We were invited to take part in the Glasgow School of Art's architecture lecture series this month which focussed on young practices that have emerged after graduating from architecture school. We also had the pleasure of meeting our co-presenters Graham Hogg from Lateral North (lateralnorth.com) and Jeremie Warner from Studio 2080 (studio2080.org).
After a short tour of the new Reid building by Steven Holl we were given the floor to address a room of around 50 students from years 1 - 5 and also recent graduates. Our presentation touched on the journey that we have been on since last September and where we intend to go from here, we outlined some of the projects that we have been working on in recent months and also our achievements with regard to funding and recognition within the environment of young entrepreneurs. Graham from Lateral North went on to deliver a fantastic collection of engaging images and diagrams all about Scotland and it's potential within the Arctic context, everything from abandoned oil rigs being used as night clubs to underwater tunnels connecting the Islands. It was clear to see the "big thinking" within Lateral North's agenda and also the desire to provoke discourse about how we change our built environment. Jeremie surprised us all with his presentation on the work that Studio 2080 have undertaken in developing countries such as Senegal and Milawi, the focus is delivering social, economic and ecological sustainability to communities within rural Africa. Again Studio 2080 are most certainly thinking big and addressing some key global issues such as education, food production, energy and water.
We were rather looking forward to hearing from the students after the presentations were over and I'm glad to say that we weren't disappointed. We touched on issues such as the development of the role of an Architect within today's environment; how to fund a start up company; finding clients and promoting your brand and many other topics. Even after the formal Q&A many of the students were still keen to hear more so we retired to the studio bar for a beer and a chat which led to further discussion about the use of foamed concrete as a building material; the progression of renewable energy generation technology and the logistics of delivering a project in a foreign, remote, rural location such as Senegal.
Overall this was a really rewarding and exciting experience and with a little bit of luck we'll see some great things from Glasgow School of Art on the young enterprise front.