic Environment, validated in 2014, recruited well this academic year – with 21 new applicants in Year 1 of the 2 year part-time degree. This course fits in well with the expanded School of Architecture and Design, with courses in historic interiors and historic landscapes as well as a strong emphasis on conservation philosophy and understanding the significance of exisiting buildings and their sustainable futures . The course continues to offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for architects, surveyors, engineers or home owners who wish to gain knowledge about the historic environment. One of the important aspects of the course is the number of specialist lecturers used to deliver the workshops. Another is the practical nature of the course, with students getting hands on experience and understanding of traditional building materials. The knowledge of lime as a

mortar, plaster, render or limewash is the cornerstone of working with pre-1919 buildings and structures, and all students attend at Llanymynech Limeworks in north Shropshire. They have a go at mixing mortars, as well as plastering onto lath and repointing stonework. The decay of building stones, metals in buildings and timber as joinery or frame are crucial and students have the opportunity to work with a banker mason, a timber framer and large scale metal conservators to understand both material defects and the palette of repair techniques. Likewise with ceramic building materials – tile, terracotta and brick are all explained and practically explored. The decay of reinforced concrete is important to the conservation of 20th century structures as are the aesthetics of brutalist architecture. Wallpapers, surface finishes, textiles and carpets are all part of the Historic Interiors course held this year at the National Trust property of Wightwick Manor. While a

The sustainability of historic buildings – both financial and environmental – is another important part of the course , and students have been working with Building Preservation Trusts to consider options appraisals for both secular buildings and redundant places of worship. They

have explored sources of funding to undertake works and suggested strategies for improving thermal performance. In addition – an introduction to current conservation philosophies is being delivered to architecture students – in the hopes that they will have the knowledge to conserve the historic environment as well as enhancing it with new designs and buildings. Harriet Devlin MBE Programme Director

MA Conservation of The Historic Environment

yomp around the park at Hagley Hall showed the discovery of the former designed landscape that is just being restored. Building Recording was tackled enthusiastically at a timber framed residential property – with students undertaking detailed drawings of late medieval hinges and doors. And on quite a different scale BCU students were joined by many members of the Canal & River Trust as CPD particants in a new 2 day course on the history, heritage and practical issues of canals





BA (HONS) LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture: an exploration of vibrant, living environments; curating elemental outdoor experiences, the storyboard for artistry, activity and nature


Year 1: Our journey through the Landscape, starts with inspiration: where do our ideas come from and how do we represent them? What is our nature and what might we do to change a place when we see our limitations in it? We look to the past, and move to the future – to see how others ideas might reveal more about our own and how we might inspire those to come. We look at the very small and the very large, beyond our own visual perspective. Physical space becomes abstracted from experience, but increasingly logical in our vision for what it may become.

Year 2: The foundations are built for exploration in more connected and grounded ways. Ideas meet with increasing realities and experiences. Familiarity is made with the intricacies of our relationships, those real and virtual networks and economies. The physics and ecologies of building a place are founded and become second, and third, nature. Year 3: Through only a framework, it is now an investigation into what is to be done with all this. It is all about you, what will you do? To change the world, quite literally.. Lucas Hughes Programme Director BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture

BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture 135

Nathan Onions

136 Nathan Onions

137 Nathan Onions


Owen Morgan

139 Owen Morgan


141 Yuan Shi


Ula Bujauskaite

Tutors Russell Good – Programme Director Mark Cowell – Subject Leader Professor Kathryn Moore – IFLA President Eccles Ng - Lecturer


Visiting Tutors Dr Sandra Costa Sam Roberts Ying Li Andrew Charleson Paj Valley Graham Woodward Kay Hawkins Robert Kitch

The Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma/ MA in Landscape Architecture Programmes focus on the teaching of design skills, which are deployed across the boundaries between nature and culture, social responsibility and ecological processes, art and science and which are delivered by an experienced and enthusiastic range of staff, both within the School of Architecture and Design and visitors from UK and International practice. The programmes continue to engage with international, regional and local landscape design challenges through the medium of both ‘live’ and theoretical projects and which provide the basis for employment in both the UK and overseas. The programmes continue to attract ever-increasing numbers of students from across the world, attracted by their international profile and highquality teaching and learning.

The issues and UK approaches to environmental aspects of a ‘post-industrial’ city have been particularly valuable to many of our overseas Chinese students, who are already seeing, in their home country, the effects of rapid industrialisation, its effects on the ‘traditional’ city and, increasingly, a legacy of urban dereliction, and exploration into food security and the productive Sustainable landscape and new ideas to mitigate urban and rural flooding.

