The structure of the first year of the MArch is unique to the WSA as the year of ‘Education in Practice’ is spent predominantly in the workplace. Fourth-year is divided into three modules: Design in practice, Reflective practice and Research preparation. Each module is set up to focus on particular areas which enhance and support students architectural education by connecting office and university.
A comprehensive design project ran throughout the year making a link between design as experienced in education and that conducted by the practices in which students are working. The project was structured in accordance with the RIBA Stages with submissions and engagements mirroring professional practice in format. It aims to address the adjustment required from designing in studio to the rigours of practice, providing a platform for engagement with work-colleagues and all stages of design. The School is also concerned with providing a grounding in design economics and students must consider whether what they propose represents good value to their client while bearing in mind what ‘value’ might mean in a changing world.
What we learned
The importance of working in teams, punctuality and communication. Working with people we have met for one week in September and continuing to do so throughout the entirety of the educational year.
Working remotely has become increasingly more important as seen with Covid and working from home – we have had a year of practice of distance learning and sharing our ideas digitally.
How it prepares us for MArch II
It puts us in a professional setting where we can link undergraduate to working in practice to masters in a union that other universities do not offer. Develop the skill of balancing working in practice, study and life-study balance.