Lead Curator: Channa Vithana

Co-Curators: Amber Barnaby, Emmanuel Odong, Benjamin Palmer, Aleksandra Ryszkiewicz and Charlotte Woodland

25 June – 9 August 2018
Northwest Gallery, AUB

TheGallery presents MAP, an exhibition of work by BA (Hons) Architecture students, inspired by the local area of Poole.

This is the sixth year that this exhibition has been held since its first iteration in 2013. The show is curated by the BA (Hons) Architecture staff and students, first beginning as Music Architecture Poole (MAP) in 2011 and continuing as a showcase for professionally curated high-quality architectural student work that demonstrates ideals of ethical, socially conscious designs based in local environments, as championed by the course.

MAP is an architectural exhibition which embodies second year BA (Hons) Architecture student work and is curated by a selection of these students. During the summer and autumn after completion of second year, these students work on two exhibitions, one at TheGallery, AUB and another at the Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.

The drawings help students to create work inclusive of a Contemporary Dance School and Future Scenarios in architecture. They can be made from models and ideas or inspire design development. Drawings help with the practice of improving design skills through developing better use of hand-eye-coordination. These drawings range from freehand to technical-by-hand and computer-generated creative work. Selections from technical hand drawings and computer drawings are completed using architectural scale (i.e. at 1:5, 1:200, etc.). There are examples of life drawing, drawings from sketchbooks, observational detail drawings of existing buildings and computer drafted drawings of speculative schemes. Drawing in architecture is central to the expression of designing. Whilst computer generated work is important, freehand and technical drafting by hand is still valued by students because it is more tangible.

Combining precision and creativity, the projects featured integrate architectural theory and history into design exploration using models, images and drawing with the local area as a point of investigation. The work in this show is inspired primarily by Poole, a historic town with areas that date back several centuries to when it was it was a small shipping-port development surrounded by water and marshland. Poole has since developed through land reclamation, industry, housing and commerce and its rich history is still evident today. Designs include those for individual shops from a small-scale urban intervention project linking closely to Poole’s industrial past and the ethos of AUB’s ‘Maker Culture’.

Possible future scenarios in architecture are also explored through a large-scale hypothetical project based on the future of Poole by positioning architecture at the centre of a regeneration that can positively shape peoples of experience by provides comfort, shelter and hope so that people can cope with changing circumstances.

MEET THE lead CURATOR: Channa Vithana

Channa Vithana is a Senior Lecturer in AUB Architecture. He is currently Level 5 (second year) Year Leader and a Level 6 (third year) Design Tutor. Whilst working in architectural practice, Channa started architectural tutoring in the 2000-2001 academic year. Since 2008, Channa works as a full-time academic at the AUB. As an architectural tutor Channa has tutored students from first year degree to final year masters. Channa enjoys work in collaborations which is one of the five key issues in the architecture course philosophy within the 2017 AUB BA (Hons) Architecture Programme Specification. Since 2011, Channa has curated a series of annual exhibitions called MAP and chaired a UK/French symposium in 2015. These are focused on AUB Architecture collaborating with a variety of professionals from academic, arts and industry related contexts.

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BA (Hons) Architecture

Statement on Drawings and Models:
the things we make to think about the things we make

Drawing skills is a major issue of debate within architectural education, in the UK and internationally. Many architects stress the importance of the variety of drawing skills needed by an architectural designer. The introduction of IT, from multimedia presentations, to digital drafting programmes and digital manufacturing, has put an increasing emphasis on computer-based drawing. However, it is widely acknowledged that this should be additional to traditional drawing skills, not a substitute. In practice and education, the ideal environment is a shared, creative studio, where designers move fluidly between quick drawings, carefully constructed aided drawing, physical models and digital environments for representation and contract documents. In particular the acquisition of design skills necessitate the confident use of free hand analytical drawing. Further, the use of architectural drawing conventions (such as elevation, section, plan or perspective) are better introduced as constructed drawing techniques by hand in order to understand the principles, rather than as key-stroke techniques. Finally, the relationship of drawing to material can easily be lost in the apparent freedom offered by a virtual environment which is free of gravity, natural light, texture, inhabitation and true three dimensions. The reality of a physical model cannot be substituted with a 2D screen, even when the image gives the illusion of movement or three dimensions. In architecture a line usually represents a tactile, material boundary to a spatial experience (Arts University Bournemouth, 2017, p.10).

Arts University Bournemouth. (2017). BA (Hons) Architecture. Programme Specification September 2017. Poole: AUB.


TheGallery works with courses right across the university on a variety of exhibitions, events and projects. MAP 2018  is another example of one of these projects that we have worked on with the curators. When working on a collaborative project, we provide advise and support for the curatorial and technical aspects of the exhibition, as well as advice on event and project management.

TheGallery provides a national and international public platform for the arts and these projects within the sub-region as we promote the University’s shared passion for excellence in education, industry  and the sector. The BA (Hons) Archictecture course working with the Lighthouse, Poole is a clear example of this as they provide the students with key insights into the industry and develops their skills.