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“What is Architecture?”

On Monday the 14th of May the 80+ Fourth Year (Masters of Architecture) students attended a site visit at Pittwater, north of Sydney. The field trip, organised by Michael Chapman, involved meeting the adjunct professors Peter Stutchbury and Richard LePlastrier in their home environments. After a winding bush walk in the national park surrounding the beautiful Lovett Bay the students were treated to Rick’s hospitality, spending the afternoon observing his home and way of life. Rick and Pete talked to students about the importance and understanding of the environment around us and asked students to engage with it by drawing, and then to understand the impact that construction has on the landscape.18 students then stayed at the YHA minutes walk from Ricks house, and on tuesday were treated to observe Peter Stutchbury’s own home and then his working office.

Following this field trip, students engaged in groups of 4-6 with a short ideas project with an attempt to tackle the question of “What is Architecture?” after considering the words and worlds of Rick and Pete. The results of the ideas projects can be seen around the Architecture Design Studio and show a great depth of knowledge, creativity and understanding when it comes to this question. These diverse and poignant outcomes reflect not only the impact of knowledge imparted by Rick and Pete on the 4th year students, but also the guiding influence of Michael Chapman who has been teaching an intensive and considered design course, and also made this entire experience possible.

Text by Joe Larkings & Photos by Jasmine Richardson

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