On Wednesday, Architecture students were introduced to the London skyline―and the art housed within some of its buildings―as they took off to the capital in search of visual education and inspiration. They alighted from the coach at the iconic Tate Modern, Britain’s celebrated museum of international modern art, and set about sketching the skyline from the balcony of the new Switch House’s ‘Viewing Level’. Their drawings faithfully reflected the eclectic nature of the London skyline, where the 17th century dome of St Paul’s Cathedral nestles amongst the more angular buildings of the modern age.
From there students made their way to the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, a treasure trove of contemporary art that has, in its time, hosted exhibitions by titanic architects Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry, and renowned artists Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramović. Students drew inspiration for their own projects from the current exhibition by prominent social critic Grayson Perry; his latest work explores the ongoing social tensions of class, sexuality and religion in a variety of media, including ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking, and tapestry.
Then it was on to the stately halls of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has established its place as the world’s leading museum of art and design: it is famous for its stunning fashion exhibits and impressive thematic curation. From the ‘Designing the V&A display’, students learned about the artists, designers and engineers who created the V&A, following the cultural explosion in England caused by the Great Exhibition in 1852. Also on offer was an exhibition dedicated to one material in particular: plywood, styled “the material of the modern world” by the Museum, owing to its solid ubiquity in the chairs, planes, skateboards and machinery of the world since the 19th century.
Back in LMH, students exhibited their own talents, singing, dancing, playing the piano, and delivering comic cracks with excellent timing and to rapturous applause in the college’s Simpkins Lee Theatre.