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Architecture Welcome Guide - Overview
Your Welcome Guide

We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth, and hope that your time here will be rewarding, challenging, creative and enjoyable.

Welcome to the BA (Hons) Architecture course

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you will enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you in October.

A message from your Course Leader

We begin with five days of welcome week with the opportunity to meet the staff and other students, find your way around AUB, explore Bournemouth and learn more about your course.

The course is intensive and will challenge you to do your best work. It is delivered over thirty teaching weeks, during which you'll be required to fully attend.

The course provides materials, but you may need additional or specialist materials and travel. Your most important contribution is your enthusiasm and curiosity.

I hope the course will be rewarding and will help you become a confident and competent graduate.

- Simon Beeson, Course Leader

Before you join us

Select one image and write 500 words about “an enjoyable architectural experience”. This could be an ordinary place you really enjoy, a special visit you have made, or an accidental encounter with somewhere. You MUST have actually been to the building, not just seen an image! Think about what characterises an “architectural experience” and the way that the place contributes to the experience (light, view, sound, materials, location, age, context). You must present the ideas as an A4 sheet. Bring a digital copy on a USB. Use your own image if possible (photo or drawing). Sometimes the experience is not simply “enjoyable”; memorable or emotionally moving experiences would also be appropriate.

Please keep reading and thinking about architecture over the summer, utilising exhibitions, books, TV shows, YouTube videos, TEDtalks and newspaper articles.

Also, get used to carrying a sketchbook with you where ever you go (such as the A5 spiral bound listed in the “what to bring with you” section) and making notes and drawings about places you visit (including exhibitions and buildings).

How to submit your summer project

Bring your image and 500 words with you during the first week.

All the books on the reading list can be borrowed from the AUB Library once you have enrolled, although we do recommend students buy some books that are in great demand and are regularly used (or inspire you). You don't have to buy all of these books in advance, however, you may wish to familiarise yourself with some of the material before starting (your local library will be able to get them on interlibrary loan).

This list comprises a minimum number of general books that you should read during your first year. It is expected that you'll read widely and pursue further issues raised in these books. In studio discussions, it'll be expected that you have some awareness of historical and contemporary architecture acquired through reading. Each unit will also have a bibliography.

There are a lot of architectural books available. Some are very expensive. You may already have some that inspire you. It is best to avoid the coffee-table books of glossy photos. A good test is whether a book includes clear plan drawings (not just photos). The “XS” series are good examples.

Introductions to thinking about architecture: worth buying to start reading in advance

  • Ching, F.D.K. Jarzombek, M.M., Vikramaditya, P. (2011 2nd). A Global History of Architecture. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons. A VERY IMPORTANT BOOK, essential overview of history, with timelines, development of styles, and key buildings. Recommended in bound book, not digital ebook, as a good referencing/browsing text.
  • de Botton, A. (2014) The Architecture of Happiness. London; Penguin
  • Pallasmaa, J. (2009). The Thinking Hand. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons. An important Finnish writer on architectural ideas and theory.
  • Plummer, Henry. (2016) The Experience of Architecture. London; Thames and Hudson. A very good discussion of what architecture means to us.
  • Unwin, Simon (2014 NEW 4th Edition). Analysing Architecture. London, Routledge. A key text for the start of the year.
  • Unwin, Simon (2015 2nd Edition). Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand. London, Routledge. How to think about works of architecture. Earlier editions also available.
  • Weston, Richard (2011). 100 Ideas That Changed Architecture. London: Lawrence King. Concise introduction to architectural ideas.

Making: essential reference books once you start

  • Dernie, D. (2014). Architectural Drawing. London, Lawrence King.
  • Dunn, N. (2010). Architectural Modelmaking. London, Lawrence King. (Available as an AUB ebook to registered students)
  • One or more of Phyllis Richardson’s XS Series (“eXtra Small”), London, Thames & Hudson: XS: Big Ideas, Small Buildings (2001), XS: Green Architecture (2007), XS: Small Structures (2007), XS: Extreme (2009). (Various prices second-hand)

Realisation of Architecture: how things get built!

  • Edwards, B. (2009 3rd Edition). The Rough Guide to Sustainability. London, RIBA.
  • McLean, W. and Silver, P. (2014 2nd Edition). Introduction to Architectural Technology. London, Laurence King.

Architecture of Small Houses:

  • Pollan, M. (1998). A Place of My Own, London. Bloomsbury. The story of a writer’s experience of designing and building a small place for his work and contemplation. A good read, required for term 2!
  • Moore, C.W. et al (2001). The Place of Houses. Berkeley CA, University of California Press. Wonderful insight into designing houses

  • Architectural Review (UK published international architecture journal)

If you read one thing before you arrive, we recommend...

The Architecture of Happiness

de Botton, A. (2014)

Current student work

Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be making on our course.

What to bring on your first day

  • Yourself! We look forward to welcoming you
  • A sketchbook and pen are always useful

Drawing is the primary way we explore and propose ideas in architecture. We'll provide you with some basics. You should also bring with you any materials and equipment you already use for drawing (fine art and/or technical) or model making. In addition, some specialist materials will be provided, and you may need to supplement what we provide during the year yourself.

You are encouraged to bring your own Laptop and Mobile device to AUB to support Online Learning, Collaboration and Communication whilst at University.

We provide access to a range of free software and discounts on Apple and Dell hardware. We recommend that you wait until you have set up your AUB IT account to access this free software and discounted hardware if you are planning on investing in a new computer.

Even if your course does not specifically use Adobe Creative Cloud we would recommend that you try to make sure your computer is able to run this software.

We recommend that you format any external hard-drives/USB sticks to work on both Apple and Windows.

Please note, this course uses both Apple and Windows computers.

You'll also require a high-quality graphics card, at least 8GB RAM and dual-core processor for 2D / 3D applications.

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We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth
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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here
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We are looking forward to welcoming you to BA Architecture this year in just a few weeks!