RPM [reflective portfolio module / revolutions per minute] is a year long module established for participants in the Master of Architecture [Part II] at UCD Architecture in 2015 / 16. This, therefore, is its second rotation. The module is intended as a bridging module, occuring at a time when participants are neither fully tethered to the academy nor fully prepared for action beyond their studios. Accordingly, to pass simply requires participation, for the students to show up, as the commitment of final year students to their studies is proven and prerecognised. RPM intends to fill some gaps and provide further foundations for future practice.
WAYS + MEANS, a talk series initiated in 2017, exposes participants to a variety of forms of practice or potential future paths. RPM PAPER offers time to gather and reflect on individual education and written, constructed or project-based work undertaken across the four semesters of the MArch. This work — some of it carried out by students while in UCD or while on European or international transfer programs for a semester — very often gets lost once its formal pedagogic purpose is served. Working with graphic designer Mark Shiels participants are guided in methods of collating, editing, communicating and situating their work within wider discourse and presenting it in a formally designed and edited document. Such skills – those of productive reflection – are required in contemporary architectural practice, whatever form that takes.
RPM SHOW, introduced in 2017, is an attempt to discuss exhibition design and presentation of architectural work in a formal way and also to make a graduate show for the class of 2017. Each participant selected a piece of work from any time in their MArch studies in conversation with a colleague and completed that work for the exhibition. A discussion on that work and the individual’s time as a student can be found in the RPM PAPER.
The individuals of the class of 2017, ostensibly the “students”, have, by participating and through their work become teachers, offering precise, honest, intelligent and humbling insight into the process and practices of architectural pedagogy that will be influential in future activities of the MArch program. Offering back such insight is a fitting conclusion to their essential, profound but often unacknowledged contribution to sustaining the life and culture of UCD Architecture.