After having chosen the EDIT/or project module for Co.LAB in order to gain an insight into both publishing and the sphere of architectural research I am very happy with what we as a group have achieved. Despite being a small group of 4 who are all undertaking several modules at the same time I feel we have produced a good body of work which has incorporated and developed skills across the spectrum required in this module and for professional practice. Working with tutors and academics in the editorial team has not been as difficult as may have been expected as we were quickly able to build a working relationship more akin to a professional environment than a tutor-student one. Despite this is should be noted that the academics have strong views on what they require, which is both a positive and negative of working together due as it provides a clear brief but perhaps leaves little room for negotiation.
I would suggest to future students that if they were to work on a project similar to this that in order to get the most out of the experience it is key to set the outcomes and aspiration as early as possible. Given the nature of this project and its focus on representation, which is to an extent subjective, ensuring that both staff and students agree on outputs is crucial so the work developed is not at odds with what the ‘clients’ require, which I feel we were successful in doing on the whole. As well as this the influence of third parties and copyright had consequences on this project. The format and main content of the book and journal was largely dictated to us by publishers, again leaving little room for negotiation, which given our creative nature as design students was a little disappointing but was necessary in order to negotiate the publication of the materials. These relationships with third parties indirectly involved in work will always need to be taken into account in professional practice and finding alternative solutions may be important. As Eric Parry suggested in his interview there is a need for the architect – or in this case designers – to “seize the opportunity to row in the right direction (in projects) that are assumed to have little room for interpretation” (Parry, 2018) and in creative practice this may lead to finding the ‘joy’ in a project which is largely dictated.
Personally I feel this project would have benefitted from started prior to the conference as there would have be greater opportunity to integrate the promotion through social media and plan the content for the subsequent publications although I understand that this does not fit with current BCU timetabling. Given the short time period of the project and the large amount of work still to be done to finish the “shap(ing) into something meaningful” (Browne, 2018) of the outputs from the conference I would happy to give more time after the submission to ensure a successful and well received set of published works into the field of architectural humanities.
Eric Parry Interview, 2018
Co.LAB EDIT/or Project Brief, 2018