Architecture students explore Rome


Second year BA (Hons) Architecture students recently spent a week abroad exploring museums as part of the ‘Design Resolution’ module. The aim of the trip was to explore how studying spaces through images before the trip compares to experiencing the sites in person and examining the special requirements of various types of museums.

BA (Hons) Architecture

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The trip was a chance for students to put their observational skills to the test and prepare a comprehensive case study to help with their final project. The trips were self-funded and self-organised by the students, who had the opportunity to choose from London, Berlin, Cologne, Rome, Verona, or Paris.

The brief asked students to work in groups to select their destination, list the museums they planned to visit and analyse as part of their case study. Students had to consider how visitors interact with the space and what’s interesting about them.

“Coming from an architecture background you have an understanding of what elements each country can offer you” Muhammad Jaivid said afterwards - his group decided to visit Rome. “You know what kind of architecture speaks to you, what you enjoy looking at most and what you’d like to visit.”

“Obviously you see the Colosseum in movies all the time and I knew that was something I really wanted to see. Actually being there – you can’t really explain it. It’s a whole different feeling compared to seeing it on TV. It’s really nice to get that choice of where to go – you can pick one that really stands out to you the most.”

Muhammad and his group decided on Rome and based their project around the Vatican City Museum and MAXXI Museum. They had to consider the entrances and circulation around both buildings – how visitors flow from the entrances to exits. Students also had to explore the surrounding area, how inviting and obvious the entrances are.

The relationship between the museum displays and exhibitions and the building itself was a key element of the brief. Did the artefacts speak for themselves, or was the building fighting for visitor attention?

“As we’re talking about Rome there’s interesting places everywhere. We decided to prioritise visiting the museums and then we would use the extra time to explore the city. There was one day where we walked around for hours – getting lost in Rome and finding some really interesting places. We found some amazing monuments that we didn’t plan to visit. We found the Pantheon by accident which made it a really exciting and interesting day.”

Once the students returned to the University they had to present their findings to the cohort. The presentations included a variety of different media, with some looking at collages, others 3D modelling or drawing. Each student also had to complete an A2 board reflecting on their own personal experience, showcasing the spatial experience of the exhibition they visited.

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