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Emma Hodgkiss


What is your name and which degree are you studying/ did you study?

Emma Hodgkiss, Architecture MArch

What made you decide to study at Northumbria University?

I had previously studied at Northumbria for my Architecture BA, so I decided to return to the university for my studies as I was familiar with what the course offered - great teaching and facilities whilst studying in a vibrant city.

What is your favorite thing about studying your course?

The course adopts a studio system which enables you to tailor your design thesis to your design interests and how you want to build your architectural portfolio. This means that whilst individually you are able to creatively develop your project, you are also supported by other students in the wider studio theme across both year groups.

What are the facilities like for your course?

During my first year on the course the architecture department moved into the new Sutherland Building studios. The studios are a great set of facilities creating a studio environment that emulates professional practice. Individual desks create personal workspaces in conjunction with communal pin ups spaces to produce a studio community that is gains inspiration and motivation from work across all years.

How supportive are the lecturers and tutors?

The support the tutors and lecturers provide is excellent. In the design project module, tutors provide one on one tutorials once a week to discuss the progress of your project and offering advice, precedents and direction. They are invested in their students and projects, contactable when needed, email precedents they come across and continue to provide presentation advice to students nominated for awards.

What piece of advice would you offer to students looking to follow the same route as you?

Your design project should start from a point which interests you creatively, look beyond architecture precedents for inspiration such as current events, artists and writers to root your concept in reasoned reference and lastly manage your workday. Treat it like a nine to five job if needed so that you balance your work and social life for the best of your project and yourself.

Congratulations on winning an award. Can you provide a bit of information about your project and how you won the award?

My design project Wilding the Vergelands: The Great North Stage Posts explores the potential re-use of the abandoned A1 road infrastructure in the year 2080 as part of a landscape scale ecosystem connecting people, places and nature through mobility. Referencing the traditional coaching house of an inn every 7 miles, a new infrastructure of stage posts line and occupy the Great North Road as a network of community nodes constructed from reclaimed materials, to provide amenities to forgotten edgeland communities, to pilgrims undertaking the 410 mile journey and as a measurement of distance and vergeland biodiversity. The project was nominated for the RIBA North East Award 2020 alongside other projects from Northumbria and Newcastle University, and was awarded following each nominated student presenting their project in a 10 minute presentation to a judging panel.


What does wining this award mean to you?


Being nominated for the award was a great experience allowing me to revisit my project and present it to working professionals for their feedback. Finding out I won the award I was extremely happy, as I felt like I gained recognition for the hard work I put in throughout the year giving me confidence moving forward in the next steps in my career as an architect.



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