Visual Arts Main Gallery


MAP is an architectural exhibition which originated as Music Architecture Poole in 2011. MAP is curated by AUB architecture degree students during their second and third year. In second year the students research, analyse and intervene with urban architecture, as pertaining to towns and cities. This work is primarily based in Poole town, the beginnings of which date back several centuries when it was a small shipping-port development surrounded by water and marshland. Over these centuries, Poole developed through land reclamation, industry, housing and commerce. Poole’s rich history is still evident and the students analyse these moments of the past and present together.

During second year, students work on three main design projects which integrate history & theory written texts. An engagement in a small-scale urban intervention in the form of a curiosity shop which makes and sells unique specialist products within Poole High Street is first. It links closely to Poole’s industrial past and the ethos of the AUB’s ‘Maker Culture’. Afterwards, the AUB Dance course became a key new client enabling the architecture students to design a well-informed medium-scale dance school. The site for the dance school is in the heart of the Poole High Street and allows a creative centre for all to enjoy. The dance school is focussed on contemporary dance whereby people from different backgrounds and abilities can learn and perform. Contemporary dance differs from traditional forms of dance by allowing people of diverse ages and body types to experience and engage with it. This sense of inclusiveness is important to AUB Architecture and fits within our course ideals of ethical, socially conscious architecture based in local environments. Finally, the students undertook work on a large-scale hypothetical project based on the future of Poole by positioning architecture at the centre of a regeneration that provides comfort, shelter and hope so people can cope with changing circumstances. A comprehensive study trip to Barcelona, Spain, completed external research for the architecture students.

MAP has origins with industry collaboration external to the AUB which continue to the present. The Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts has housed MAP since 2011 in annual exhibitions allowing third year students as full curators to work with a cultural venue that is one of the largest of its type outside London. MAP collaborates with specialist timber engineering company Tekne, also based in Poole, and has recently expanded to incorporate live projects with Poole BID. The Poole Business Improvement District [BID], of which the Lighthouse is a member, is an independently funded organisation which will run initially for five years and its main aim is to start the regeneration of Poole with its focus on the High Street and connected areas such as the historic Old Town and Quayside. MAP and its collaboration with Poole BID has started in the first phase of the five-year plan and is now part of the second year of live projects. MAP in 2017 continues as a showcase for professionally curated high-quality architectural student work.

Channa Vithana – Senior Lecturer and MAP 2017 Curator, AUB Architecture.