Foundations in Architecture and Design Course Director
Could you tell us about your experience and how this feeds into your course?
I'm a trained architect, but I have worked across a range of design disciplines, including interior, exhibition design, and film/animation/multimedia. I have taught in Higher education for over 20 years, both in the UK, and internationally in such countries as Malaysia, India, New Zealand, and the UAE.
What is the philosophy of your course?
The Foundation course is just that; a foundation from which students can start to grow as designers. It's (very) hands on, and we build on three core principles/skills:
- Ideas! Concept generation
Students from the foundation in Architecture, Product and Furniture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design and Design for Future Living all work collaboratively to solve design challenges.
If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?
This course is distinct because it does not encourage style over content, or right/wrong thinking. Instead it looks to creativity, fun, and focus as the driving force toward good design, and becoming a good designer.
Why is Birmingham a good place to study?
Birmingham is a thriving dynamic city, which itself is evolving into a 21st century city, with resources and cultural amenities to rival even London.
Why do you believe it’s important to study a degree and why might students want to study your course?
Studying a degree is about more than gaining the qualification; it's about investing in yourself.
Ideally you will broaden your whole world view, and be better equipped to deal with the challenges that life will throw at you. You will make friends, avail yourself of opportunity, and ultimately grow into a far better version of you.
Studying the Foundation in Architecture at BCU is the first step on this exciting journey.
Where will the students be based in their time here and what will their learning environment be?
Much of the Foundation course takes place in our studio P421 here in Birmingham School of Architecture and Design in the award winning Parkside building. Some of our classes utilise the CAD labs, Workshops, TCV studios and other University resources/spaces.
What can students do to help prepare them for the course?
Become a design analyst/observer. Get your phone out and start photographing the world around you. Better still start a design sketchbook, and draw something in it daily!
Start to question; what makes for good/bad design? If you like a building, interior or product, think about what makes it a success in your eyes. If you don't, then why not? Think about how you would do it better!
What’s your favourite element about working at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design?
Every day and every student is different. Design, and therefore designers may yet save the world! A few of us work at BCU, so it's good to be a part of that!