The introduction of student loans for postgraduate study is also driving the revalidation with the effect that the new programmes will comprise a 2-year ‘Conversion’ MALA and a 1-year MALA for students with an undergraduate qualification in Landscape Architecture. It will be crucial for the new programmes to maintain the current ‘accessibility’ for part-time students, mature students, etc.


The City of Birmingham and its hinterland remains the locus for many of the ‘live’ projects that form the basis of teaching and learning within the postgraduate Landscape Architecture Programmes. The impact of significant infrastructure projects (the ‘tram’ system, the arrival of HS2 in the City centre and at the NEC, the ongoing regeneration of Eastside and Digbeth) have all been vehicles for the exploration of environmentally sustainable proposals for change in the city and the region.

2016-17 will be the last year of the current Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma / MA in Landscape Architecture. The programmes will be revalidated in Autumn 2016 and the new programmes will run from October 2017. Staff are currently developing and producing the new documentation for the programmes to reflect both new BCU initiatives (such as ‘Transforming the Curriculum’) and also changes in the world of professional practice so as to ensure the ongoing relevance of the programmes and ensure the already high levels of BCU student employment in the profession.

Graduate Diploma/Postgraduate Diploma/MA Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Landscape Architecture Programmes 2015-16


David Cook

Graduate Diploma

Postgraduate Diploma / MA Landscape Architecture

The Graduate Diploma continued to offer the first stage of a route into Professional Landscape Architecture practice for students with an appropriate undergraduate degree. Its various taught components are intended to offer a ‘foundation’ in the fundamentals of Landscape Architecture in terms of design projects which introduce theory, process, scale and space and apply these, via a design brief, to a series of real sites. Landscape history and theory, technical and land sciences and digital and analogue means of representation also form part of the wide-ranging content of the programme. A national design competition for ‘Pocket Parks’ provided an opportunity for students to develop technology and materials skills using Garrison Lane Park as a live site to test and develop ideas in collaboration with BCU’s Institute of Sustainable Futures.

Sustainable Landscape Planning Whilst the Birmingham and West Midlands conurbation forms the basis for many projects within the Programme, it is recognised that the wider landscape around and between urban settlements is a significant area under pressure and subject to contention regarding agricultural production, biodiversity, residential and retail development, conservation, etc. This ‘Planning’ scale of design intervention is now increasingly recognised and forms the basis for the Landscape Institute’s recently expanded ‘Areas of Practice’. These loci, the increasing pressure for residential

and employment opportunities, require spatial landscape planning at a large and comprehensive scale and this project offers students the opportunity to engage with these scales of landscape and settlements as an exemplar of their problems and opportunities. The Design Process Studios The Design Process Studios at postgraduate level are designed to develop artistic practice and critical visual skill; the interpretative and transformative studies are given a clear purpose. As students gradually become more aesthetically aware in the studio, well-established myths separating language from emotions and art from intelligence begin to evaporate. Students gain confidence and fluency in the expression of ideas in form and interpreting form through ideas. Russell Good Programme Director MA Landscape Architecture

School Of Architecture Lecture Series This is public lecture series has continued to feature a range of highly experienced, local, national and international visiting tutors giving students the opportunity to engage with some of the most eminent practitioners and policy-makers from across the world. Lectures in 2015-16 have included: Claude Cormier (Canada), Andrew Charleson (New Zealand), Kim Wilkie (UK), Noel Farrer PLI (UK) This has been supplemented by a lecture series on ‘Flooding: A Catchment Level Approach’ with contributions from Ted Wilson (Royal Forestry Society ), Sue Illman (PPLI, CIC) Alan Simson (Urban Trees and sustainable urban drainage ), Kay Hawkins (Business modelling design for profit ), Martin Rogers NFU, (rewilding and river catchment), Robert Kitch (The role of Landscape Architect as expert witness).

145 David Cook

The Thesis Design Project The Thesis Design Project offers students the opportunity to either undertake a ‘given’ project reflecting current staff research / professional practice or to initiate and develop a project that reflects their own interests and their emerging ‘position’. This includes a response to the challenges of climate change, city development and regeneration, biodiversity, resource management, etc. Via innovative and comprehensive proposals that cover the full range of professional skills and abilities from brief development, research, analysis, critique and concept to technical resolution and implementation. The research and theoretical aspects of the Thesis project also form the basis for the subsequent MA Dissertation.


