Marianne Christiansen and Dinah Bornat

Marianne Christiansen and Dinah Bornat

Practice: Degree Unit e: University of East London
Established: 2009
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
www.uel.ac.uk/ava/
d.bornat@uel.ac.uk

Degree Unit e is taught by Marianne Christiansen and Dinah Bornat.
Marianne Christiansen has a number of years experience teaching on the degree programme at UEL.
Dinah Bornat is a sole practitioner and previously a director at Edward Cullinan Architects.
Our interests lie in a context-appropriate architecture, with a certain sensitivity for material understanding and a social and environmental emphasis. We both balance a passion for architecture with bringing up young families.

Degree Unit e: University of East London

Dungeness
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Dungeness

This year we focused on a site in Dungeness. The students studied the vernacular building techniques of the houses and applied new principles to a chosen brief: Film School, Train Station or Temporary Housing. Architectural propositions arose from typological, material, social and environmental considerations. In particular, we examined the impact on Dungeness of decommissioning the nuclear power station and made building proposals that reflected and reacted to the long-term change now underway.

Dungeness
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How does diversity of people reveal itself at work? The architecture department at the University of East London has 56 per cent of students from minority ethnic groups. This contrasts with only 18 per cent in the Higher Education sector across the country. The ethnic profile of students at UEL reflects that of the local area, which is the most diverse in the UK.
Do you think our profession is diverse enough? The architecture profession remains unbalanced and does not reflect the population that it serves. We are in a position to directly influence this problem and grow new talent from a broader background.
What do you find most rewarding in your area of work? Being able to talk and teach architecture to young people is the reason we love our job. That those students come from less comfortably off backgrounds than we are used to in our profession means our work is infinitely more rewarding and pleasurable. The determination, drive and passion of some our students is astonishing and bearing witness to their developing interests is a gift we thoroughly enjoy.