Professor Tom Heneghan from Tokyo University of the Arts recently led an exclusive week-long intensive architecture studio for the first cohort of students in the new Bachelor of Architecture (Honours)/Master of Architecture double degree.
Professor Heneghan and Program Director Dr Ross Anderson asked students to design a small standalone bookstore the size of a ticket booth or newspaper kiosk, located in an urban context.
It was left to students to decide the focus, character and location of their bookstore. First year student Stephanie Dodd said, “Our designs were drawn from inspiration based on a book that we had brought in at the start of the week—maybe a family heirloom, a story we like, or even a book with a nice texture”.
In just five days, students had to develop the concept for their bookstore in consultation with their tutors, build a scale model and complete an axonometric scale drawing, before presenting their projects on the final day.
Dr Anderson was delighted with the outcomes of the workshop, both for the imaginative and compelling architectural proposals, and in the way in which students worked enthusiastically in the studio. “The students fully grasped the opportunity to develop their architectural design skills alongside their peers under Tom’s generous and astute guidance,” said Dr Anderson.
According to Stephanie, “This project will prepare me for life after graduation as I imagine the design process can have short timeframes with tight deadlines. It showed us all how far we can push ourselves to work on a brief.
“Tom encouraged us all to push the boundaries of the brief and of our own capabilities,” added Stephanie. “Receiving critique from such a prominent international architect so early in our studies is important. Being able to discuss our ideas with Tom really grounded our studies in the 'real world' and his encouragement motivated us to stay focused.”