The Degree Show for the School of Architecture is rapidly approaching, and with so much hard work having been put into reaching this final presentation, it is only right to shine a light on what this year’s cohort have achieved.

Three years ago, I embarked on one of the most difficult courses of study that I will undertake in my life. Sitting down in the Budden Lecture Theatre for the first time I had no idea that I would be working as hard and for as long as I, and the rest of the school, have. Architecture is known for being amongst one of the most challenging degrees, but nobody quite explains how difficult it will actually be. Each student who has persevered with their studies is proud to present what they have achieved, over this final semester. One of the many aims of the Degree Show is to highlight how much each student has progressed and how well they have done to complete this undergraduate degree.

The final projects that are being displayed in the Degree Show have a very prominent theme of wellbeing throughout; an essential topic to understand and talk about, for a body of students of whom are susceptible to struggling with their mental health. Over a half of students who took part in a survey run by the Architects’ Journal reported suffering with ill mental health, which is a statistic expected to grow over the coming years, as the pressure of finances and finding jobs increases. The work produced this year is a demonstration of individual battles that many students have conquered, in order to create proposals that would be a positive addition to sites in and around Merseyside and North Wales. As a department, there have been more regular tutorials and tutors have made themselves easily contactable, giving the support to those students who have needed a boost of confidence; a helping hand that everyone requires now and then has gone a long way in helping to create the high quality work on show.

On display, will be work from every student, in each of the five studio groups. Each studio works to a different brief and this year’s were as follows;

  • Studio 1 – Switch off and swim
  • Studio 2 – Anfield Urban Commons
  • Studio 3 – A Place to Stay Forever
  • Studio 4 – Conwy Festival Centre
  • Studio 5 – Civitas and Citizen -A New Public Thermae
  • Studio 6 – Housing Estates-At Home in the City

With a focus on people’s experiences within architecture, much more than just a building, these briefs saw students working within constraints aimed to protect the environment and communities that would surround their proposals. Each student is proudly exhibiting a wall of work, with standard architectural drawings, as well as stylistic visuals, and a developed story based on their own research and investigations into the way that local communities use the spaces around them and the impact that their proposal would have.

The show is being unveiled to local companies within the industry on Thursday 20th June 2019, which is an opportunity for students to meet with and talk to professionals, gaining incredibly useful pieces of advice. The individual studio shows that students have created are designed to easily identify an individual’s work, for employers to then be able to approach them with regards to job and placement opportunities. The anticipation that is taking over the Leverhulme building on the run up to this show can be felt throughout the student body, as the final night of presentations could be one of the most important for many. Throughout the course we are trained to present work in a concise manner, we are taught how to communicate clearly and confidently, we are encouraged to seek out opportunities and it has all amounted to Thursday 20th June’s big reveal.

We are a community of students who have grown together and have developed life-long bonds with fellow students and wonderful tutors, without whom we would have been lost. All of the graduating 5th year masters students’ work is being shown in the Stirling Gallery, as they showcase their thesis projects and exploration of Architectural ideas and typologies. Additional pieces of work on display will be by students in all years of the school; 1st, 2nd and 4th year students are all looking for that presentation experience, of which they will gain through the degree show. Showcasing all years’ work, alongside the graduating 3rd year and 5th year students work is an approach that the school is taking, as again, it continues to be encouraged that all students work together, helping each other through late nights and long days, and supporting one another through the unfortunately inevitable high levels of stress and angst that this course entails. The show fills the building, with each room having work covering every inch of accessible wall space, showcasing successes from every studio and year group.

From personal experience I can be proud to have attended the University of Liverpool’s School of Architecture, as I have grown, not only as a student, but into a confident aspiring professional, as I know many others have, too. The support of tutors has been irreplaceable and as the final days get under way, it becomes clear that being a student of architecture is not for the faint-hearted, but is for those who crave fulfilment and a passion for what they do.

Open to the public from the 22nd June until the 19th July, this a show comprised of different styles, experimentation with material palettes and individual growth. For each studio there has been additional material produced to help guide visitors through the collection, as access to the degree show will run for a month, where people from all sectors are encouraged to visit and see the hard work that students have put into their studies. Curated by the students from each studio, it is an experience that one should not miss, as this is an opportunity to enjoy the successes of current and graduating BA and MArch students that work tirelessly every day of the year to reach their goals.

If you require any support, advice or want to learn more about how to cope with any mental health battles, do not hesitate to talk to fellow students, tutors, university support or contact your GP. Let us end the stigma that one should battle alone, as this year’s projects hope to show that self-care and community wellbeing should always be at the centre of what we do.