UEL students redesign disused office for 2022 showcase
29 June 2022
Students from the University of East London transformed a disused office space at Broadgate into an architectural and design showcase.
'Show 22' features the work of students across all levels from the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE).
It proudly reveals the work of a cohort of students with diversity at its core, as the University boasts a minority majority with a focus on a local east London intake. Some 72 per cent of students are from minority backgrounds and 68 per cent are the first generation in their family to go to university.
The disused office space, which is owned by British Land, was donated to the University and staff and second year students used recycled scaffolding gifted from Westfield Shopping Centre and Zap Architecture to create a maze displaying work including models, design sketches, paintings and visual pieces.
The office furniture including tables, cabinets and drawers were repurposed into seating and plinths which presented the best work from the architecture and design cohort.
Many of the exhibiting students chose to focus on creative reuse projects, as well as explorations into new materials that could be developed from waste products.
This includes a community pavilion set within a ruined landscape in the village of Rock, Northumberland (Korell Llaudes); clothes formed out of orange peel (Maria Castro Paredes); and a concept for a new restaurant that sits atop a mushroom farm, with pods made out of crushed eggshells (Joana Miglencheva).
There is a strong community focus too - the AJ Student Prize-nominated Hamda Jama has developed a Youth Parliament in Hackney that spreads into the market next door, becoming a completely public building.
The exhibition space enables visitors to immerse themselves in all aspects of exciting and creative architectural and design courses as well as viewing work which incorporates practices from both engineering and computing.
The building itself will be pulled down at the end of July to make way for new construction. Earlier in June, students from the School of Arts and Creative Industries (ACI) held a London Fashion Week event at the space.
The show, which is sponsored by British Land and Moet & Chandon, was embedded into architectural and design courses as second-year students will earn credits for their work displayed in the exhibition.
British Land has employed around 50 students from the University, inviting them onto summer programmes and to take part in the Broadgate Prize, a collaboration including leading construction company Sir Robert McAlpine.
Alex Scott-Whitby, leader of the architecture and physical design cluster, said, "This show represents an enormous investment into UEL from British Land, so we are incredibly grateful to them for giving us this opportunity.
"Our students have designed and built this incredible exhibition space which complements their work. This exhibition is focused on employability and engagement as our students can display their work to professional architects and the whole of London.
"Our students are the people who will change the face of architecture and design and this exhibition is an opportunity for us to showcase our students' talents to the public and the professional world."
Bianca Radoanca, BA Interior Design, who was part of the curation team, said, "As part of this project we were required to completely redesign the office space for the UEL fashion show as well as architecture and design exhibition.
"Our focus in creating the show was to make sure we reuse and repurpose as much materials as we can. By reusing the office furniture, we have breathed new life into everyday materials and designed the perfect stage for our work.
"The yellow scaffolding, which we have prevented from going to waste, contrasts against the blue walls in the space to create a maze effect which guides visitors through the work that hangs off the beams.
"We also used the scaffolding as table spaces so visitors can have a closer look at the designs and models.
"The exhibition has been five months in the making and we're incredibly proud of the space we have created and our work which is being displayed."
University alumnus Jayden Ali, founder of J.A_P and course tutor at the University of the Arts London (UAL), spoke about his journey and the important role that architecture plays in developing and strengthening communities.
He said, "UEL was critical in developing how I practice as an architect and allowed me to build lasting networks that I still use today. At UEL I learnt how I can project who I am in my work and how my life experience adds value to what I do.
"Now in my practice, I have been able to explore issues that are important to me. Whether that be highlighting the importance of decarbonisation and decolonisation or producing cities that are much more representative of the people that they serve, architecture has an important role to play in improving and developing opportunities for us all."
Professor David Tann, dean of ACE, said, "This show represents an opportunity for us to showcase the dedication and hard work of our students and staff. We're extremely pleased to welcome many of our alumni back to the UEL community.
"We are grateful to British Land for the continuous support throughout the years, and for generously providing us the use of this great venue especially dedicated for this STEAM show.
"In this exhibition you will see work from our students - the future artists, architects, designers, engineers, construction managers and IT professionals, who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and intelligences required to contribute to building a better and sustainable world."
Show 22 is open from Thursday 23 June - 14 July at 1st Floor, 3 Finsbury Avenue Broadgate London EC2M 2PA.
For more information see the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE).
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