Global Practice Unit - Architecture MArch

The Global Free Unit (GFU) is open to both BA and MArch architecture students. The focus this year is on designing a building for the Kent Refugee Action Network in Folkestone as well as having the opportunity to participate in our live project classrooms globally.

The Global Free Unit (GFU) helps students to generate and realise projects within a structured and supportive environment. Students are able to connect their actions to their own history, experience and ethical position rather than the more codified values of education, practice or a single unit. Many students see their time in the GFU as the first stage of their future practice rather than the last stage of their education and many practices have emerged from it. Self- initiated projects have included projects sited in the country where students originate from, ongoing design research projects or live projects with friends, clients or community groups.

In addition to independent projects over the past three years these principles of freedom have gone global as part of a new international network of academic partners and live project “classrooms”. This Global Free Unit Programme includes academic, NGO and community partners in the UK, South Africa, Sweden, Ireland, Russia and Korea.

In 2018/19, the GFU completed projects in Lesvos, Izmir, Russia, Bosnia, Seoul and in Wetherby young offender’s institution in Yorkshire. These live project “classrooms” share a particular emphasis on issues of migration, social justice and cohesion, scarcity and identity, building on recent work within the current refugee crises

This coming year we have a project close to Brighton based in Folkestone where we will be working with the Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) to help them define their needs and to design a new building. This project is within the wider context of an international research project that looks at the way displaced people are welcomed into and supported in urban environments. Over the next three year the building you design will be built.

Students in the free Unit are closely supported with us acting as partners in the project. In addition, Students are invited to identify project friends who support them. The unit has developed structures to support projects these include a contract generated by students describing their aims, a gift project and a series of drawing and making workshops. Being in the Free unit is being part of a community of practice where students share and cooperate as equals. Students will work with staff and students from across the GFU network and have access to a global network of project “friends” drawn from leading academics, engineers, politicians, architects and cultural practitioners

The Global Free Unit is currently exhibiting at the Oslo Architecture Triennial and students joining the GFU will exhibit at the Venice Architecture Biennale in May 2020 where Robert Mull is co-curator of the Korean Pavilion. Students joining the unit will also have the opportunity to attend other Global Free Unit classrooms during the year and during next summer.

Studio tutors

2017 - 2018 Professor Robert Mull Jayden Ali
2016 - 2017 Professor Robert Mull
2018 -2019 Professor Robert Mull
2019 - 2020 Professor Robert Mull Xenia Adjoubei

Studio posts

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Inciting social change.

Abdulmumuni Mahmuds project for this years Global Free Unit is inspired by creative young adults. He has been looking at how new ideas and ...

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Drawing Week.

Drawing week in the M'Arch Global Practice Unit. Students were asked to draw up their projects from 1/5 detail all the way up to 1/1000. ...