The four day annual Summer School Studio was held this month for Year 12 students from WA schools. Aimed at students interested in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, the studio provides a taste of life as a Bachelor of Design student.
Forty students attended from secondary schools including Perth Modern School, John XXIII College, Applecross Senior High School, Kingsway Christian College, Girrawheen Senior High School, Guildford Grammar and Shenton College. The idea behind the studio is to provide a hands-on experience of student life that will equip attendees with a better understanding of the courses ALVA offers, familiarise them with the campus facilities and ideally ignite a life-long passion for design.
First-time studio co-ordinator Ciaran Acton was handed the reins from Assistant Professor Sophie Giles who ran the studio last year. He was ably assisted by Yasas Botenne.
The main focus of the studio was a project to design a pavilion to enhance a public square allowing people to play, sing, dance, work, or contemplate in the space. Activities over the four days included a site visit to Cathedral Square in the city and a talk by lecturer Charlie Mann on ‘the idea in architecture.’ Students were taught sketching, 3D computer modelling, physical model-making and technical drawing as means to communicate their design proposal.
The students were from varied backgrounds; however they all seemed to share a common passion for the process of architecture. The design responses they produced to the brief were varied and imaginative. They were quickly able to grasp the possibilities, as well as the limitations of the site and develop good design outcomes.
Despite being in a new environment and faced with learning a different set of skills, the students quickly settled into the rhythm of university life and by the end of the 4 days most seemed quite comfortable with their surroundings.
Feedback from the attendees was positive: “I enjoyed the course a lot”, “I’m thinking of studying architecture”, “liked the process of design”, “enjoyed the relaxed and friendly teaching style”, “the project was interesting”, “ the lectures really inspired me”.
Enrolments for next summer’s studio will be open towards the end of the year. A short video of the 2011 Summer School studio is available to view http://www.alva.uwa.edu.au/community/studio