OPEN2022 is the School of Architecture and Cities’ annual exhibition celebrating Architecture students’ exceptional end-of-year projects. The exhibition reflects the varied design approaches, diversity of the students, and their place at the heart of London.
We sat down with Professor Sean Griffiths, the principle of Modern Architect and also a practicing architect, artist and writer, to find out more about the event.
What is your role at OPEN2022?
As the module leader for the design modules in the MArch, I help the course director to co-ordinate the exhibition layout. Additionally, as one of the studio leaders I work with my student group to curate our design studio space in the exhibition. I also put together our studio’s catalogue pages and other publicity material.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of organising end-of-year degree shows?
The best part is the sense of excitement and joy that students get from putting together the show. For the graduating students it is an important rite of passage and a celebration of two (or three) years of intense work. The opening night is a big party and for me, although the show is also about showing what the school does, the element of it being for the students is the most important and rewarding part.
Aside from that, the process of selecting and curating the work and seeing the exhibition spaces of all the different studio groups coming together side by side is very rewarding. Especially seeing the consistently high standard of work that our students produce. The work is often of breath-taking quality and very diverse.
What’s the most challenging aspect?
It’s a lot of work in a very busy period of assessments, external examiners and exam boards! The selection of the work to be shown is difficult because there is always way too much great work that can possibly be shown in either the exhibition space or the catalogue.
That means making really tough decisions in which high quality work doesn’t make it in. It’s also important that the work hangs together well and is not too cluttered. We also need to make sure the work is representative of our School and communicates the ethos of the design studios and the students.
How does the degree show assist students with their careers?
A lot of employers will come to the show on the look-out for talent, alongside potential students for the ensuing years. So, it is great for keeping employers abreast of the great work going on in the School and helping students get employment with the best firms.
Additionally, it’s an excellent way to encourage high caliber of students to join our courses, which ultimate maintains our standing as one of the UK’s leading Architecture schools. For those who are not yet graduating, its is inspiring to see their work and to recognise the high standards they are expected to reach going forward.
The exhibition will launch at 5.30PM on Thursday 16 June with a hybrid event, for both in-person attendees and those who may wish to attend online (via Zoom).
The physical exhibition will be supported by an open-ended online iteration OPEN 2022, which will launch at 5pm on 16 June via this page.
OPEN 2022 forms part of the 2022 London Festival of Architecture with a number of events planned across the University to coincide with this year’s theme of ‘Act’.
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