Newcastle Station Clock

Newcastle Station Clock

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Cave 2.0

Next up in my series of "small conceptual projects that are poorly thought through and even more poorly explained" (I'll come up with a snappier name if I do a third in the series) is this funny looking bubble, via Bit Rebels. First things first, it's basically a plastic bubble, containing one room and a porch, and with no visible structure to speak of, I can only assume it's inflated a little bit like a bouncy castle, with the constant pumping of air also acting as ventilation. The design is, predictably, meant to connect us with nature - and more strangely, to question our relationship with our "boxes of loneliness", known to the non-poetic among us as 'houses'.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I Wish I’d Known

Right, so what they don’t tell you about when you finish your first three years of architectural education is that everyone leaves. If you want to stay in your university town you will have to learn what it’s like to try to live a normal life not living and breathing architecture. Having managed to get a couple of weeks work (installing new monitors and computers in the architecture studios – well it’s money at least) I have found myself working 9ish till 5ish every day and coming home to an empty house. None of the people who I knew on my road are still there; they have all moved home or to a completely different part of town! Even the velp has returned home (away from here) for summer.

Now, we have started getting a weekly organic veg delivery. The quality has been great so far, I’ve really enjoyed it. I have discovered that aubergine works fantastically on pizza and spinach dough works much better with fresh spinach than the frozen stuff I’ve been using all year. The aforementioned female is the vegetarian and so we tend to eat meatless meals in the evening, if I have meat I try and have it for lunch. When she’s not around however, I don’t really know what to cook in the evenings. Since I am off travelling at the end of the week I want to use up as much food as I possibly can and not buy anything new in, and hence to make the most of my carnivorous freedom I decided to go for my least favourite thing to cook tonight.

Now they say pasta is a student’s dream but I just find it hideously boring. I think I’ve got away with cooking it less than five times this academic year. With my pasta I managed to use up a nice selection of beans, including broad beans which I have realised are just as much fun to shell as they were when I was six on the allotment with my Grandad. There’s some onion and fresh spinach on there as well (and let's not forget the generous sprinkling of grated applewood). I only wish that I had a vegetarian here to enjoy this feast which although tasty, I have to say does not really satisfy my cravings for meat!

Maybe I will make another vaguely relevant architectural post on here in the future. To be honest I just thought I’d share my attempt at ‘student food’. (Having just graduated and all).

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I suggest it was Part 2 Student, in the Corner, with a Spreadsheet

A 'who done it' mystery has emerged on the Building Design website this week that even the combined wit of Miss Marple and Inspector Morse would struggle to solve before the end of a hour long episode.

The charge: Designing the Swiss Re Building, better known at the Gherkin.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tough Times for Architecture Students – 21st June, Portland Place

A free train fair to London to a conference on the tough times architecture students are facing? Go for it! This was probably the most fast paced dialogue I’ve ever been part of; discussions ranging from how to make yourself stand out to employers to the additional freedoms the RIBA is accommodating with PEDRs. It’s great that it is recognised that the requirements of education need refining to those of practice, with the former asking for a ‘PTT’ (“portfolio that thick” – Niall McLaughlin) and the latter requiring an efficient and complete communication on two A1’s.

There were deep reaching questions as to whether the RIBA should change their prescribed curriculum to tailor to practice or to focus on design proficiency. It was exceptionally reassuring to see so much support for the student perspective; Dale Sinclair doesn’t employ anyone for free, when he had international students working for him paid by their own governments he paid them as well! Whilst fantastic ethically most of us can only dream of getting one salary let alone two, and that leads rather neatly onto my only major criticism on what was a very enjoyable event. There are no jobs! ZAP architecture have it right; students currently studying five years at university with two years in practice can expect to amount expenses of £63 726, BUT they have NO guaranteed job. Those entering on the new fees will spend around £88 726. All of the arguments as to what the RIBA should be prescribing to institutions and what the students should be doing to tart up their CVs are great, but ultimately pointless for us, the unemployed, quickly running out of money. Out of a graduating cohort of around 80 I only know of six or seven who have found work. What then for the rest of us?


P.S. In case you were wondering the wonderful portrait here is Niall McLaughlin, a great chair to the event and very friendly person (even if he does look a little stern here)!