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I have recently started tutoring a ‘Design and Fabrication’ course at the University of New South Wales, (2017 Graduation Exhibition pictured above). The last course I taught at a university was nine years ago, so it’s been quite a while between stints in the classroom.

I thought I would take a moment to share some reflections about this experience with you.

The subject is for third year students. They are tasked with the job of designing a residential project suitable for three groups of people.

These people consist of a family of four, an older couple and a single person. The students have to explore how these different groups interact, manifesting this into an architectural solution.

The intention is to show how we can have a denser style of living. This will help reduce urban spread and involve people living close to infrastructure, such as schools and public transport.

The students will contemplate how spaces can be shared, exploring the creation of multiple-layered spatial experiences. They will tap into the idea of private versus shared spaces.

In the process the students will write their own brief. This includes developing the story and background of each of the different family groups.

 

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They are also required to do a site analysis. The site for this imagined project is real – the L’Estrange Park in Mascot (pictured above).

The fundamentals of what architecture students learn at university remain the same over time, but the emphasis varies.

Many of the theories and readings in this ‘Design and Fabrication’ course have really resonated with me. As we continue through our various journeys in life, we never stop learning.

Nobody can ever learn too much or study too much. Reading about architectural theory revitalizes aspects of my work, and gives it another dimension.

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