Unit 2: General Practice

Unit brief

Architecture is a social art, which at one end of its spectrum provides for human needs and desires, and at the other contributes to the ideas by which the world around us can be understood. It is also intrinsically collaborative. Every stage, from commissioning to realisation, is carried out by people working in groups and allied disciplines, and the meaning of its buildings is made through the imaginative impact of those who use it. This is the world of general practice, which provides buildings for a community through professional skill and commitment. Professionalism is distinct in that its duty to clients is contextualised in a wider responsibility to society. General practice accepts that architecture is healthier with practitioners of differing skills, abilities and viewpoints. It insists that everyone matters but that they must absolutely do their best.

This is the context of my teaching. I teach each person individually while others work in the studio and benefit from what they hear. Technical teaching is provided periodically throughout the two semesters in the same way.

I set a different design project each semester. The first is usually a design for housing with an element of research to provide the basis for the Integrated Design Study. The second is a public building that is purely about design. Each has a real site and brief and live issues, and each is engaging and a source of pleasure.

I plan a short trip early in the first semester so that the group can get to know each other and a field trip in spring to see great architecture.

My aim is to facilitate a steady flow of graduates into practice with developed design and analytical skills, a sound instinct for construction, well-founded points of view and a passion for architecture.

Image of high buildings reflected in body of water in foreground


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture
Tutor Tony Fretton
Technical Mark Taylor and Billy Choi
Where Central House, fourth floor studios
When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)