The Framework of Design

Ever wondered what it’s like to notice yourself going mad, yet enjoy what you are doing to the bone? Yeah I never thought that would happen either, but studying architecture is exactly that.

mock up model
Don’t believe me? Well, come to our exhibition and find out all about it!
As part of our design studio module, we were asked to design a public exhibition to showcase some of last semester’s work. We thought long and hard about an appropriate theme but eventually decided to celebrate our madness.

Our exhibition is called The Framework of Design; it aims to show everyone what life in the studio is like. So, we’re not just exhibiting our final projects; we’re displaying the little doodles, sketches, concept models, and everything else that helped each of us develop our own designs. We’ll take you on a tour, exploring our minds: how we think, solve problems, and eventually overcome them. After all, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination!

working in the workshop 1
Designing the exhibition took three weeks. Our biggest challenge was how to display our material in a way that emphasises the theme: celebrating the design process. Do we scatter everything around the place on random tables or organise them neatly? Are we even using tables? Do we hang sheets from the ceiling or put stickers on the floor? So many questions and so many things to resolve … So let’s begin!

First, we decided to make the exhibition look “rough” and industrial, like a workshop! We thought this would best communicate our theme. Still, we wanted the exhibition to be neat and professionally executed. So, we bought OSB (oriented strand board) timber boards and mounted them on trestles to make tables. OSB is actually made of different scraps of wood glued together, giving us the “raw” texture we wanted. The plan is to set 9 of these tables in a long, straight, continuous line. To test this idea, we made a mock-up model.

It sounded good so far but it still wasn’t enough for us. We wanted our exhibition to be more interactive. With the same OSB boards, we created “boxes” that sit on top of some of the tables. These boxes open from either side, and have drawers that people can pull out. Each drawer has a different activity, with instructions written on the top of the boxes to explain the games. They’re all architecture themed, so everyone can enjoy being an architect for a day! It was a tricky job, attaching these boxes, but after a few squint screws and about 10 splinter-pricked fingers, we managed to fasten them securely.


As for the material we’re displaying, a continuous roll of paper is mounted on the tables, even going up and down the boxes. All our drawings are printed on it, with the models displayed as well.

Finally, another idea kicked in! What if we had an ACTUAL studio space in the exhibition?

working in the workshop 2
We added a 10th table to our collection, but decided to place it a bit further away from the exhibition. It will act as a “live studio” desk. Students manning the exhibition can work on their current projects while also engaging with the public with their work. There will be more activities on that table as well!

We’ve had so much fun designing this exhibition, and we hope you enjoy it too! It will be held from the 1st to the 12th of March in Bon Accord Centre in front of Costa. We hope to see you all there!

Follow our Facebook page to find out more about the event!

Follow us on social media with #FrameworkDesign

Lina, Architecture student at RGU

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