The desire to make the world a better place for people to live in as well as my own personal interest in functional art, has been the greatest influence in my decision to pursue architecture as a profession.Characteristics and the economic basis of land, the attributes of the people, climate, culture are all the real determination of form and vary from city to city worldwide.It is this variation of factors that go into a structure that I find engaging; the idea of a culture’s identity, being reflected in architecture and architecture responding to the cultural needs, traditions and values of the society in which it interacts, excites me as it is ever changing.For this reason I have based my current art project on the fluidity between culture and architecture and how they are one and the same thing with a close reference to space and light.I’m attracted to the continuous challenge to better understand the broader debates in which planning and design are embedded, and the varied dilemmas in which architects and professional planners face in the course of their work.My current course has been essential to my creative development, allowing me to explore a variety of approaches to creative work both from an experimental and refined point of view.Due to our group weekly critique sessions I have become more aware and responsive to the importance of communication and diversity of techniques, when displaying the contexts and concepts of my ideas.Life drawing classes have taught me how to relate my drawings to the real world, and how to translate complex forms into a two dimensional shape, by thinking spatially as well as critically.To me, buildings are used to affirm existent cultural values, counter or to encourage change or to strengthen traditions.For example, with modern buildings there is a strong focus on creativity and sustainability, (e.g Gardens by the Bay designed by Grant Associates and Wilkinson Eyre Architects), whereas with post war buildings the focus is with being efficient and resourceful with materials.On my course I have had the opportunity to experiment and work with a range of raw materials such as metal, clay and glass as well as being inducted into many material making processes such as plasma cutting, 3D printing and laser cutting.This altered my attitude and approach to working with design materials and processes allowing me to manipulate materials to get a better understanding of them, their possibilities as well as their limitations.Along with developing practical skills, I have also been teaching myself technical skills on Photoshop and CAD, through online tutorials to better prepare myself for the technical side of the course.Architecture is a lifelong challenge that requires years of dedication and commitment.Something that I am used to from my extra curricular history.Working my way up to play netball at a county level,and completing my Skate UK Singles Gold has demonstrated my commitment and team skills as well as my willingness to make sacrifices for things I feel passionate about.In November I arranged work experience within an art department at a secondary school where I managed and organised lessons for Year 8 students.Combined with my previous work experience running an art club for Year 7 students after school for five months, has allowed me to develop strong teamwork and communication skills- a result of interacting with students and teachers, skills I can put to good use when presenting ideas in seminars or live briefs.I learnt how to become adaptable when unforeseen challenges became apparent, in which I had to think outside the box to create a solution that worked the best for everyone, similar to what would be expected of me in an architectural practise.Architecture is a lifelong dedication to design and to the ever changing needs of people, something I feel I am ready to undertake at HE level.

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I'm Erica!

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