In his essay titled 'Should architecture schools focus on a singular teaching approach?' Architects Journal critic-at-large Ellis Woodman looks at the 'Studio Model' of delivery from its genesis at the Architects Association under Alvin Boyarsky in the 1970s to its various iterations in British Architecture Schools- including The Cass- 40 years later.
Woodman expresses concern that while the studio system with its 'polyphony of voices' exposing students to a range of ideas and positions from different tutors remains the dominant model , benefits such as collective engagement and mutual critique between studios are sometimes absent. Noting that ' a commitment to diversity does not, in itself, guarantee a conversation', he describes the Studio approach at some British Schools as leading to 'highly esoteric and atomised enquiries - localised experiments bearing little obvious relationship to one another'
On a more positive note, a handful of schools including The Cass are singled out for praise in the essay. Drawing on his visit to the recent Cass Summer Show, Woodman identifies two parallel and related strands in our studios.
"A number of names long associated with the school, such as Peter St John, Tony Fretton and Stephen Taylor, are again heading studios that offer an intense concentration on the design of buildings. However, the work of the Robert Mull-headed Free Studio and those run by the AOC and DSDHA suggest a second tendency: one that offers students more open-ended terms of engagement with the city.
The line between the two streams is not hard and fast and both students and staff cross it from year to year. They represent parallel, not opposed lines of enquiry. What was exciting about this year’s Cass show was the sense that the school had developed a more complex and inclusive identity without abandoning its core values.
The diversity amounted to something more than relativism: it served as the foundation for the kind of dialogue that every architecture school needs to sustain."
These very encouraging words are welcomed by the team at The Cass, where the Studio model has been successfully extended and adopted over the past two years across the full portfolio of Art, Design and Media courses in the Faculty. Work is presently underway to develop the new Studios and Units which will be presented to Cass students at the start of term in September 2014.
You can read more about Studios and Units at The Cass Here
The Full Essay by Ellis Woodman is available to subscribers of Architects Journal Here
- Full Essay: Architects Journal
Recent news from The Cass
Thursday, 14 December, 3-8pm
The twelfth annual open studios at Calcutta House features exhibition by Fine Art BA and Photography BA students and a pop up exhibition by first year architects.
Musarc, the architectural choir/research project based at The Cass, has announced details of their 2017 Christmas Concert.
Cass students transform library windows into exhibition space for Aldgate community arts event
The Winter Graduation ceremony saw hundreds of London Met graduands celebrate their academic achievements at London’s Barbican Centre.
Sarah Jane Wilson, who studied Creative Writing at London Met, will have her debut novel published in 2018.
Denise Lewis, a recent Textile Design BA graduate, has won a competition to design curtain fabric for the anti-poverty and social action centre, Toynbee Hall.
Richard Wilson OBE, aka Victor Meldrew, was awarded an honorary degree by London Metropolitan University at the 2017 Winter Graduation ceremony.
London Met raises awareness of homelessness in London with a Textile Design project.
An evening of celebration was held in order to launch Just Met 2017, an anthology featuring creative writing work from students at the University.
Students from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design have started a three-year regeneration collaboration with Belmonte, Italy.
The Cass will be hosting an exhibition of multimedia installations and live performances next week.
Students studying the urban development of cities in the Midlands recently had the opportunity to present their work to the Mayor of Leicester.
A group of Diploma Architecture students are working with the 15th Fulham Scout Group to create a live construction project.
A Jewellery Design graduate is fundraising to help her co-founded organisation, Mother Makers, exhibit at Munich Jewellery Week 2018.
BA Fine Art graduate named as winner of a national award.