DEVELOPED IN THE context of their first year MArch History & Theory seminar group, students choose their own subject to explore in the Dissertation. They are guided by tutors with a diverse range of interests and methods but a common commitment to advancing the individual specialisms and scholarship of each student. A breadth of topics and a plurality of approaches are encouraged with the ambition that the work produced will be distinguished by its high quality, not its adherence to any particular methodology, dogma or style.
This year, MArch student Ruth Pearn was the recipient of the Dissertation Medal in the RIBA President’s Medals awards for her dissertation Age Through the Terrace: The Evolving Impact of Age on Social and Spatial Relations in the Home’ (Tutored by Prof. Harry Charrington). Ruth is the latest in a long line of dissertation medal winners from Westminster's MArch.
Amy Bettinson’s A Laboratory for Contextualism: Post-War Infill Buildings reflects on how architects seized the opportunity to experiment with the way Modernist buildings could fit into historic settings. Through a study of the procurement by the London County Council of murals.
Robert Beeny’s dissertation Modern Murals and the LCC: The London County Council and its Patronage of the Arts Scheme 1956-1965 aimed to ascertain why the LCC felt so strongly committed to introducing contemporary art into the lives of Londoners.
In Routes and Roots: The realisation of urban space through the Sikh nagar kirtan processions in Southall, Amrit Flora focuses on the Sikh community of this west London suburb known as ‘Little India’. The dissertation explores ways in which the phenomena of imported immigrant culture informs the production of space, displaying a hybridisation of local and imported cultures.
Lisa Grönevik’s dissertation critically analyses the methods used by Swiss art historian Sigfried Giedion to define architectural modernism in his book Space, Time and Architecture – The Growth of a New Tradition.
In her dissertation Learning from Jack Fitzsimons: Exploring the background to Jack Fitzsimons' book Bungalow Bliss and its impact on Rural Ireland’s identity, Kate Hosking explores the background to Fitzsimons’ book Bungalow Bliss and its impact on rural Ireland’s identity, and seeks to explain its impact on the people at the heart of the Bungalow Bliss story.
Laura Snape’s dissertation examines the inhabitation and use of former Art Deco cinemas by Pentecostal Black Majority Churches as an indication of the continuing prevalence, energy and significance of religion in society. As both repositories for, and indicators of, religio-societal change, these buildings are observed as ‘infrasecular’ spaces: new layers within Britain’s religious landscape that challenge the failure of the secularisation thesis to consider the more diffuse and informal role of Christianity in modern Britain.
Moll Petit: A study of tourism and local identity in twenty-first century Mallorcan architecture is a study by Jean-Christian Whitehouse which aims to determine how tourism and media are affecting the local identity of Mallorcan architecture. It seeks to establish an understanding of how local practice, TEd’A, have subtly scrutinised the topics of globalisation, tourism and mass media to enhance the occupant’s awareness of locality.