Free Unit

Robert Mull, Catrina Beevor, Peter Carl

About the show

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 student’s future practice rather than the final stage of their education.

Joseph Van der Steen: Rediscovering a Moscow architectural identity

Exhibition details

Location Central House 2nd Floor
Course Professional Diploma in Architecture RIBA Part 2
Unit Free Unit

Students' work

 Joseph Van der Steen
Free Unit Image by Joseph Van der Steen

Rediscovering a Moscow architectural identity 

 Joseph Van der Steen
Joseph Van der Steen FREE UNIT

Contract 

 Ramsey Yassa
Ramsey Yassa 1 free unit.jpg

The occupied territories 

 Rosie Jones
Rosie Jones
A new way of downsizing Free Unit

A new way of downsizing 

 Rosie Jones
Rosie Jones
A portrait of a house the free gift Free unit

A portrait of a house the free gift 

 Ogden & O’Brien
Ogden & O’Brien
Contract Free Unit

Contract 

 Ogden & O’Brien
Ogden & O’Brien
The founding of a new town free unit

The founding of a new town 

 Lee Wilshire
Lee Wilshire
The dumb barge proposal free unit

The dumb barge proposal 

 Lee Wilshire
Lee Wilshire
Presenting the dumb barge at City Hall free unit

Presenting the dumb barge at City Hall 

 Hannah Martin
Hannah Martin
Liverpool school Free Unit

Liverpool school 

 Karl Lenton
Karl Lenton
A pattern book for a new prison in Leeds

A pattern book for a new prison in Leeds 

 Massimo Dorigo
Massimo Dorigo 1 Free Unit

Studies for construction in Arcevia Art Park 

 Massimo Dorigo
Massimo Dorigo 2 Free Unit

Construction in Arcevia Art Park 

 Sophie Wallis
Sophie Wallis Contract Free Unit

Contract 

 Yiannis Proestos
Yiannis Proestos Free Unit

A sustainable return to rural Greece 

 Alex Sarafian
Alex Sarafian 1 Free Unit

Industry returns to Tottenham 

 Alex Sarafian
Alex Sarafian 2 Free Unit

Aluminium casting in progress 

 Manos Pertselakis
Manos Pertselakis 1 Free Unit

A sustainable use for Heraklions archaeology 

 Manos Pertselakis
Manos Pertselakis 2 Free Unit

Workshops on the site of an ancient ruin 

Jayden Ali
Massimo Dorigo
Rosie Jones
Karl Lenton
Hannah Martin
James O'Brien
Harry Ogden
Manos Pertselakis
Yiannis Proestos
Ryan Roberts
Alexander Sarafian
Joseph Van der Steen
Sophie Wallis
Lee Wilshire
Ramsey Yassa

Eugene Asse, Nikita Tokarev, Xenia Adjoubei and all the staff and students of The Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH)
Nikola Lenivets Art Park
To the technicians at CassWorks for their tireless support & all our guest critics, friends and supporters