Meet Matthew Turner, second year BSc Architecture student, who tells us about his typical week.  

How would you start your morning when you come to university? 

Getting to campus doesn’t take me long, I sometimes ride my bike when it’s not raining (which lately it has been doing a lot of); otherwise, I drive my electric car. On days when I have lectures, I usually come in super early to grab a coffee from one of the Salfood shops on campus with my coursemates. I tend to meet up with my friends to have a quick discussion about what’s been asked for us to produce that day/week. 

How are your lectures during the week? 

Teaching methods are pretty varied, we have four days of lectures both in person and online which are generally about two or three hours in front of the screen, but it can be interactive and engaging with the students because the lecturers ask lots of questions. This is usually followed by studio time to get work completed. 

Tell us a little bit about your practical sessions! 

Our practical sessions tend to be in the design studios on Tuesdays, and this takes a lot of our time because it’s one of the biggest chunks of the core modules. This is the time to sketch, draw, and make models, and it’s amazing because you can see what you are designing come to life!

It’s not a case of looking at paper and trying to visualise it, when you’re actually making that model, it’s helping you see what it’s going to look like using the little people and 3D printed furniture to help provide scale.

Matthew Turner, BSc Architecture student

What do you enjoy about working on group projects? 

During group projects, we all work together collaboratively to do intense research and then begin designing individual elements that we bring together into one design or presentation. I really like the fact that the briefs are initially quite technical as this pushes our boundaries. We can make visuals through CAD software such as SketchUp, Revit etc and use our individual strengths to pull it together at the end.  

What do you do on your day off? 

On my day off on Monday, I still come into uni because I love making use of the Maker Space and the workshops. Sometimes, I might prebook appointments with the laser cutter technician, and there’s always staff hanging about so I can ask questions when I’m working on my models.  

Even though there’s so much work to do as an architecture student, our technical team are really helpful for doing woodworking. We’ve got the main space now in the SEE building as before it was very much tucked away in the Newton building. Now, more people can walk past the Morson Maker space and go in and use the equipment in there. 

For lunch, I’ll either head to the Salfood shop and grab a sandwich or heat up the food I’ve bought from home and bring it back to the studio and eat wherever I’m studying. 

Where is your favourite place to study on campus? 

Depending on my workload and when I’m on my own, I book meetings rooms in the SEE building to work on assignments and briefs. Often, I’ve got my computer setup and Netflix in the background while I’m sketching and drawing. If I have deadlines, I book a quiet room on the second floor of the library because it tends to be a lot quieter, and I can focus more on my work.  

How do you spend your evenings and when do you socialise? 

Sometimes, if I get a bit of headblock, me and my friend go down to Peel Park and go for a walk which helps if I need some inspiration or ideas. It’s nicer to use the green spaces on campus in the summer, but there’s always lots to do, Manchester City centre just down the road with loads of inspiring buildings. More lately, I’ve been going to the university gym in the evenings. It’s ideal that we have a swimming pool at the gym because I can nip down during the day and then come back to my studies. 

My course mates and I might go into town for a meal in the evenings to socialise. Mainly Mondays and Tuesdays because we can make use of discounts. Towards the end of the week, I’ll probably have a chilled night, maybe switch on Netflix, and cook a meal, or I might head out into Manchester’s night life, such an array of bars, clubs and restaurants and there is always something to do. 

Image of students socialising with drinks on the table

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