Standardised Quality

Studio brief

Standardised Quality

A large majority of architecture and interiors are bespoke, site-specific and often draw upon the narrative of a particular area. In contrast many people view standardisation in projects as a bit of a dirty word, as very much anti-design.

However, projects such as the CIEP (Integrated Centres of Public Education) primary schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, certainly challenge that viewpoint. The CIEPs are a network of schools that cover the entire city and state of Rio de Janeiro. From towns and cities to favelas and beach resorts, wherever you find people, you will find a CIEP school.

The radical and experimental school-building programme was conceived & designed by Leonel Brizola, Darcy Ribeiro & Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil in the 1980s. The programme provided a series of high quality standardised and prefabricated primary schools, which were designed to support and enhance a full-time curriculum.

The 508 CIEPs were not simply standardised to reduce costs. Instead, the ambitious design, which is shared by each school, imparts a global standard of high quality: first-rate architectural standards on the outside encourage a perception of high-quality education on the inside. The idea that every community, from suburb to favela, can take pride in architectural excellence and give every child the same opportunities is certainly a compelling ideal – especially today, when modern society in Brazil, and increasingly in the UK, is divided between rich and poor.

In a climate of austerity in the UK, with limited funds to spend on architecture and design, this year we will explore how ideas of repetition, reproduction and standardisation can not only reduce costs but also set a new global standard of high-quality design, accessible to every community.

Venice Takeaway, British Pavilion, 13th Venice Architecture Biennale aberrant architecture 2012


Course Interior Architecture and Design BA (Hons)
Interior Design BA (Hons)
Where CR500B, 41 Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays
Tutors David Chambers
Kevin Haley

Joanna Alexander
Savas Behdjet
Myriam Christopoulou
Maria Clarke
Vlad Cretu
Islam Elamin
Angelika Ghouralal
Guendoline Gillon
Adam Harper
Imu Ibrahim
Sarah Khamees
Johnson Lai
Rani Odedra
Killian O'Keeffe
Mariqam Qayumi
Naz Ribar
Rahman Sarwar
Simonette Sesay
Lauren Clayton- Spencer
Johanna Svensson
Stine Marie Wojcik
Magdalena Wojtalewicz

Elaf Al Kamal
Charito Tipon
Valentine Oliver-Uzoaru