Unit G: Portfolio Cross-Crits, Monday 10th and Thursday 13th Dec, 10am, Unit Space


Unit G Yr2 Portfolio Cross-Crit_101218

Unit G Yr3 Portfolio Cross-Crit_131218

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well, and making good progress to complete your Corner:Shop projects and put your portfolios together.

Of course tomorrow are the Yr2 Portfolio Cross-Crits with Maija Viksne from Unit H joining Mike to review your work, starting at 10am in the unit space. And then on Thursday (13th Dec) it will be the turn of Yr3 with Jack Morton-Gransmore from Unit F joining Justin and myself; please see the attached Review Lists.

And then on Thursday evening we will be heading to “The Majliss” on Cowley Road for a Christmas Crit Curry (well done for getting on organizing this!), as well as a brief introduction of the main “High:Street” project, and issuing the project brief: so you can start thinking, working and researching over the Christmas break, ready to show your initial ideas and thoughts at the beginning of Semester 2; so please make sure that you you don’t miss the introduction…

From the work that Mike and I saw on Thursday, the obvious general comments are:

  • Make sure there are PEOPLE inhabiting your proposals
  • Show your projects in context with site and context on every drawing as well as site sections, site plans, together with plenty of supporting images of the site…
  • Use perspectives, model photos, photo-montage etc. to put your projects back into Vauxhall
  • Explore the spatial experience of your proposals through sketches, perspectives, 3d-drawings, models, collage, photographs…
  • Incorporate your process work into your portfolio sheets, and the sketches/ drawings/ images which don’t make “the final cut”: gather them together with a cover and bulldog clips and have them on the table to support your portfolio, even if you don’t actually refer to them in your presentation.
  • Where you haven’t finished something don’t worry, include it as it is, so you can at least get some feedback
  • And if there is work you haven’t yet started, a sketch of what you plan to do will allow you to discuss it and get some advice

For the Yr3 tech reviews embedded within Thursdays portfolio cross-crits, be clear about what you want to draw your critics’ attention to as well as the more obvious 1:20 technology drawings, materials explorations and structures modelling and testing…

To make each day goes smoothly next week, everyone needs to work together to tidy and prepare the unit space so your work looks as good as possible. We would like to have tables along the two end walls for ALL your models; a pair of tables pushed-together in the middle of the space to present your portfolios, sketchbooks etc; any large drawings and images that don’t fit in the portfolio pinned-up on the end walls (above your models); a sensible number of chairs in the space(!); and easy access to the screen; everything else should be removed!

Getting the space ready should start tonight and on Wednesday before the crits, and everything must be ready to go first thing on each crit day, it is essential we don’t lose time waiting for the first people to arrive and pin up…

As discussed the review is a table-top discussion around your portfolio (not focused on the wall), although we are expecting many of you to make use of the big screen to present your work. If you are using the screen make sure everything you need is loaded onto the screen at the beginning of the day, and that you have checked it all works, and is minimized, ready to run when it is your turn to present. And if this is all ready, it should be easy to upload a pdf of your portfolio to Moodle by 10am on the day of your crit…don’t forget!

Each of you will have 10mins to present your work, followed by 20mins discussion, so please think carefully and practice what you are going to say, and remember we will be turning the pages so that we can focus on the most important/interesting work and don’t spend hours talking about the first few sheets…

Remember we are expecting all the students from each year to be in the crit all day to support each other, take notes, contribute to the discussion, help us keep to time, and to learn as much as you can from each other; and Yr2 you will want to have a look at other units with a view to next year, and Yr3 be polite and come and support our Yr2s…

But please don’t worry about the Cross-Crits, they are not a punishment, or chance to tell you off, their whole purpose is for you to have a fresh voice discussing your work and to give you detailed feedback, so that you can improve it. It is therefore essential you SLEEP, especially on the night before your crit so you are coherent and can make the most of the discussion…this is more important than spending another hour on the portfolio.

So good luck next week, and getting the last few things completed before the crits. Have confidence in your work and ideas, and we look forward to the chance to see it all at it’s best!

Kind Regards

Toby (+Mike and Justin)
Unit G


Unit G: Portfolio Tutorials, Thursday 6th Dec, 10am Unit Space


Lower Manhattan Expressway, Paul Rudolf, 1967

Unit G Tutorial 15_Portfolio_061218

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well, and your portfolios are really starting to come together.

Tomorrow Mike and I will see half the unit each for the last time this semester, with Mike concentrating on Yr2 while I focus on Yr3. So each of you should have a good 30min individual tutorial, in preparation for next weeks Cross-Crits with the tutor who will be in your review, starting at 10am in the Unit Space; please see the attached tutorial list.

As Jane’s email confirmed, our visiting critics next week will be Maija Viksne, Leader of Unit H joining Mike for the 2nd years, and Jack Morton-Gransmore, Unit Tutor for Unit F joining Justin and myself for the 3rd yrs. And at lunchtime we will have a very brief catch-up to discuss the arrangements, timing, feedback and format for next week, to make sure that everyone knows what is going on!

