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So the first week with the Princes Foundation is over and its been tiring, interesting, educational, inspiring, early starts, late finishes, new experiences and many other verbs that I just couldn’t list right now. We started off on the first day with a couple of introductions to people and topics, with the general agenda for the next few weeks. Then it was straight into it with presentations of the attendees portfolios, with such a mix of people there it was great to see the different projects and roles people have along with the reasons for coming to the Summer School.

Charcoal life drawing

Then into some Geometry with Joe Allen, something that I haven’t really used since school (apart from some 3-4-5 work when laying out a shed) and fair play it was interesting to see the links associated with structures and how they relate to the natural world. Henry Gibbons Guy was up next throwing us into some practical work with life drawing, something that I have never tried before but really enjoyed. It was great to learn some drawing/sketching techniques and quite relaxing, hopefully it’ll be something I can pick up now and again and carry on.

Day two followed on with some geometry and drawing and ended with an introduction to simple structures with Jonathan Horning. Making up some simple shapes that were associated with the geometry we had already covered really put into effect how special simple things can be. It was interesting to see to what degree each shape was stable and transferring that to day 3 we built two domes from wood string and wire, everyone working together.

Summer School 2013

The third day also gave us an introduction to perspective drawing with Micheal Romero and Lucien Steil, it was a challenge initially to transfer the skills from life drawing being quite loose to the structure of perspective. But I think that everyone by the final days had transformed their own perspective and really took on the challenge, Lucien’s passion was always coming through and it was impossible not to be inspired and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Our fourth day kicked off with the final instalment of life drawing, straight away it was obvious how much more relaxed everyone was and just letting things flow more naturally. We moved onto see the Princes House, a natural house with the mass market in mind, which was very impressive. Traditional looking but filled with clever tech and design implemented in an unobtrusive way, just making lifestyle more natural and not as much of a change from how we live at the moment.

BRE Princes Natural House

After the natural house we meet George Saumarez Smith, who introduced us to classical architecture. It was fascinating to see that some the architectural students of the group hadn’t experienced these ‘orders’ before and got a lot out of George, whose passion again is obvious from the moment he started talking.

London house of interest

The final day in London gave us the opportunity to work along Micheal, George and Lucien again on the classical architecture and some drawing around Spitalfields and Wesleys Church. Putting everything we had learned into effect from the life drawing with pencil and charcoal to perspective drawing and pen, giving everyones work a new lease of life. In the afternoon we displayed all our drawings from the week and what i really liked was that peoples emotion, technical skills and passion was evident over the week.

Princes Foundation Summer School 2013 Photo

Photo by Richard Ivey

So onwards to Edinburgh and then to Dumfries for some practical work which I think everyone is looking forward to, if this week is anything to go by its is going to be special!

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