Students’ close encounters of the public architectural kind

Oxford Mail: Jane Anderson, Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture at Oxford Brookes University Jane Anderson, Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture at Oxford Brookes University

ARCHITECTURE students designing and building with local communities benefits both town and gown says Jane Anderson, Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture at Oxford Brookes University.

It is more important than ever for students of architecture to experience the real world, to meet people and vitally, to understand the places where they will live and work.

When today’s undergraduates were children, playing in the street was thought too dangerous for most. When they became teenagers it was frowned upon for them to hang around on street corners. By the time they reach adulthood many have had very little involvement with their neighbourhood. This is one reason why I co-founded OB1 LIVE, a programme of live projects designed for local people by students at the Oxford Brookes School of Architecture.

I was recently awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship which recognised my work to develop live design projects as part of the university curriculum. This has proved very successful, with one student commenting: “My involvement in Live Projects has always been so different from other educational experiences. Fundamentally because they’re real and physical. Something that affects people, their lives, often having political and social impact.”

Oxford Mail:

The main gallery at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. This year students worked with Archeox, the East Oxford community archaeology group, to design an exhibition of their historic finds in the Pitt Rivers Museum

It has also been very beneficial for Oxfordshire as students have helped to deliver a number of innovative projects locally.

Past collaborations with local people and organisations include a public consultation for improvements to Mount Place in Jericho, the building of a moveable ticket booth for Creation Theatre Company and several temporary projects for The Story Museum while they were renovating their building on Pembroke Street. This year students worked with Archeox, the East Oxford community archaeology group, to design an exhibition of their historic finds in the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Archeox, working at Bartlemas Chapel, Cowley and Minchery Farm near Oxford United’s football ground with Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, had uncovered many historical artefacts including a prehistoric flint arrowhead, a medieval bone toggle, possibly used for making nets and a gambling piece from the time of the Civil War.

Our Oxford Brookes students’ exhibition design rejected the usual “glass case” museum approach and instead offered members of the public a unique opportunity to come into close contact with the material qualities of the objects and experience some of the ways that they would have been used by their original owners.

As a teacher I support educational experiences that help students to see themselves and their communities in a new and more positive light. Live Projects involve students, academics, practitioners and the community in real projects. It’s a highly collaborative process and I owe a great debt of gratitude to all who have participated over the years.

I believe my work has also helped to put Oxford Brookes on the map as an innovator in the field of live projects by co-founding the Live Projects Network. This online resource connects clients, students, academics and practitioners involved in live projects across the world, promoting best practice and sharing ideas.

Live projects are a collaboration between both student and client and they always work best if both parties will benefit and learn something from the encounter. If you have a potential project that needs the inventive and energetic students at the Oxford Brookes School of Architecture, please don’t hesitate to contact me on j.anderson@ brookes.ac.uk Further information is available at liveprojectsnetwork.org/ and architecture.brookes.ac.uk/galleries/ob1/

Our top stories:

Update: Buses terminating early due to city centre roadworks

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

10:07am Thursday 24th July 2014

BUS services will be terminating early until further notice after “severe” traffic delays hit Oxford city centre this morning .

City gets £75m bus and rail gateway

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 24th July 2014

THE future of Oxford’s train station is being unveiled today and has been hailed as a big step towards the city getting the integrated transport hub it needs.

Planning begins on city’s flood channel route

Oxford Mail: Allotments off Botley Road in Oxford inundated with flood water yesterday as levels kept rising                                             Picture: Lee Ingram

8:30am Thursday 24th July 2014

COUNCIL officials were taken around Oxford yesterday to look at potential routes for a new flood relief channel.

Posh boys join hip parade for charity

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 24th July 2014

WATCHING 15 Oxford students sway and sing on the steps of the Radcliffe Camera to Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie is not an everyday sight.

‘Mum didn’t realise the consequences of drugs’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 24th July 2014

A YOUNG parent who overdosed on a cocktail of drugs didn’t know what she was doing, her mum said yesterday.

Singers silenced as church organ goes up in smoke

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 24th July 2014

WHEN the organ at St Mary’s Church, Witney, started smoking in the middle of a hymn, the congregation was stunned into silence.

Comments (0)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree