BA3 is where students begin to specialise. We help them to expand their own interests by allowing them to choose which atelier to study within. 6 of our 7 ateliers are vertical – they are associated and work with an atelier in the MArch programme. Like last year, we began with some new ateliers and some redefined atelier positions – we are always questioning our own assumptions about architecture and the world. The Atelier Question Time, as the first formal event of the year, allows all students to challenge the staff to some pertinent and political enquiry that informs their choice of atelier.
Throughout the busy year our students have engaged with research-informed-design in their chosen studio ateliers, humanities electives, professional studies and technologically driven case studies. We have shared year- wide ambitions and undertaken cross-atelier reviews which enable cross fertilisation of the ideas and appreciation of the positions of others. As an overall strategy, we have created a learning environment with rich and dynamic methods to create a supportive and informed experience that prepares our graduates well for work or further study.
Primarily, we asked the students at various stages in the year what kind of architect or creative practitioner they would like to be. To help answer this, year leaders run a professional studies lecture series, connecting practice and theory through an outward-facing sequence of dialogues. This introduces students to the manifold ways architects work as well as other types of spatial and design practice. We have also unpacked CVs, discussed tactics for job hunting with previous graduates and looked at other ways of being creative with an architecture degree.
Each studio atelier has run a year-long project with uniquely different briefs, challenging sites and distinct approaches ranging from: exploring the historic fabric of a place to an inclusive feminist social engagement; from sites in Ireland discussing the Brexit agenda to a narrative that is born out of the site’s history and its inherent potential; from the agenda of time-based resilient ecologies to augmented experiences; and, a design driver based on difference. Part way through the first term all students are encouraged to undertake a study tour and in the second term each atelier visited live construction site, both complementing each atelier discourse and position. In these ways we bring together the thinking, doing and realities of architecture with perennially novel and exhilarating outcomes.
The online show this year presents the complex projects our third year students undertake and has allowed us to come together collaboratively to celebrate the diverse and focused work we have accomplished with each other.