The ‘given’ projects are typically in Birmingham or

James Lamb

Kidderminster (useful for overseas students recently arrived in the UK and unfamiliar with the city) and which include the ‘periurban’ landscapes of the HS2 route around the eastern fringe of Birmingham and the NEC Alternatively, they can develop their own Project and brief (subject to it being consistent with the Thesis Project’s aims). For 2015-16, such student –led projects were located in other sites in the Birmingham conurbation, the former Austin Rover site at Longbridge and projects in Daventry, Warrington and Halesowen. Work And Practice In terms of practice and employment, we see an increasing demand for professionally qualified Landscape Architects both in the UK and further afield.

James Lamb

This is further supported by the close relationship

between the programmes and practice at regional and national levels. Staff and students of the programmes are significantly involved in the Midlands Branch of the Landscape Institute and local practitioners form both the Professional Review Group and also contribute to the programmes via visiting tutoring, lectures, attendance at crits. Etc. Current and recent graduates of the Programmes are working in: • Regional, national and international landscape practices. • Regional, national and international multidisciplinary practices • Universities and the Higher Education Sector. • Local government practice. • Policy roles within national government • Directors / Principles of their own practices.


In the UK in response to an increasing awareness of the significance of the landscape as the cultural, physical and social context of our lives and that the landscape (in a variety of senses) is the context within which the processes of development take place. The Landscape Institute’s own annual employment survey for the past year has indicated effectively zero unemployment for qualified Landscape Architects and this is reflected in the experience of students successfully completing the postgraduate Landscape Architecture programme. Indeed, many students find employment in landscape and related practices whilst still completing the programmes, which is why the ‘part-time’ study options that the programmes have traditionally offered are crucial to its future success

148 Ula Bujauskaite


Ula Bujauskaite

Professional Matters Mark Cowell was a member of the panel that recently undertook the quinquennial updating of the Quality Assurance Agency’s Subject Benchmark for Landscape Architecture. He was also a member of the two previous Subject Benchmark Panels. The new Subject Benchmark was published by the QAA in July. In his role as Subject Leader for Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture and Design, Mark Cowell was invited to become a member of the Landscape Institute’s (LI) Education and Membership Committee during 2015 and has recently joined the LI’s Accreditation Sub-Committee, where he will be involved in the various process by which the Institute professionally accredits Courses in Landscape Architecture and related disciplines, such as Landscape Planning and Urban Design. Mark Cowell acted as Academic Adviser to the recentlyaccredited Professional MA in Landscape Architecture at the University of East London


From 2016-17, the LI will be moving to a ‘triennial’ system of renewing professional accreditation for Landscape Architecture programmes. Whilst this will still involve annual renewal on an ongoing basis, the need for only a triennial reporting system will significantly reduce the administrative workload for both School staff and the members of the programme’s Professional Review Group. Professor Kathryn Moore PPLI was elected President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) in 2014. A member of the HS2 Independent Design Review Panel for HS2 Ltd, she is a founding partner and member of the 2017 World Design Summit Organisation Steering committee chaired by the Rt Hon Sheila Copps (former Deputy President of Canada). A member of the BCU Conferment Panel, she is a specialist advisor to the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (2013), was a member of the RIBA Planning Group and a member of IFLA (Europe) Education group from 2012, joined the Board of Landscape Architecture

Europe (LAE) and has been the chair of the IFLA working Group for a UNESCO International Landscape Convention since 2010. Other professional appointments include acting as a CABE Regional Advisor and board member of MADE since 2008. A member of the Design Research Society and board member of the Landscape Foundation, she is Past President of the LI (2004-6). She has published extensively on design quality, theory, education and practice. Her book Overlooking the Visual: Demystifying the Art of Design (2010) provides the basis for critical, artistic discourse. Her teaching, research and practice, set within landscape architecture have clear implications for architecture, planning, urban design and other art and design disciplines, in addition to philosophy, aesthetics and education more generally. Chair of the pilot design review panel for the High Speed 2 (HS2) landscape guidelines, she has taken a lead role in redefining the relationship between landscape, culture and governance, finance, health and community engagement within the context of the Birmingham region. The HS2 Landscape Vision (HS2LV) initiative she is developing, described as being “…in the spirit of all the great landscape evolutions in the country, seizing an opportunity to reinvent and rekindle the connection between the people and the countryside in a way not seen for decades” by Andrew Grant, Grant Associates, (winner of The RIBA Lubetkin Prize in 2013), is of international interest. Russell Good represents BCU on the Landscape Institute Midlands branch committee, and this ensures connectivity between practice and students. Russell has contributed to a European Research project funded investigating the role of Urban Allotment gardens and their contribution to the fabric of urban living. He also represents BCU on the board of the Birmingham’s Local Nature Partnership, this provides an interface with his interest in the role of natural systems and ecology in the design process. Russell is also an External Examiner for the undergraduate Landscape and Garden Design courses at Writtle School of Design.

