Jacinta Curley, Belvedere College, Dublin 2

+ 10 Weeks = ?
70 +35mins
Belvedere College, 19 Students + 1 Art Teacher + 1 Architect + 10 weeks = ???
Week 1
With palpable anticipation, excitement and some nervousness, we (19 students, 1 art
teacher and 1 architect) gathered under the timber trusses of the beautiful art room, on
the top floor of Belvedere college, in the heart of Dublin city: our base for the next 10
Having introduced the project, myself and overall structure of the workshop programme,
the students, using post-its, shared their expectations for the 10 weeks and some words
that came to mind when they heard the word architecture.
Using the courtyard space in the centre of the school as a study space, we looked at how
it we might begin to describe a physical environment in visual terms. Dividing into 6
groups, each with a different aspect to explore, we left the art room behind and braved
the January cold to investigate, armed with pencils, sketchbooks and coats!
With the exploration complete for the day the students set about recording what they
had found in words, sketches or photographs. This would be used as a basis for
discussion in Week 2. For some inspiration, I showed the students my favourite group
project from college, which used photographs of small details to describe the experience
of occupying the Richview Campus in UCD.
Week 1
Students describe ARCHITECURE in
Buildings; Shapes; Angles; Designs; Structure;
Grandeur; Inventive; Goliath; Angular; Sleek;
Design; Building; Blueprint; Function; Efficiency;
Building; Design; Apple; Drawing; Imagination;
Design; Builder; Structure; Art; Home;
Shapes; Imagination; Design; Communication; Functional;
Designing; Structure; Beautiful; Innovation; Build;
Drawing; Building; Measuring; Design; Sketching;
Functional; Artistic; Design; Sketch; Buildings;
Innovation; Ideas; Creation; Imagination; Practicality;
Freedom; Structure; Utilitarian; Support; Design ;
Sketches; Plans; Design; Site; Imagination;
Statue; Drawing; Design; Building; Art;
Buildings; Sculptures; Creativity; Knowledge; Design;
3D Designs; Functional/Useful; Artistic; Imagination; Querky;
Art; Building; Creativity; Design; Structures;
Art of designing buildings, Structure of buildings, Design, Putting your emotions in building,Week
Students describe
Hopes and Expectations
“I would like more knowledge about it”
“Better understand the design process.”
“Become more knowledgeable about architecture & think about it as a possible
career choice. “
“To build something/ Design something good.”
“To come up with a viable plan for a structure in out school.”
“To create something.”
“Make up a good idea and see it come to life.”
“To design a buildable structure.”
“To create something to add enjoyment to our school.”
“Become better at drawing your ideas and make them come to life.”
“Come up with good ideas and get involved.”
To get a better understanding of Architecture.
“Learn a lot about architecture and might give me ideas of a future career.”
“I hope to learn more about the career of an architect.”
Week 1
Week 1
Week 1
Use and Users
Week 1
Route and Connections
Week 1
Week 2
With everyone settled in, Week 2, kicked off with a discussion on what architects, artists
and buildings the students found inspiring. Beijing’s National Stadium, the Bird’s nest
featured highly, the leaning tower of Pisa was mentioned for how it challenges the
viewer to reconsider what can stand up and Gaudi’s sagrada famila for the fact that it is
still being built. Some students also found the Eiffel tower and skyscrapers inspiring but it
was generally agreed that small buildings could be inspiring too.
To get the body active as well as the mind, the students then did a drawing exercise in
pairs. Each student found an object from around the art room, then took turns to
describe the physical characteristics of the object to their partner without saying what
the object was. The partner tried to draw the object from the description and guess what
it was. This made for an interesting, energetic exercise and led into a discussion on ways
to describe physical objects and environments in language and drawings.
Returning to the courtyard exploration of the previous week, the student showed their
drawings and discussed the observations they had made. The discussion covered such
aspects as how the courtyard was used, the position of the sun a different times of the
day, the routes people took to cross it and the size was even equated to three 50m
swimming pools.
To finish the students were set the task of exploring the wider school campus , to identify
areas that they liked and disliked.
Week 2
Week 2
Week 2
Week 2
Week 2
Week 2
Week 3
Ear Chair – Makkink & Bey
Week 3
Week 3
Week 3
Container for Learning
School on the principle of open space
Building gymnasium Orestad in Copenhagen, designed by 3XN, a real piece of modern art,
both inside and outside. In 2007 the school was named best building in Scandinavia. This is
the first school opened in Denmark in the national educational reform.
Week 3
Container for Learning
Spiral staircase connects the 4 levels which the students called the heart of the building.
During breaks, they lay on the pillows and looking at the bright circular lights decorated
the ceiling, reminiscent of a starry sky.
Week 3
Container for Learning
Week 3
•Problem Solving
Think about which area most interests you?
Week 3

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