Urban Design partnership with the University of Sevilla

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:46:00 BST

The University of Huddersfield has sought to bolster and expand what and, significantly, how it teaches students in its highly successful Integrated Urban Design and Architecture module with a new partnership with the University of Sevilla in Spain.

This adds to the University’s enviable international network of educational institutions and research centres from around the world.

The new initiative in Seville has brought with it a host of incredible benefits for students in Master of Architecture / Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 2) and Urban Design MA at Huddersfield that provide the opportunity not just for further theoretical experience and knowledge but plentiful opportunities for real-world, hands on experience.

These were most recently experienced by the 2015-16 cohort who enjoyed a challenging and enjoyable field study in November 2015. Students were tasked with handling an area of creative significance in Seville, ‘Pasaje Mallol’, that was still tackling with the fall-out of the 2008 financial crises and the impacts this has had on resources, employment and social issues.

The opening day saw students attend a lecture on the urban and architectural history of Seville provided by Professor Carlos Garcia Vazquez, followed by presentations from Early Career Researchers on the topic of urban regeneration.

Primary data collection was paramount to this project with students completing extensive groundwork and communicating with the local populace and artists of the area to fully understand what the social, economic and logistical needs were and produce a proposal that would best facilitate and solve these.

The chosen area of the project was one of broad culture and craft with a thriving energy and so it was paramount for students to understand and learn on this exercise how they could retain that emotional feeling and character in their urban regeneration plan. It was about understanding how to tackle not just transformation but conservation – something crucial in the industry today.

This industry standard, primary experience field work in a live project environment then formed the basis of various modules across the year.

The initiative also provides the opportunity for students’ work to be presented to an invited conference of industry experts in Seville in January of each year – the Laboratorio Q Conference.

The work of Huddersfield’s 2015-16 students was showcased by Dr. Ioanni Delsante, a University of Huddersfield academic and a member of the University of Sevilla’s Advisory Board for their PhD programme, and Vijay Taheem, a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Huddersfield, as part of the overarching aim of the conference to reflect on creative strategies for urban regeneration.

Dr. Ioanni Delsante has also been invited to present the Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability (CUDAS) research centre activities at the opening of the 2016/17 Doctorate Programme in Architecture at the “Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura” (ETSA), on 10th November 2016.

As the University of Huddersfield has now formed such solid foundations in Seville, staff and PhD students are also able to take part in the Erasmus exchange programme with the Spanish University.

The University of Sevilla partnership and the ability for the University of Huddersfield’s Urban Design MA students to utilise it - both through their study and with the new Erasmus exchange - is yet another string to the bow of what is a Masters course with innumerable opportunities to develop and gain real world experience, vital in such a competitive industry, whilst on study.

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