151 Ula Bujauskaite





Design and visualisation plays a key role in many of today’s businesses and organisations. From designing complex animations, brand identity, 3D products, virtual interiors, landscape, architectural visualisation and new conceptual designs, employers look for graduates with creativity and knowledge-based software skills. This year students on the course were able to choose an individualised programme of study chosen from a variety of cross disciplinary MA modules and learnt how to apply design visualisation techniques and strategies to areas such as product design, interior design, graphic design and various other specialisations. Students on this programme further develop their skills and competencies as a 3D design visualiser with an understanding of the design process. They are

taught how to make important and critical decisions, how to devise visualisation strategies, design methods and how to use these skills across a range of disciplines. On completion of the course, students are able to evaluate, choose and apply relevant theories, concepts and techniques to the solution of design and the knowledge that underpins it. This knowledge and transferable skills helps our graduates succeed in a competitive industry. Every year students have the chance to engage with live projects that offer unique opportunities to experience working on real projects for real clients within the curriculum. Students learn how to place equal emphasis on the process of development, rather than just focussing on the final outcome. Importance is also placed not only on design quality, but also on

MA Design and Visualisation

engagement practice, creative participation and how the design is developed. The course provides the framework for reviewing, reflecting, analysing and critiquing existing designs and techniques that equips our graduates with a solid understanding of design visualisation, as well as how to apply different visualisation techniques in specific situations.

Dr. Panch Suntharalingam PhD. MSc (Distinction), BSc. (Hons), AMIMechE Programme Director, MA Design and Visualisation


Students study in our exciting City Centre Campus Parkside Building, a five-floor building with space studios and social space for students and staff to engage in creative ideas.

The course that our students study on has the following characteristics:• Contemporary, relevant and cutting-edge curriculum exposing students to a variety of new technologies. • Engaging study sessions that ensure students learn a range of vital skills needed for various design positions. • Excellent links with industry and employers. • Our graduates move on to successful careers where they apply their knowledge and ‘Toolbox’ of skills. • Our campus is based in the centre of a vibrant cosmopolitan city. • The Faculty of Arts, Design and Media is one of the UK’s largest Design Faculty.


Sien Yang

“The MA Design and Visualisation course has transformed my design thinking by combining sophisticated technological processes and theory within industry led projects. The design workshop has computer controlled CNC, laser and rapid prototyping systems which I have used in my projects. The diversity of facilities within the school has extended my transferable skills beyond my expectations and would recommend this course to other students who would like to increase their employability prospects.� Yihua GAO, China

“The course has offered me a range of transferable skills that has enabled me to be competent within the design industry. Studying on this challenging yet interesting course has enhanced my analytical and reflective skills. Also, the supportive environment ensured that I learned the most from the projects through the tutors who are highly knowledgeable within their fields. I really enjoyed the course and I would certainly recommend it to students because of the variety of skills you learn and the brilliant facilities provided by the University.� Amanda Lao, Hong Kong


Kailin Wang

“The course has transformed my design thinking by combining sophisticated technological processes and theory within industry-led projects.� Joseph Stanford-Turner, UK

Pei Hu


Yuxi Cai

Kailin Wang

Kai Kiang


Kai Kiang





There’s an ongoing call at both UK and European level for the development of management and leadership skills in the creative industries. The European Design Leadership Board has emphasized the need for design management skills, for designers to acquire strategic skills for business, and to improve their ability to communicate effectively with senior management and multi-disciplinary teams.

“If design and designers are to play a more strategic role in organisations, they have to shift from being technical experts to taking an influential and perhaps leading role.” Design Council (2014)


Design Management | The Context | The Industry | The Course The nature of the design industry, where designers often work in small businesses with limited time and financial resources, means it can be difficult to invest in continuing professional development.


