Part I – BSc

Welcome to the Welsh School of Architecture end of year student exhibition and congratulations to all BSc Part I students for your resilience and perseverance through these difficult times and changes to your learning. We are proud of your energy, enthusiasm and achievements.

As we shift from our usual in-school exhibition, filling the rooms and corridors with exciting and dynamic drawings, models and installations, we are delighted that so many students, across all years, have committed time to curate and contribute to a new format that not only showcases the usual design units, studios and ateliers but allows us to include other critical, but often less exhibited, work such as history and theory, technology and practice, that underpin design studio.

While the global pandemic has disrupted our working environments, we have seen students and staff continue to be creative, experimental and innovative developing new collaborative online working methods, embracing alternative approaches to communicating ideas and supporting each other through difficult times. As we forge ahead in unfamiliar environments, students continue to be curious, becoming creative and grounded designers who are: environmentally engaged; theoretically, culturally and politically aware; enterprising and highly valued by practice.

Our programme is delivered through a mixture of core and elective modules, general and specialist subjects that are research-informed. In Year 1, students explore the notion of design through context, space and experience, culminating with an ‘inhabiting thresholds’ live/work project on a number of interstitial sites within Cardiff City centre. In Year 2, reflection and integration are essential to understanding neighbourhoods in the design of sensitive housing projects for the homeless, elderly and families as well as designing a sustainably fabricated chair and a range of complex and varied public buildings. In the Vertical Studio (Years 1 and 2), we have enjoyed the opportunities to develop new art, graphic, conceptual and making techniques, skills and methods that break free from the architectural orthodox.

The broad diversity of the twelve Year 3 design units, equips and empowers students to reflect, question and tackle real situations. The portfolios highlighted in this exhibition demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to design supported by modules on History and Theory, Technology, and Practice management and Economics. Each portfolio is student-led  promoting opportunities to take an ethical, curious and critical stance that positions our graduates well as the next generation of open-minded, inclusive and creative designers. We thank all our tutors, critics and contributors who have supported the delivery of these units.

We wish all our graduates the best in your future careers. For those continuing we look forward to welcoming you back in 2020-21, as well as a new intake into Year 1. There will inevitably be Covid-19 related changes to teaching and learning, but we will continue to collaborate throughout the year to ensure we maintain a high quality WSA experience.

Dr Steve Coombs, Director of Undergraduate Teaching