And so that you can start to mentally prepare for the crits, I have also attached the Review lists to this email and posted them on the blog, so you know roughly when in the day your presentation will be: although you should of course be in the review all day…and this will also avoid a delay if the sequence needs to change.

Since tomorrows tutorials are the last before the Cross-Crit we are keen to have an overview of your whole portfolio, before looking more closely at the latest work to bring the Corner:Shop project to a conclusion for both Technology and Design: so please make sure you bring EVERYTHING with you!

And let me apologise in advance if the tutorials run late….

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Kind Regards

Toby (+Mike and Justin)
Unit G

Unit G Yr2 Portfolio Cross-Crit_101218

Unit G Yr3 Portfolio Cross-Crit_131218

Unit G: Design and Technology Tutorials, Monday 3rd Dec, 10am Unit Space


Unit G Tutorial 14_Portfolio_031218

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well, and making good progress.

Tomorrow Justin and I will be holding speedy individual design and technology tutorials of approximately 15mins with each of you, starting at 10am in the unit space, and as we fully expect tutorials to over-run, there will be no lunchtime discussion tomorrow; please see the attached tutorial list, also posted on the unit g blog.

For the Technology tutorials, Justin would like to discuss the Corner:Shop project with a structures bias for the 2nd yrs, and focused on the development of 1:20 3d details with 3rd yrs.

And for the Design tutorials I would like to discuss the drawings, models and final iterations of the Corner:Shop, while also touching base on the progress of your portfolios and Location:Section drawings.

But as usual regardless of the focus of the tutorial, please make sure you bring EVERYTHING in for both of your tutorials, as I am as keen as Justin to see 3d details and structural models, and he will be as keen as I am to see your final sections and plans…

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow, for another busy day!

Kind Regards

Toby (+Mike and Justin)
Unit G

Unit G: Portfolio Tutorials, Thursday 29th Nov, 10am Unit Space


Nat Chard, Drawing Instrument 8, 2014

Unit G Tutorial 13_Portfolio_291118

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well and your first draft portfolios are starting to come together.

As discussed on Monday, Mike and I will be seeing half the unit each for full-length individual Portfolio tutorials, with Yr2 in the morning and Yr3 in the afternoon, starting at 10am in the unit space. Please see the attached tutorial list also posted on the unit g blog.

And at lunchtime we will very briefly look at some beautiful drawings: plans, sections and 3d projections, and discuss what makes them successful – which might give you some clues for your final Corner:Shop drawings…

Yr2 please also remember you have a technology workshop with Eiman in the White Space on the 3rd floor, between 2-4pm, and you will need to take drawing equipment and a scale ruler…

For the tutorials, Mike and I will need two tables in the unit space so we have space to see all your work, and we would be grateful if you could all help adjust the furniture to make that possible (it will be tight!). But this will mean everyone working in the unit space will also be able to see each others in-progress portfolios and projects – which should be helpful.

As discussed to prepare for tomorrow the key thing is to bring in EVERYTHING including models, for all three projects: Home:Comfort, Corner:Shop and Location:Section. AND to at least give an order to each project in the portfolio.

Showing work on the big screen will be fine, but obviously we will only be able to see one at a time…Showing sheets at A3 in B+W is also fine – there is no need to print everything full size in colour and spend a fortune…Showing scrappy incomplete sheets with sketches clipped to them and post-it notes also fine; but please don’t show us images on your phone or camera, or raw inDesign sheets on your laptop – print them.

Part of tomorrows purpose is for you to gather ALL your work in one place; and to give the work a coherent order and narrative; and this will allow you to identify the gaps in your information – so you can start to plug them. But by looking through the work we will also have a chance to see and discuss your latest work on the Corner:Shop including final iterations, in-progress drawings, structural models and 1:20 3d details; to briefly see how the Location:Section is progressing; and hopefully see the finished Home:Comfort project(!)

We will also talk about how to prioritize the (many) tasks and best use the time in the run up to the Cross-Crits. But the first conversation with each of you will be about which format of portfolio you have decided to pursue: web-based, digital/physical hybrid, printed or hand-crafted, and the size and orientation of your information.

So it will be a busy day, and apologies in advance we run a bit late, but we are really looking forward to seeing how your work is coming together.

Kind Regards

Toby (+Mike and Justin)
Unit G

Unit G: Location:Section tutorials, Monday 16th Nov, 10am, unit space


2018-11-15 12.00.55

Piscine Mares, Leca da Palmeira, Alvaro Siza, 1961

Unit G Tutorial 12_LocationSection_261118

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well, have now fully recovered from the field trip(!!!), and have made good progress over the weekend developing your Location:Section drawings of your chosen Lisbon site.