The Masters in Design Management at Birmingham City University addresses this problem by providing the opportunity to study either fulltime or via work-based learning, which allows participants to remain in their full-time design practice. Established over twenty years, this is a highly respected, innovative programme with a distinct focus on practice and useful outcomes. The course is aimed at ambitious designers and non-designers who want to accelerate their careers by developing management skills and gaining business and marketing insight. Design management is a globalised, multi-disciplinary discipline and the course attracts designers and

non-designers from the UK, Europe and internationally. While some of our students will have recently graduated, others join us with many years experience. Alongside the knowledge and experience of the teaching staff, the breadth and depth of experience in the student cohort is an essential feature of this course. Lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials are held here at the Parkside Campus, students attend classes in person, but can also join some classes online. We webcast live and record classes making them accessible at any time, while also holding online discussion groups. While online access is particularly valuable for our work-based students, we place great value on the social aspects of learning, the unplanned and the unexpected that happen when talented people get together. An essential component of study is the ability to exploit the wealth of networking and extra-curricular opportunities. These typically include personal introductions, industry speakers and events, internships,

paid work, competitions, research events, University and Faculty guest speakers, entrepreneurship events and funding. We welcome opportunities to work with industry. Our aim is always to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the course and an organisation with an interest in design. We aim to provide a design-focused resource that an organisation may not otherwise have access to, and at the same time, provide our postgraduates with access for their research. We encourage businesses to consider what would be valuable to them, what they might not otherwise have the resources for. For instance, research into new markets, competitors, processes, communication, efficiency and topical issues, such as sustainability. We take great care in matching suitable students to placement opportunities.

Caroline Norman Programme Director MA Design Management

Specialist Guest Lectures The Masters in Design Management enjoys insights into human dynamics and the nature of the workplace through seminars provided by Herman Miller Insight Group.


Planned for 2016-17: The Living Office (New Landscape of Work) “In businesses around the world the workforce is changing. The expectations of workers are changing. How work gets done is changing. The tools of work are changing. The work itself is changing. There is a new landscape of work. At Herman Miller, we are working with the world’s leading thinkers and designers to apply a greater understanding of people—how we think, how we are motivated, and how we create and collaborate—to this new landscape of work. In this seminar we will share our approach to how to manage our work, the tools and technologies that enable us, and the places where we come together to do it.” Herman Miller Insight Group.



Malvern Outdoors Elements The Master’s in Design Management welcomes opportunities to work with industry, our aim is always to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the course and an organisation looking to benefit from our students’ input. Malvern Outdoors Elements is a not-for-profit organisation that provides outdoor experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Malvern Outdoors Elements asked our students to review their marketing communications and in return provided us with the opportunity to benefit from a day of outdoor team building. As part of the communications review our students worked with designers from BA Visual Communications to demonstrate the potential for innovation through both traditional and social media.

GKN GKN is a FTSE 100 British multinational company specialising in aerospace, automotive powder metallurgy and land systems. GKN recently formed GKN Future Thinkers, an initiative bringing together its brightest and best to identify future priorities for the business seen as energy, transport, artificial intelligence, workspace, with branding and communications prioritised for internal review. As part of this work Future Thinkers commissioned our students to investigate GKN’s branding through a review of how the brand communicates and is perceived by employees, customers, and most importantly by the young talent they need to recruit for the future.

MA Design Management students undertook the corporate brand review by assessing how the organisation articulates its brand values through design. The student teams provided fresh insights into the brand’s potential visual language through visual mapping, social media, animation, photography and typography.


The project followed on from an introduction by the Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration (IDEA) and involved three student teams presenting concepts to Lord Fox, GKN Director of Group Communications in May.

A RICH STUDENT EXPERIENCE Class Activities MA Design Management learning and teaching is made up of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials which are held here at the Parkside Campus, students attend classes in person but can also join some classes online.


We webcast live and record classes making them accessible at any time, whilst also holding online discussion groups. While online access is particularly valuable for our workbased students, we place great value on the social aspects of learning, the unplanned and the unexpected that happen when talented people get together.

Design management is a globalised, multi-disciplinary discipline and the course attracts designers and non-designers from the UK, Europe and internationally. While some of our students will have recently graduated others join us with many years experience. We celebrate the range and diversity of our cultures through events hosted by both staff and students.


Culture Sharing



Many of our past students work in architecture, fashion, graphics, interiors, jewellery, media, product, service and design related businesses with careers as designers, design managers, project and account managers, buyers and marketing communication managers in design and brand consultancies, in-house design and marketing departments. We also support potential entrepreneurs and innovators in the planning and running of their own businesses.

