Central Saint Martins Degree Show Two: Design 2018 saw the second year of our Spatial Practices Prizes sponsored by Knight Frank. Awarded in recognition of outstanding work by a final-year student, one prize was given per course: BA Architecture, M ARCH Architecture and MA Narrative Environments. The shortlist was announced on 14 June 2018 – from which three winners were selected.
Spatial Practices Prizes Winners
Louis Lupien, BA Architecture
Frederick Wiltshire and Billy Adams, M Arch: Architecture
Rhiannon Williams, MA Narrative Environments
“Receiving the Prize was for me the confirmation that the school that I challenged for the past three years was, as I always perceived it, truly and inherently supportive of Mavericks.” – Louis Lupien, BA Architecture
“We were very grateful and surprised to be given an award for our project. It was a strong year across the whole course, the great work and support from the tutors and students alike has really lifted all the projects, including our own.” – Frederick Wiltshire and Billy Adams, M Arch
“I feel thrilled to have won this year’s spatial practices prize for Narrative Environments. It was great to get positive feedback on my work, but also to be introduced to the work of other students who received the prize.” – Rhiannon Williams, MA Narrative Environments
Following the close of Degree Show Two: Design, selections took place for our second Creative Unions exhibition, which features both Williams’ and Lupien’s award-winning projects, as well as four designers from the shortlist.
Williams’ Fracture Edit is a critical, multi-disciplinary response to the Cypriot buffer zone. It explores the possibility of reinterpreting a site that preserves societal conflict as a space of cooperation and cultural hybridity. Williams inscribed poems by Greek and Turkish Cypriots on to copper plates, which were then placed around the buffer zone. An online poetry map details their distribution points, creating a digital network of a more progressive and tender view of the politically charged site.
Also on view in the exhibition is BA Architecture graduate Lupien’s winning project Open Croydon. The New City of Croydon is a bastion of 1960s modernist ideals, standing as a figurehead of London’s post-war transformations. Nicknamed ‘Mini-Manhattan’, the area is still characterised by privatised monumental buildings, leaving vast spaces of useless asphalt. Through a series of experiments, Lupien’s project explores the complexity of the city and proposes a local, underused car park as a pivotal space to bring life back into Croydon’s New City.
Continuing the celebration of Spatial Practices’ wider dedication to the social and political implications of space, four of the shortlisted projects for the Spatial Practices Prizes sponsored by Knight Frank are also currently being exhibited as part of Creative Unions: Erica Jensen’s Cohabits; Matthew Brown’s Performing Planning; Shamiso Oneka’s Re-Living Archives: An Incremental Institution and Amar Sall’s Marina-Ville.
MA Narrative Environments graduate Jensen’s Cohabits is a personalised furniture assembly methodology for couples, which takes the familiar, uniform style of the IKEA assembly manual as its starting point. Working with UK-based couples, Jensen conducted interviews and tests before providing them with flat-pack furniture and assembly instructions, suited to their characteristics. Using building processes as metaphors for personality traits, Cohabits explores the best ways to understand and coexist with one another.
Interpreting planning as a form of performance, BA Architecture graduate Matthew Brown proposes another method of city-making. He uses actions, events and objects to generate inventive responses to policy. As a form of critique, Brown’s project is a rebuttal to the notion of planning as stifling and bureaucratic, instead arguing that by articulating how we want to live in the future, planning can develop the rules for our freedom. Both Brown and Lupien’s projects sit in the exhibition’s ‘Making Public’ curatorial thread – a section dedicated to projects which promote participatory, accessible design and demystify the ways in which design is communicated to the general public.
Oneka and Sall’s projects sit in the ‘New Histories’ section of the exhibition, which brings together works that investigate personal and inherited narratives. M ARCH: Architecture graduate Oneka’s Re-Living Archives is informed by her time as practitioner-in-residence at the George Padmore Institute – an archive of black and Asian culture and activism. Oneka is concerned with decolonising the institute. Reimagining it as an exploded building, she displaces the institute from existing hegemonies of knowledge, property and access.
Sall’s project similarly unpicks a specific site – this time re-imagining Canvey Island. A civil parish and reclaimed island in the Thames estuary in Essex, the concept of the maritime is etched into its very fabric, but its impact has diminished and is now fading into obscurity. Through a range of activities with the local community, both young and old, Sall’s Marina-Ville established an open form of making and learning through inter-generational activity, attempting to regenerate the Marina environment and revive a forgotten community.