This year the Master of Architecture programme (MArch) has continued to connect students, expert academics, design professionals and wider communities through a sequence of practice-based research, design, professional and live events projects.
The year started on a high with a number of student awards and achievements. Yasmin Nagdy, Nosheen Aslam and Cecilia Morgan won the Future Spaces Foundation (FSF) Student Design Competition with their proposal for a suite of nature-based interventions designed to tackle air pollution and improve wellbeing. Nadir Mahmood was awarded a Silver Medal Commendation for his project “Nirvana” at the RIBA Education Awards and the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Architectural Drawing at Part 2. Mohsin Ali was awarded a Commendation in the RIBA Dissertation Medal for “Mapping Migrant Trajectories: A Study of South Asians in Diaspora through the Bradford High Street”. And finally, George Williams and Joseph Cox were shortlisted for the SPAB Philip Webb Award for their project “Rethinking Familiar Things”.
Our student body remains incredibly diverse, and this is reflected in the breadth of study options offered across the programme’s units through the ateliers, Research Methods workshops, MSA Live projects, Dissertation themes, and Professional Studies 3 groups. Each atelier, workshop, or study option approaches architecture from a different research position to respond to emerging or pertinent global issues.
In MArch1, the atelier led, Professional Studies 1 and 2 units examined the pressing concerns of Affordable Sustainable Housing and the regulatory complexities of Building ReUse. Research Methods Workshops and MSA Live enabled community outreach and consultation, and the Dissertation unit continued to explore the complex inter-relationships between humans, non-humans, buildings and the environment.
In MArch2, our annual Open Review (@msaopenreview) has remained a highlight of the academic year – uniting graduating students with local, national, and international practitioners to receive constructive and critical comments on their final year thesis projects. These conversations followed a series of visiting lectures and industry experts in Professional Studies 3 and a new symposium in Studio 2 which examined Critical Approaches to Technology and the Climate Emergency from the perspective of each of our research led atelier.
It has been wonderful to see the return of study trips this year, with atelier visits to the Lake District, Glasgow, London, Chemnitz and Berlin as well as site visits, factory visits and workshop tours. We have also continued with our Student Exchange programme, welcoming students from Venice, Milan and Paris exchanging with MSA students who opt to do the second term with one of our international partners.
It has been an incredible opportunity to lead the MArch course through another year with our inspiring student body – working on projects with both national and international significance both in the city and beyond.