Lennie Hedges

Adeline Kartikasari

“I joined the MA Design Management course to progress my career, challenge myself and study with like-minded creative people. I’ve worked as a graphic design professional for over twenty years and work-based learning enabled me to take the course while continuing in my role as a design manager. BCU offered exactly what I wanted, flexibility, targeted learning, personal career development and inspirational mentorship.”

“My previous work as a creative designer challenged me to advance my skills both in design, management and marketing. The course has provided me with business insight and allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge, most importantly, it has helped me to advance my critical thinking and personal skills.”

“My dissertation focused on international design leadership challenges, specifically how manager’s deliver results and add real value.”

“The ever-changing design business demands creative entrepreneurs to have more agility, competencies in various disciplines and the ability to build partnerships. My experience of smallmedium graphic design businesses triggered my curiosity to explore how design entrepreneurs can find suitable business partners, which became the focus of my major project.”

Korrakot Kulkraisri


“After working professionally as a Creative Designer for a year, I realised that business insight within the design industries is crucial. From my point of view, the best part of the course is its diversity and the potential to research within your own discipline. I chose to pursue my interest in design for children through my major project which investigated the nature of play scape design and how this affects the quality of children’s play.”

Xijing Chen “As an in-house visual merchandising designer working in retail, I realised that to improve my career prospects I needed to develop my knowledge and skills. During the course, I learned a variety of research methods in order to evaluate design work effectively.” “My major project focused on service design within retail and involved an analysis of the customer experience through customer journey mapping, which examined the customer experience through design ‘touch points’.”


Customer journey map

Kelvin Huang Design and innovation strategy case study on Joseph & Joseph

Stef Ratledge

NestTM 8: The Kitchen Rainbow of Joseph Joseph Limited

5.1.2 Hallmark Products

“My background is in the management of the graphic design process both as a client initially but mostly within design consultancy. Recently I have also worked in education both teaching and assessing.” “The MA Design Management provided me with an opportunity to refresh and develop my skills significantly, providing me with a recognised qualification to pursue more work within education.”

Figure 3: The product line of Joseph Joseph

Source:,, IfM Review, the Guardian

 8 

Report & Portfolio for Design Strategy & Innovation Module [DES7034]

“The dissertation allowed me to explore the difficult subject of design value evaluation with both buyers and suppliers. The research has provided an opportunity to develop some potentially valuable findings and recommendations of interest to the design industry.”

5.2.6 Usability & Ease of Use

Built-in handle design, ensuring better holding and grasping

Non-slip rubber base, ensuring the stability when mixing Scenario Summary : after experiencing and testing, the product is think of as a ‘reliable’ product, all the details are for specific purposes. Users can feel the design is genuinely humancentred and the design is in line with users’ habits of use.

 Built-in spout, easy to pour

 measuring cups are hard to hold

 15 

Report & Portfolio for Design Strategy & Innovation Module [DES7034]


5. Portfolio 5.1 Brand Background 5.1.1 Brand Development

2012 2007 The brand cracked the U.S market




U.S market became the biggest market for the brand

2014 The brand developed two subsidiaries: Joseph Joseph Inc in the USA and Joseph Joseph Eurl in France

Achieved 3 awards for design and product innovation

Products were distributed to France, Germany and Japan

Summary: 13 Years on, Joseph Joseph has developed into an integrated leading kitchenware brand from a chopping board manufacturer. It enjoys a great prestige within the industry and customers at home and abroad.

The Company Was Set Up By Twin Brothers Richard Joseph and Antony Joseph Figure 2: Joseph Joseph’s journey of development

Source:,, the Guardian, IfM Review, Keynote, FAME

 7


School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE) with VCT Design management is a growing discipline and we’re very excited to be extending the reach of the course by opening the Master’s in Design Management in Hong Kong. The course starts in January 2017 at the School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE) and will be held at the Hong Kong Design Institute


“The overall standard of the course was very high, reflected in both educational aims and outputs, which was manifest in the final set of marks presented to the Examination Board. At a national level, the course is above and beyond comparable offerings at HE level, which is indicative of the commitment and professionalism of the course team.�


Dr. David Hands, Lancaster University, External Examiner for MA Design Management

MA Design Management has enjoyed some really excellent feedback from both our students via the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey and our External Examiner. The role of an External Examiner is to ensure the quality of a course and standards of assessment.

Read our previous annual reviews and grad show gazettes on the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design Issuu page.


To find out about the latest School news and events visit our homepage on the Birmingham City University website.

Concerns 2015-16, Birmingham School of Architecture Annual Review  

Annual publication celebrating the work of undergraduate and postgraduate students from across the School.

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