In BA2, students were encouraged to develop their own architectural approach and ideas by questioning what mattered to them. These ideas were tested and explored through methods of iterative design in order to develop a design resolution. In order for students to develop their own position, the BA2 programme supported a broad acquisition of knowledge in preparation for BA3.
The invaluable RIBA mentoring scheme enabled students to work alongside practising architects. The studio lecture series exposed students to specialists from a range of sectors, from architecture, property development, archaeology, construction, sustainability and conservation. Through the year students worked on two different projects, centred around the complex and challenging Mayfield Depot; a post-industrial site in Manchester. The Studio 2.1 project, Blindspot, challenged students to design an urban intervention which aimed to reconnect Mayfield to Manchester by invoking an identity for the site and its surroundings. The main Studio 2.2 project, 66 Baring Street, sought to explore the challenges and opportunities of living and working in an urban community. This brief was supported by the study trip to the UK and Netherlands, giving students an opportunity to learn from internationally award-winning housing schemes.
BA2 students found the briefs challenging yet liberating, resulting in a range of exciting projects. Whilst the first project offered students freedom to launch themselves into architectural possibilities, the second project offered an opportunity to showcase the integration of both the Technologies and Humanities units into their Studio projects.