Our School of Architecture actively promotes student engagement with live projects across all years. Architectural practices have often voiced concerns that schools of architecture do not provide students with the right set of skills needed in practice. Live projects provide a community-situated design response to real time challenges, allowing students to experience key aspects of architectural practice, and in doing so gain more ‘practice-ready’capabilities.
That live projects should be experiencing a renaissance during our current period of economic rationing is commensurate with universities, public sector organisations and charities facing increased financial pressure. Although this presents huge challenges in terms of resources, this is also an opportunity to establish partnerships that provide enduring benefits by mobilising students, faculty, and neighbourhood organizations to work together to solve urban problems that revitalize the economy, generate jobs, and rebuild communities.
OB1 Live – year one undergraduate students
The idea of OB1 LIVE came from a desire to formulate an informal opportunity for a group of year one architects to build something. We have been lucky to collaborate with many clients with interesting and challenging briefs. An essential part of the OB1 LIVE experience is reality. Real clients. Real planners and building control inspectors. Real institutions. With real budgets, construction and site constraints.
Examples of OB1 live projects:
- 2008 - Donnington Doorstep environmental play devices
- 2009 - Mount Place, place improvements, Jericho
- 2010 - Film Oxford pop-up cinema
- 2011 - Fabrications – environments for storytelling
- 2012 - Domestic appliances for Science Oxford
- 2013 - Lantern festival, Warneford Meadow
Years two and three undergraduate students
In years two and three, students choose vertical design units to join, in which years two and three are taught together. Examples of years two and three live projects include:
- 2013 - undergraduate live build in Unit A - plywood innovation
- 2013 - On the edge of the white marble quarry in Estremos Alentjejo in Portugal, Unit H completed a 1:1 design workshop around a derelict Monastery. Interventions addressed pertinent issues relating to the site, town and the seasonal operation of the quarry, resulting in four 1:1 design speculative journeys through the site as event and performance.
Our postgraduate students have the opportunity to participate in a range of live projects. Examples include: MArchD Applied Design in Architecture ARB/RIBA Part 2 students:
MA Development and Emergency Practice students: