Ar­chi­tec­ture School

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Thurs­day, 8.30pm, Stu­dio If noth­ing else, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of pro­grams about build­ing dream homes on pay-TV has surely in­creased in­ter­est in the field of ar­chi­tec­ture. Watch­ing those ar­chi­tect de­signed homes come to life in 3-D on end­less re-runs of Grand De­signs fre­quently awak­ens re­spect in the viewer for what ar­chi­tects ac­tu­ally do. Yet, strangely, you see very lit­tle of the ar­chi­tects and much more of the builders, homeowners and pre­sen­ters. But in this six-part se­ries from cre­ators Michael Selditch and Stan Bertheaud, ar­chi­tec­ture is very much the fo­cus. The se­ries fol­lows stu­dents at the school of ar­chi­tec­ture at Tu­lane Univer­sity in New Or­leans. Each stu­dent has to sub­mit a com­pet­ing de­sign for an af­ford­able home in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina, in the course of the 2007-08 school year. By­ron Mou­ton, di­rec­tor of the school’s ur­ban build project, says the univer­sity re­alises that it is really im­por­tant to give ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to build a house. You would think that would go with­out say­ing, but he means to ac­tu­ally get them in there and do the whole Grand De­signs thing from foun­da­tions to com­ple­tion. The young ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents are thought­ful, frank and en­gag­ing, and while it is com­pet­i­tive, there is none of the junk re­al­ity stuff with ten­sion strings and te­diously pompous elim­i­na­tions. This is very stylish, very watch­able TV.

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