Gao, Yun, ed. (2011) University of Huddersfield Architecture Year Book 2011. University of Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield. ISBN 978-1-86218-097-0

Our year book celebrates 90 years of Architecture study at the University of Huddersfield. The study of architecture in Huddersfield was formalised in 1921 by the establishment of a course in the School of Art, one of the forerunners of the present University. Degrees in Architecture have been offered since 1977 and the current pattern of education stems from the establishment of the ‘International’ course in 1989. The Department of Architecture and 3D Design is one of two departments in the School of Art, Design and Architecture. Within the department there are three subject areas; Architecture, Interior Design and 3D Design. As part of the 90 years celebrations we have moved into brand new facilities, Queen Street Studios, which will house all three subject areas.

We celebrate the 90 years by showcasing the work of the 2011 final years of the Diploma course and the Architecture and Architecture (International) BA(Hons) courses. It has been impossible to include all of the work submitted, but what is
shown covers a representative example of student output. We are grateful to Dr Yun Gao who has assembled a variety of projects for this review. What is striking about the selection is the number of projects situated overseas.

This is not surprising at BA level, because the ‘international’ variant enables students to undertake visits and field studies in selected non-European settings each year. In 2010-11 the visit was to Nagpur in India, but in the recent past we have been to various provinces of China. Diploma students clearly value their earlier experiences and often choose non-British sites for their major design projects.

This review illustrates only design work, but it should be remembered that there are preparatory studies and dissertations at both BA and Diploma levels, which inform the work. The standard of dissertations has increased, and, in many cases, they provide a platform for students to consider philosophical and theoretical aspects of architecture related to their designs. Although Huddersfield has a strong pragmatic and practical tradition, it is good to see competent and talented students ‘pushing the boundaries’. They appreciate the realities of practice, but their work not only extends their thinking, but also their skills.

Staff have also been active with personal interests. There has been an expanison of the research base, an increase in the number of PhDs being undertaken or completed, and growing fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. In practice, Derrie O’Sullivan’s ‘Passivhaus’ at Denby Dale has been widely reported, and is an example of the overall interest in sustainability and resource issues.

We look forward to the future and continuing architecture education at the University of Huddersfield. Congratulations to this year’s graduates and all of our alumni. We wish you every success in the future.

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