Tomorrow Justin and I will be in for Corner:Shop and Location:Section Design and Technology Tutorials, and a lunchtime talk at 1pm looking at Portfolios, ahead of Thursdays first look at your in-progress portfolios and the Portfolio Cross-Crits in a couple of weeks time.

Justin will see all of the 3rd yrs for an in-depth 30min individual Technology Tutorial, discussing your Corner:Shop projects, focusing on structural models and 1:20-3d details. But there will also be a 1hr group tutorial for all 2nd yrs at 2pm after the lunchtime talk. So it would be helpful for Justin, if everyone could bring in all the drawings/models you presented at the Corner:Shop Review to help the discussions (+any new developments)

And at the same time I will be seeing everyone for a 1hr “small group tutorial-on-the-wall” looking at your in-progress Location:Section drawings (pinned up in the unit space) and (around a table) all your site research material, (selected) photos, survey notes, site sketches, movies/sound recordings, and graphic technique explorations.

So it would be helpful if people could help re-arrange the furniture in the unit space so we can use one of the side walls in the unit space to pin-up and an adjacent table to look at all your supporting work.

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Kind Regards

Toby (+Mike and Justin)
Unit G

Unit G: Corner:Shop Review, Tuesday 14th Nov, 10am, Unit Space


“Nighthawks” Edward Hopper, 1942

Unit G Review_CornerShop_141118

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well and making good progress towards the Corner:Shop review on Tuesday, starting at 10am sharp, with 3rd yr students presenting in the morning and 2nd yrs in the afternoon; please see the attached Review List.

Our external critics for the review are: Hannah Durham, a partner with Cullinan Studios as well as a Masters design tutor at the Brookes; and Dougal Sadler ex. Unit G and recent Masters graduate from Nat Chard’s unit 25 at the Bartlett.

As discussed on Thursday each of you need to present your project in 5 mins (max), stating what your proposal is FIRST, and then presenting the most recent iteration of your proposal; using this to explain the program, who it is for, the site, and what drives the ideas. Please don’t present your project as a sequential catalog (first I did this, and then this, and then this, etc.) as there isn’t time, and your critics will spend most of your presentation wondering what you are doing… But even more importantly their feedback can then focus on how to develop, refine and resolve your proposal, and how to best communicate your ideas instead of unpicking and re-defining your program…

Please remember that Tuesday is a “Working-Crit” of your in-progress design work and thinking: so we are NOT expecting polished final portfolio sheets (yet). But we are expecting to see complete and incomplete drawings, models, images, sketches, movies, sound recordings, samples, experiments, research, precedents and your rough process work. And although the work on the wall may be a bit “scrappy” your story and presentation needs to be clear and succinct, and you need to think carefully about what you really want us to focus on, and how the work is arranged on the wall.

To keep to time, the first 6 people (3 on each end wall) need to pin-up BEFORE 10am, so we can start promptly at 10am. And at lunchtime the first 6 people in the afternoon need to pin-up so we are ready to start again at 2pm. We will also need a (ruthless) timekeeper to help everyone keep on track, as we all have a shockingly early start on Wednesday morning!

If you plan to use the big screen, please upload your work to the screen first thing in the morning (no matter when your review is) and check that everything is working properly. Please don’t try connecting your laptop as this invariably takes time and goes wrong.

In addition to the verbal feedback, we will provide handwritten feedback on the formal “Feedback and Assessment sheets”, so you become more familiar with these, although we won’t be using the marking grid. In addition, you will need someone to take notes for you, and to complete and return a “Reflection Sheet” by the end of the day, so we can see what you made of the feedback.

EVERYONE should be be in the Review all day, from first thing to fold tables, remove unnecessary chairs, and clear the rubbish; and then to see and learn from each others work, to contribute to the discussion, take notes, and support each other throughout the day. Please don’t turn up just before your presentation and then slink off, as this misses half the point of the review.

And lastly, DO NOT do an “all-nighter” on Monday/Tuesday: you need to be fresh, alert and coherent for the review, to get the most out of the day.

Look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday; Good Luck!

Kind Regards

Toby (Mike and Justin)
Unit G

Unit G: Corner:Shop Tutorials, Thurs 8th Nov, 10am Unit Space


Intuitive Modelling, Unit G 2018

Unit G Tutorial 11_CornerShop_081118

Dear Unit G,
I hope you are all well and making good progress on your Corner:Shop projects.

Tomorrow are the last tutorials on the Corner:Shop project before the review on TUESDAY next week and then heading off to Portugal on Wednesday. So in addition to small group tutorials tomorrow, starting at 10am in the unit space, there will be a brief conversation at the end of the day (hopefully with drink in our hands) about the review format, visiting critics, what to expect, and how to make the review a productive day. And then, after the review discussion, there will be a short Architectural quiz with prizes!

So please see the attached Tutorial list, and lets all plan to be focused in the tutorials (there should be lots to see!), and without a lunchtime talk slow us down, we should be able to finish in good time and make the most of the evening.

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Kind Regards

Toby (Mike and Justin)
Unit G