End of Year Exhibition

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Our End of Year Exhibition poster!

As the school year wraps up with my final work handed in, its time to get on the job hunt. The University of Greenwich annually puts on an end of year exhibition that displays the work of all students both architecture and landscape architecture, and it is usually at this show that we are introduced to many employers from the area seeking graduates to work for them. In order to increase our exposure as a class, we landscape architects decided to put on a separate show in addition to the University’s so that we could further exhibit our work in central London.

Our own exhibition turned into an of an end of year celebration for us to enjoy finishing a hard two years with friends and family who came into town especially for the event. My parents even flew over from Texas to be here for the exhibition and I was happy to finally introduce them to my tutors and classmates. With a band for ambiance and plenty of wine to go around, the event was a huge success with a packed room and plenty of employers attending to see the work exhibited.

From the show, I have now lined up interviews for the next couple of weeks for great landscape practices here in London. And now it’s time to get ready for the University exhibition as well. I should know what my future holds soon!

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The Tower of London

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Exquisite armory

In a city full of historical wonder, there is none such place as historical as the Tower of London. Finally after two years of living in London, I got to spend the day exploring the halls and courtyard of the Tower, finding it extremely beautiful and haunting at the same time. The Bloody Tower and the Crown Jewels are the most famous attractions at the Tower of London, but I found that it had so much more to offer than just those things. There was so much more than I could imagine to learn about Britian’s past kings and queens and those that served them.

The Crown Jewels were just as beautiful as I had pictured, and I was struck by the uniqueness of each one. The detail of the golden plates and goblets were incredible to see and it was the first time that I have seen anything that was made of pure gold like that.

What I found most impressive about the Tower of London, was the Armory which showcases the armour and weaponry worn by British knights and soldiers over time and how it developed king by king. As a big fan of films and TV set in medieval time periods, it was fascinating to see such authentic pieces of armour and clothing.

As an American from a country that calls a building 100 years of age ‘old’, something like the Tower of London can sometimes be simply unbelievable. As you walk outside the gates of the Tower and into the Starbucks next door, you feel as if you had just walked through centuries of time to get your next latte.

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Borough Market

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Delicious food at Borough Market!

As markets go in London, and I pride myself on visiting most of them, one of my all-time favorites is Borough Market.  It’s one of the largest markets in the central part of the city and it has a charm that recalls historical London.  Set up under railway tracks with the train rumbling overhead, walking among the stalls of the market reminds of what it would be like to shop in the same area one hundred years ago. Only the Shard rising above the skyline reminds you what year you are really in.

The reason that I frequent the market so often though is that there is a stall that sells raclette, my favorite dish from Switzerland! Melted cheese on top of potatoes, onions and gerkins, is undeniably delicious. There is also the famous Monmouth Coffee shop around the corner that always has a line 20 people deep.

I love grabbing something good and then sitting in the new addition of the market which includes a glassed in area with hanging pots and vertical planting. It’s an interesting landscape project that compliments the market in such a way that adds to the airiness of the high railway arches full of vendors and bustling shoppers.

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Work Experience

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Working in the city!

With some extra time over Easter break, I took the opportunity to do some work experience at one of the top landscape practices for a week. After spending so much time in the library over the past month, it was refreshing to be in an office environment. Not only did the week give me insight into what it would be like to work for a company that big and successful, but it gave me the confidence to enter that job when it comes time to start.

Not knowing what to expect and feeling intimidated at the start, I found that as the week went on I felt more and more comfortable with the people I worked with and the work I was given to do. It was valuable to me to understand what is expected in a place like that from a new graduate like me and I was surprised at how well my skills had developed at the University of Greenwich.

I was excited to be given work to do on a high profile project that will be built in London in the next couple of years. It’s the first of its kind as a garden bridge across the Thames with new connections and a lot of experimental planting being done in a harsh environment. It will be a precedent for similar projects, and I was excited to be a small part of it.

To get more similar experience, I will try to visit a few smaller practices as well to see the difference in scale of office. I’m interested to see how offices of various sizes operate in different ways including the projects that they work on. It’s just a quick insight to what could be my future career!

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Living Walls Knowledge Transfer Days

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A living wall in Chelsea

Last week, a few tutors from the University put on a day-long seminar with the aim of bringing together influential individuals and companies in the living wall industry to share their collective knowledge of the field. As a student studying living walls and working part-time for a living wall designer, I absolutely loved being surrounded by so much knowledge on a subject that I am interested in.

The day consisted of a series of lectures put on by both people who are part of the construction side of the industry and the design side. The common theme throughout all of the seminars though was that living walls, while popular now, have the potential to be not only beautiful to look at, but environmentally friendly as their irrigation systems are developed further. There are several different models used in living walls built today and it is debatable about what is best. It is undeniable though that the future of living walls is bright and I look forward to be a part of an industry that could have such impact on the globe.

The most useful part of the seminar was the chance to network and meet people that share similar interests. Fortunately for me, I was able to meet people who had seen my work done for my tutor. These may be connections that I can use in my job hunt that I am about to embark on. I have found that events like these that are put on by the University have guided me through my studies and towards my future career. This day especially gave me some tools to use as I progress with my studies and start looking for jobs.

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Student Services

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The Greenwich Campus

As a graduating student, I have been reflecting upon my time here at Greenwich and one thing that I have been most impressed with is the amount of student services that was available to me while I was here.

To start, having a General Practicioner here on campus has been one of the most convenient services that I could want. Anytime I have needed any sort of appointment, the doctor’s office has been accommodating enabling me to get into the doctor’s surgery as quickly as possible. The fact that the doctor’s surgery is on campus as well makes getting assistance so much easier than having to travel when you are sick.

The university finance office is available at all times to sort any problems you may have when it comes to university fees, budgeting and even income. They have free advice about how to manage your finances while at uni to make sure you stay afloat while you are studying. Everytime I have needed to visit them to sort out my student loan or accommodation fees, they have been patient and helpful.

JobShop has been the student service that I come most in contact with over the two years due to my jobs that I have acquired here on campus. It was essential that I find employment while I studied in London to be able to afford living here and JobShop was able to help me get the opportunities to work that I needed. In addition to job postings, the JobShop also is available to help you with CVs, cover letters and also interview preparation if you feel like you need some. The University is committed to helping its students transition smoothly into the job market from uni and have set up a system to do just that through JobShop.

There are many other services available to students who attend the University, all you need to do is ask!

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Model Making

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A laser cut model

One helpful thing that is available to students in the Architecture, Design and Construction School is the laser cutter that assists in making clean and professional models. I have been trained as a technician for the laser cutter which has given me the opportunity to see many different types of projects that students use it for. For landscape architecture, the laser cutter is a great tool to model topography and landform while other students use it to construct structures and buildings as well. In addition the school also has a 3D printer to use which models anything from figurines to busts of famous people. Both printers are important resources to the work being done at the University because they allow students to better communicate their ideas and designs in a physical way that transcends what can be done digitally or on paper.  Creativity is enhanced by machines such as these and elevates the coursework that we do here.

I have also been able to explore model making through the use of different materials this term as well. Mostly using foamboard and card to construct quick sketch models, I have enjoyed the quick and easy nature of buildings something that is temporary and a tool to hash out my ideas. There are times that I don’t quite understand my designs until I see them in 3D. Instead of designing everything in plan view, model making allows me to understand how it might be to experience my designed sites. And sometimes it is just fun to be crafty!

 

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