MA Landscape + Urbanism, Kingston University – Student profile

I am Fabio Porcu and I graduated with a Masters in Building Engineering and Architecture in Italy in 2013. Having finished my master I decided to continue my studies, but working in a different scale. My previous experience has mostly been focused on the “building” scale but I haven’t explored the design process at ‘local’ or ‘city’ scale or the effect urban design has on communities and lifestyle.

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The MA Landscape + Urbanism course at Kingston University, London offered me the opportunity to think about how to work in larger urban scales and how to understand the relationship and context of urban designs and their surroundings.  The description of the course looked like the perfect combination between the theoretical part I needed to improve, whilst offering me the opportunity of practical work on live projects thus allowing me to test my new knowledge and skills which I learned during the course.

The course itself has been full of opportunities: meeting professionals in the field of Landscape Architecture has helped to reveal how different people work on similar problems; tutorials in studio with professional Landscape Architects were crucial to examining my project experiences, improving my capacity to explain my ideas and understanding and for tutors to suggest the best way to translate my concepts from the abstract to the physical.

One of the most important features at Kingston University is, without doubt, the amazing quantity and quality of facilities and workshops dedicated to the creation of models, prints and multi-media products.  Everything you could need to help communicate and express your work is available – with no limits on imagination!  Workshops have every kind of material and machine to realize your ideas, but the most valuable factor are the technicians, always very friendly and available to support you in the creative process.

I moved from Corsica, in the centre of the Mediterranean, to the biggest city in Europe to study at Kingston University. That was a difficult choice in my life – London can be a challenging and daunting place!  At the same time, it is a great city to expand your thinking and broaden your horizons. The multi-ethnic composition of the city, the huge number of architecture and landscape architecture projects plus every kind of art event and the opportunity to meet people from all parts of the world helps to create a very stimulating learning environment.   Kingston University’s Masters in Landscape and Urbanism has supported and encouraged me to expand my ideas and concepts with the amazing opportunity to try these on live and theoretical projects throughout the course.

Once I have completed the MA Landscape + Urbanism I will look for a work in the Landscape field.  I am planning to stay in England, possibly in London. Here in London I can find the right environment to improve my knowledge about Landscape architecture and afterwards I would like to have the opportunity to return to Italy bringing with me the skills acquired studying and working in London. Having studied engineering and architecture before I hope to be able to mix my previous knowledge with the new skills gained during this course and work in a Landscape design studio.

The following is an extract from a recent project Fabio has been working on – a proposal for Le Havre in Norther France.

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Proposal section

“A new threshold for Le Havre as a linking point between the UNESCO site, the impressionist gallery and the port authority.  The project reconnects the city and the port and the city and the sea. Extending the grid of the city and projecting the main axes of communication on the Quai de Southampton, the project stitches the urban fabric with the waterfront. The evolution of the waterfront continues.  New layers of connection allow new relationships with the port for citizens and visitors to Le Havre.  The area, given back from the port authority to the city will host social activities and public events. It offers space for habitat creation celebrating the coast of Normandy and the particular character of the Seine Estuary.”

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Diagrams of study

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Axonometric diagram

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