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The two-year programme conceives of architecture as a diverse and complex set of practices that move beyond traditional distinctions and limits in the field. A radical and innovative approach to pedagogy and research, as well as a commitment to an open-minded, experimental studio-culture, sets the RCA apart.
Teaching on the MA programme revolves around the Architectural Design Studio. Each ADS is understood as a platform for design research organised around important global challenges and opportunities such as ecology, housing, urbanism, mobility and manufacturing.
View the work of the graduating class of 2020 in our new online graduate exhibition, RCA2020. 850 students are exhibiting their work and hosting over 250 artist talks,
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Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process will consider creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall.
You should have achieved a high quality first degree in architecture (RIBA Part I) or an international equivalent degree or higher, and should have at least one year’s work experience in a design office. If you wish to gain exemption from RIBA Part II, you must have completed your RIBA Part I satisfactorily.
Dan joined the MA Architecture after studying Liberal Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, which led to a study abroad programme at London's Architectural Association. After graduating he hiked across New Zealand and the Appalachian Trail, worked in architecture practices in Copenhagen and Beijing, and became a carpenter and lumberjack in Montana and Maine. "So I don’t necessarily have a traditional architectural background" Dan explains. "I grew up wanting to design skyscrapers – being a kid in Maine meant that there were no tall buildings for miles around – and I’ve pivoted 180 degrees on that.
The flexibility and reach of the Architecture at the College was something that attracted him. Wanting to explore the intersections of architecture; how it affects the world around us in interesting and unexamined ways meant he didn’t want to just design homes and offices. "I’d had such a transformative experience studying in London, which made me really keen to revisit the city and spend longer here.
In comparing his UK/US experience Dan says "Universities in the US are more concerned with a more traditional architectural practice. There’s a definite emphasis on commercial and private buildings, the scope feels a lot smaller. I don’t think I'd be able to explore itinerant woodworking communities in the way I was able to at the RCA.
Experiences at the RCA he found enlightening included working with tutor Guan Lee, at his practice in a farmhouse in the Chiltern Hills Area of Natural Beauty just out of London. "Guan has the most amazing equipment – a full digital fabrication suite with everything from kilns to 3D printers and robotic arms – as well as orchards and a vegetable garden. It’s incredibly rare to get the chance to work with your tutors and peers in that kind of environment."
Recently, Dan has been inspired by the landscape where he grew up. "In Maine one of our most famous exports is lobster but with the seas warming, the lobsters are abandoning their old habitats. Out of this sprang a side project: I found you can use the ground shell of lobsters to create a toothpaste that’s sustainable and environmentally sound. In the ArtBar I started talking to another student who’s reusing waste from shellfish used in catering to create bioplastic – it was great to talk to them and discuss how we could collaborate."
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