Anonymous said: Which university in the UK is best for architecture?

Very hard to say. Depends on what you are looking for and whether you are looking for undergraduate or postgraduate. 

The universities in London are great because you have access to all the facilities that being in the capital gives you. Lectures, libraries, exhibitions etc.

My favourites for Part 2 are University of Sheffield and London Metropolitan.

Have a look at the information from the RIBA here:

Have a look at these comparison tables but be careful because they hide the particular things people find interesting about certain universities:


What a beautiful and original bridge.

Invisible pederestian bridge by Ro Koster and Ad Kill Architects.

RIBA Council Meeting 6th December 2011

The President of the RIBA, Angela Brady, announced the judging of the Royal Gold Medal 2012 which has been awarded to the Dutch architect Hermann Herzberger. He will be giving a lecture on 8th February to accompany the prize giving so make sure you’re quick to get a ticket when they are released.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, academic and writer Peter Salter and the artist Ai Wei Wei were amongst the 15 recipients of this year’s RIBA Honorary Fellowships. Six International Fellowships were also allocated including one to Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of the Japanese firm Atelier Bow Wow.

Students are being encouraged to participate in the student earnings survey so that the RIBA can gain a better idea of the pay situation and act accordingly. Submit your responses before the Christmas deadline and the results will be ready in February. There were not any new cases of student exploitation reported but as always get in touch if you would like to report any issues regarding student pay. Your report will be handled in complete anonymity so please help us put a stop to this free labour culture which is badly damaging the profession.

And finally, we heard a report on the student hardships fund, which distributed £70k to students in the last academic year. They estimate more than double that amount will be distributed in the current academic year so if you are in need of financial support follow this link for further information.

Keep an eye on the blog ( for updates and events. The next council meeting will be held on 22nd March 2011, if there are any issues that you would like to discuss before then please get in touch via my university email.

Applications now open for the 2012 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

Deadline: 5pm Monday 26th March

Students from all RIBA-validated schools worldwide are invited to apply for this £6,000 scholarship, which funds international research on topics and in locations of the student’s choosing. Each school with RIBA-validated degree courses is invited to submit one application for the scholarship. Each school chooses its own method of selecting its student.

All submissions will be considered by the judging panel which includes Lord Foster and RIBA President Angela Brady. The winning candidate will be awarded the £6,000 travelling scholarship, and will be invited to give a presentation at Foster + Partners on the completion of their trip.

Details and application form:

COMPETITION: Pews & Perches - Submission deadline 30th January

RIBA London have launched a new competition inviting students, recent graduates and emerging practices to design one of fifty benches to be installed at waterside locations around London’s Pleasure Gardens. The winning benches will be given £150 to produce their design during the Easter Holidays.

Further information on the competition can be found on the RIBA London website (link)

"'A number of practices have reported that they have an urgent need to recruit candidates who are experienced in the application of BIM technologies, and this is clearly an important skill in a tight employment market.'"

Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Practice

Internet Source: RIBA Practice Bulletin No.617

EVENT: ASN Meeting #03 Oxford Brookes School of Architecture

Oxford Brookes School of Architecture will be the first school outside of Manchester to host an Architecture Students Network gathering.

The meeting will be held at 1pm on 8th December 2011 at the main Gypsy Lane Campus and will be followed by the final session in the Oxford Architecture Society’s debate series, Business in Architecture, starting at 6pm.

Student representatives from all UK schools of architecture are invited to attend. See the website or facebook page for updates.

ASN Working Group Meeting #2

COUNCIL: Meeting and AGM 6th October 2011

The first meeting of the RIBA Council 2011-2012 was held on 6th October, in which a number of issues were brought to the attention of the council by student and associate (RIBA Part 3) members.

The main proposal was that there should be a formal routine for publicising architectural practices that do not pay students the minimum wage, a problem that has been ongoing for some time (see article). Students feel that companies who engage in wage abuse need to be publicly shamed through the architectural press as a way of tackling the culture of ‘free student labour’. Indeed the council reports that there have yet to be any practices ‘struck off’ the RIBA register since the ruling was passed in July 2011, although there are a number under investigation. On a positive note it was suggested we also celebrate the firms who treat students very well to show that the ‘free labour’ abusers are not the majority.

The student representatives on council will be endeavouring to seek out student opinion on this matter in the coming year. If you, or somebody you know, have experienced architecture firms paying little or no wage please inform us and your report will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. These companies are damaging the industry and students must have the confidence to stand up and fight for the pay they deserve.

The next council meeting will be held on 6th December 2011, if there are any issues that you would like brought to the attention of council please get in touch with the ‘Ask a question’ link at the top of the page, leaving your email so I can get back in contact.

DEBATE: Education in Architecture: Global Difference

Catching up a bit on posting events that I’ve recently attended. The first of which was the Peter and Muriel Melvin Debates held this year with the theme of Education in Architecture: Global Difference. The last of three debates on the international condition of architectural education, this session presented models from Europe, South Africa and South America.

The presentation kicked off with a presentation by The Bartlett’s Neil Spiller. Quoting Walter Benjamin with ‘We must wake up from the world of our parents’, Spiller called for a radical departure from traditional methods in which we ‘must think politically about practice and education, not just economically’. He did however have full confidence that his school was already successful in achieving this with their students.

Vittorio Lampugnani, a professor of history and theory at ETH Zurick, spoke about training architects as generalists, with the university playing the role of enabler so that students can be more free. ‘You don’t learn a recipe, you learn the method’ he went on to say, highlighting the need for a greater transparency in the past-work of teaching staff. By allowing better access to knowledge the university system is opened up for innovation.

The lectern was then handed over to David Dunster who’s informative speech began with a comparison of tuition fees amongst the top schools of architecture. One can’t assume that the teaching style of Yale, who annually receive ‘$59,000 per student’, is superior to other schools of architecture with poorer access to world-class facilities and internationally renowned teaching staff.

Dunster moved on to a study he had made on the websites of 25 architecture schools, which nearly all proclaimed that they have a focus on ‘the sustainable’. ‘The word which has no opposite is virtually useless’ he said summarising the general banality of school ethoses. Architecture used to be taught to yeargroups of 30, however now there are 300 in a year and so they must be split up into units which ‘denies discourse and denies disagreement’. Dunster ended with two suggestions, that students should be taught the confidence to take a position and then be wiling to change and that schools should ‘only teach people who want to be architects’.

'There are too many architecture schools in the UK…and not enough interested architecture students.' Neil Spiller commented, an opinion made true by an obviously missing contingent of architecture students at the event.

Jo Noero, Director of the University of Cape Town School of Architecture and Planning, engaged the crowd with stories that dealt with apartheid and the problem of black representation in schools. Noero followed Dunster with an argument for further uniting practice and teaching, a model that he himself had successfully led for over thirty years, getting away from the studio and promoting collaboration, cultural theory and ethical practice.

Adriana Cobo of Greenwich compared the UK and Columbia, where ‘qualification is equivalent to registration.’ and practicing architecture is fiercely political.

The RIBA’s Director of Education David Gloster eloquently considered the institutes role as ‘peripatetic provider of perspective’ and broadly gave their direction for 47 schools in the UK and 94 overseas.

As the afternoon roled to an end Sean McAllister of Project Context asked whether schools of architecture should be dissolved and Paul Finch suggested that there should be a return to the importance of teaching architectural history. In my opinion architecture students need to get physically engaged with a larger variety of important issues, from politics to economics in scales ranging from their classroom to entire countries. The role of the architect is changing and it is vital that education changes with it.

Tags: RIBA