What our students say - full details

Ed Lancaster

Ed Lancaster

Subject: Architecture and Digital Media MA

What did you study at undergraduate level and why did you decide to study a Masters at Westminster?

I studied Contemporary Media Practice. The support and teaching on my undergraduate course was fantastic. The contextual understanding of my work and also the emphasis on placing it in a professional practice was also very strong. However I felt I required, or at least wanted, a more technical foundation, as well as gaining another approach to creating work.

So I decided to undertake a Masters in the architecture department here at Westminster. I'd had a great experience with my undergraduate degree with the quality of teaching, and also the reputation of the architecture department is very strong.

Why did you choose the Architecture and Digital Media MA course?

It seemed to fit what I was looking for: a taught course with a strong practical element as well as a theoretical backbone, speculative enough for me to indulge in the sort of creativity I enjoy. It positioned itself at an exciting intersection of art, architecture and technology. However, what I liked most was that all the past projects, as absurdly speculative as some may be, were never lost in the concept. It had a firm grounding in relevance.

How did you find the transition from studying a different subject at undergraduate level, to studying this postgraduate course?

It was a very sharp and at times demanding leaning curve. I felt that as I did not come from an architectural background I'd be starting at a disadvantage to others. In some aspects this was true, but I also brought qualities over from my undergraduate degree. What I found most difficult was not the technical challenges of learning CAD software, but the different approach to developing ideas and even the language used. However it was this that ultimately became the most rewarding and beneficial part.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Being immersed in a completely new environment with new methods of working and new expectations. The small class size and the amount of contact time with tutors was invaluable. We met most weeks which gave a real sense of a sequential process to the work.

Describe a typical day on the course.

A typical day would consist of arriving early to get into the workshops to build or test that week's device. I worked a lot with steam and fog, so I spent many days enveloped in fog, or burning my fingers on the wall paper steamer. At lunch I'd pop out and spend a little too much in the various cafes that can tempt you in Marylebone. The afternoons were often classes or crits and, if not, I spent it in the computer labs working on the digital side of my projects.

What is the most interesting project you worked on?

One was applied animation, which isn't what it sounds like, there was no cartoons, or anything figurative for that matter. We were taught a piece of software called Maya, but rather than just create accidental aesthetically interesting forms, we were taught a method of procedural design through the computational programming of Maya. It became an infinite universe of possibilities. The work we managed to output, starting from nothing, was incredibly exciting week by week. Each week felt like a new door was being opened.

How will having a Masters qualification help you in your career?

I believe, and I am often told, that the university is well respected for producing not only creative graduates but also technically capable ones as well. I feel this technical foundation is just one quality that can separate Westminster graduates from a saturated market of creative graduates.

Tell us a bit about Westminster's Fabrication Laboratory and what you are doing now?

The fabLab is one of the architecture department's new investments in the future of its teaching program, as well as providing a huge new advantage in terms of facilities for students. I'm working with the smaller scale fabrication equipment, 3D printing and laser cutting. As well as teaching students to use the equipment and overseeing that the equipment is used safely, I'm always on hand to give advice and to give help on students' projects.

Sebastian Mongillo

Subject of study: Architecture MA

"The Architecture MA at Westminster helped me to open my mind and improve my skills as an architect. The course encourages you to take a different approach to research and design. It offers a well-designed study plan, great staff and facilities full of resources, all in a very friendly multicultural environment."

Kazuma Sekino

Subject of study: Architecture MA

"This is the place to meet people who explore their original perspectives on architecture, based on their experiences. The tutors support our study of different aspects of architecture like history, geology, theory, computing etc."

Daniel Mangabeira da Vinha

Subject of study: Architecture MA

"This course made me aware that we should not just aim to be great architects, but we have to be above all responsible, understanding what is behind and beside architecture, dealing with multiple issues such as memory, nature, geology, space, power, the body, and many more."

Jing Wang

Subject of study: Architecture and Digital Media MA

"Westminster's Marylebone Campus is in the centre of London surrounded by loads of galleries, museums and exhibitions. It is perfect for an architecture student. The Architecture and Digital Media MA course content is quite new and I believe it will be the tendency of architecture in the future. It is a multi-discipline practice which involves both art and technology. The tutors are very good and helpful."

Jianghai Shen

Subject of study: Architecture and Digital Media MA

"I have worked for Zaha Hadid and Ken Yeang. I returned to Beijing last year to work for Vanke, the largest developer in the world. I have learned a lot about how to develop real building, structure and, of course, how to do business. Westminster helped me with my career. I developed software skills, I learnt that architecture is not only building, but how important the technology is. I also improved my English. In our international world I always have to use English even though I am working in Beijing now."

Myrtle Tzortzi

Subject of study: Architecture, Cultural Identity and Globalisation MA

"The course was an unforgettable experience and excellent preparation for my future life and career. I had the opportunity to work alongside a great group of students, who are now friends, exchanging knowledge from different disciplines.

The high academic level and professionalism of the course team was one of the most important elements for its success and high quality output. The friendly atmosphere as well as the Course Leader's accessibility created a welcoming but challenging and highly creative environment. This course helped me to set new foundations for my professional life, extending my horizons and developing new skills."