Architecture and the Arts                                                                       Leading to a Diploma in Architecture




The intention of the studio is the exploration of issues relating architecture to other art practice. This will include our role within an arts college community as well as the wider local, national and international issues of art and architecture.  In this context “art practice” includes both separate and collaborative endeavour in the creative consideration of ourselves and the world through physical intervention, and includes the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, landscape, or poetry. For the architect this usually involves the design of buildings for particular purposes, while manipulating the disposition of material in space to create particular ideas through experience. Other artists respond to our relation ship to the world through ideas by diverse forms of intervention. The studio is interested in how these practices might inform the discipline and practice of architecture. They all share in the making of physical interventions in real locations to be experienced by others. Making in this way can be seen as a kind of thought, connecting us to both the physical world and our intellectual, cultural, and emotional lives. Of particular concern might be:

·         Issues of architecture and place explored by other art practice (site, experience, and form).

·         Contributions to the practice of architecture and place (buildings and places by artists or for artist)

·         Buildings for the arts: including permanent collections, temporary exhibition, archive, or studios.

·         Temporary and permanent installations and exhibitions.

·         Research precedents to better understand possible issues of architecture, art, landscape, nature and public space.



The year will include a first term of lectures and seminars, including student led seminars, that research and explore some of the issues outlined above. In parallel, there will be a series of exploratory design projects that touch on some of the possibilities for design projects. The second term will be individually focussed as students develop one or more project from the first term, or similar project, towards a tentative proposal. This stage will also encourage an exploration of representation methods (including computers) and possible collaborations. The final term will focus on evaluating and presenting the years work and include a critical review.



The written dissertation should be developed as an integral part of the year’s study. This will be discussed during the first weeks of term in response to the issues raised in the studio and proposals presented in seminars towards the end of the first term. Further study will continue in parallel to the later work.


Possible projects

Short projects will be set to respond to live issues in Scottish urban and rural locations.

Some of the projects to be explored include:

1   A place for poetry: constructing a Japanese Renga Platform for haiku poetry and developing a design proposal for similar structures (with Alec Finlay).

2         A place for work: developing a series of ideas for studios/work environments, including:

·            A  mobile sleep trailer with artist Lucy Orta.

·            A floating studio for the Union Canal.

·            A new home for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

·            Development ideas for the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden, Aberdeenshire.



Students should try to see some relevant exhibitions, including if possible:

·         The Baltic, Gateshead, including Chris Burden’s bridges.


·         Initial research relevant to a dissertation.



“XS: Small Buildings, Big Ideas” Phyllis Richardson (Thames and Hudson, London 2001)


Unit Tutor :       Simon Beeson