The work I have been able to create has stemmed from the encouragement and conversations I have had with both tutors and peers

Max Bridge
Max Bridge
Postgraduate student
MArch Architecture Part 2
Max studied his Part 1 BA Architecture here at Sheffield, and chose to return for his Part 2 course because of the encouraging tutors and peers, as well as the city of Sheffield's green spaces.

Tell us a little about yourself from before your University days

Enjoying creative-based subjects at high school, such as art, photography, and product design - coupled with a keen interest in politics and history, meant that in some ways, architecture offered me the opportunity to explore and use elements of these subjects all at once within a creative setting. Since a young age, I've always been interested in how things work and the processes behind how something is made - even the stories and histories a place contains. Architecture allowed me to pursue these interests and become something that I use daily.

I come from a small town in North Yorkshire called Harrogate which is famous for the spa water you tend to find on sale in most places, along with being the home of the famous Taylors Yorkshire Tea. Back home, I was also part of the school's technical drama society, where I used to help put on various shows throughout the year and assist with the lighting, prop making and prep work behind local productions. I still do competitions relating to lighting and technical drama with friends I made during this time too. 

You also studied your BA at the Sheffield School of Architecture. What made you come back?

I predominantly chose Sheffield because of its socially sensitive stance on architecture. I studied at Sheffield for my undergraduate as well as my masters and decided to return because of the excellent teaching I received as well as the working ethos that the school has. The work I have been able to create has stemmed from the encouragement and conversations I have had with both tutors and peers that have taken place in an incredibly nurturing and open environment. The city of Sheffield as well has played a huge part. Because the city is so walkable, it has meant I have been able to discover plenty of green spaces, places to eat, and entertainment venues and also get to events, gigs and much more relatively easily. The travel links in Sheffield have also meant I have been able to go to the peak district every month alongside visiting other places such as York, Leeds, Manchester and London super easily.

What is working on a Live Project like? 

Working on Live Projects was a great experience both times I took part in it. Communicating face to face and working with a real-life client meant the whole design process gave a greater sense of fulfilment and gave the feeling that a real difference was being made as a Live Project team. We also felt like the project we created was greatly valued and spread the idea of an accessible collaborative architecture. Getting to know students from other courses and countries was also fantastic in terms of sharing cultures and ideas that differed greatly. These friendships made during the 6-week course of the Live Project module cycle can last throughout the year or the entire masters course.

What module have you enjoyed most so far?

The design studio this year has been a fantastic experience. The themes and theoretical background of the studio are ones I haven't experienced before, so it has become a rich and open learning environment. A highlight of the studio has been the field trip that was spread across Europe. We were able to visit Paris, Amsterdam, and Prague. We got to talk to a whole host of different people and saw some fantastic pieces of architecture, urban design and art, as well as being immersed in different cultures. Getting to know craftspeople and businesses that create beautiful pieces of design has also been a very exciting experience, which has happened throughout the year. 

What do you enjoy about the course?

The best thing about the course is the open and collaborative working environments that grow within and between studios. A lot of work is done collaboratively and the sharing of resources and knowledge is encouraged. The range of working styles is also evident across studios and I feel students are encouraged to pursue and grow their style or approach to architecture without having to fulfil any set design agenda in terms of style or media. 

What do you do outside of study? 

Outside of the course, I enjoy visiting some of the villages and towns situated within the peaks and exploring parts of the national park with friends. I also enjoy doing pottery and working with clay at the Kelham Island Arts Collective just down from the Arts Tower in Kelham Island. 

What do you like about the wider University and about Sheffield as city?

The city of Sheffield has become my second home and offers so many opportunities to get involved with things or try something new. The university itself has a fantastic student's union which offers a whole range of different events and hosts some of the best club nights in Sheffield. Further into the city, Division Street and Ecclesall Road have a fantastic buzz about them with so many different shops and places to eat on offer. Some of my top places to eat in Sheffield are the Greedy Greek and Porter Pizza company just off Sharrow Road, along with Nam Song Vietnamese Cafe in Broomhill if you're looking for an alternative experience. 

Can you share an example of your work?

An image of an architectural model, showing the frontage for a large multi storey building

This is a model of my final year work that looks at designing a public house on Fargate high street within the Sheffield City Centre. The size of the model was just under a metre tall and was one of the biggest models I've made during my architectural education. The model has a series of interlocking entrances that can be swapped in and out while the bulk of the model is left standing. This proved an interesting challenge to design for and was a challenge both myself and the workshop technicians worked on to ensure the model pieces worked flawlessly. A considerable amount of time was taken to design and include a lot of the existing details of the Victorian building alongside including layers of acetate within the model build-up so that the openings have the effect of having glass fixed within them. 

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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