The Free Gift

This is the first of a series of pop up shows highlighting work in progress by our studios

Date: 15 January 2013

This is the first of a series of pop up shows highlighting work in progress by our studios.

Extract from the studio brief for the Free Gift:

We now want you to propose a “gift” for one or all of your project friends. By gift we mean a fully resolved, part, fragment or element of your larger project. The gift must be autonomous and capable of being understood, appreciated and if appropriate used without any additional instructions or information. The gift must be given to one or all of your friends in such a way that you receive feedback, which informs the main project.

About the Free Unit

Extract from the unit description

In order to be effective, architects must connect what they design with how they feel about the world. They must mobilize their identity and personal resources in the service of what they believe not what they are told to believe by the mediated world of high architectural culture and education.

As a diploma/MA student you have an obligation to explore the limits of your personal design identity and develop certainties that are capable of sustaining you in practice. This is a unique privilege. The Free Unit will help you do this by offering an alternative to the traditional unit programme - giving you the opportunity to propose, develop and realize independent projects or to become involved in your own live projects supported by the professional infrastructure of the projects office.

The emphasis is on your personal position. So each student develops a detailed "contract" with themselves and the Free Unit detailing how, when what and where. Then each student is helped to identify external tutors and is given support to develop a personal tutorial team, what the studio calls your "friends". These ten friends are involved in directing, judging and in some cases finally assessing your work. Otherwise your projects are closely tutored and supported by the unit staff in the same way as a conventional unit.

In recent years students have carried out projects, which emphasise their personal histories, often returning to places they have known or wish to work in the future. The results have been moving and deeply felt and for many have become the basis of their future practice.

Students also use the unit to refine and launch their own practices and at its best the Free Unit marks the first stage of a students future practice rather than the final stage of their education.

Unit Tutors: Robert Mull, Catrina Beevor, Peter Carl.

A communication tool aiming to highlight the issue of physical connectivity in the Lower Lea.

News details

Venue The Windows, Central House
Unit Free Unit