A Nottingham Trent University arts building, My building is called ‘Victoria studios and gallery’, as part of my proposed NTU Arts Collective scheme. Located in Nottingham city centre, it is comprised of studio spaces, workshops, galleries and a sculpture garden to support a varied arts and design education. Students from NTU will lead in an informal mentoring role to share their skills with local secondary school students. Arts subjects being inherently practical have suffered as a result of both the pandemic and continued underfunding. Yet, during lockdown, people relied on creative outlets for entertainment and escapism. This building will act as a reaction to this deprivation and encourage exploration into a range mediums, learning through experience, collaboration and reflection.
Kolb’s Theory of ‘Experiential learning’ has influenced my design. It cites reflection as a key part of developing knowledge. I have created integral reflection spaces to encourage conversation about work. The galleries and sculpture garden, where the art will be exhibited, allow for self-reflection and provide inspiration. The public will also be able to access the exhibits in order to provide another level of knowledge exchange and make the building a place for the community, within the Creative Quarter of the city.
The concepts I have explored include ‘presence of absence’ which is the significance of what is not there. Through voids, reflective surfaces and absent corners architecture has the ability to make one question their surroundings and think freely, a crucial fuel of creativity. Also ‘building as sculpture’ whereby the building itself is sculptural, reflecting its purpose through form.
The aim of this project was to break away from the formality of conventional teaching towards a more effective and inclusive process whereby learning is enjoyable. I believe my building would serve as a platform to enrich education and be an asset to the community.