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Students visit Ruskin Land ‘Studio in the Woods’ and feature on BBC Countryfile

16 November 2018

A forest

Students from the Welsh School of Architecture have been working on a new innovative project celebrating John Ruskin’s legacy in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire.

Ruskin Land is an area cared for by the Guild of St George and managed by the Wyre Community Land Trust. The mission of Ruskin’s Guild was ‘to take some small piece of English Land, beautiful, peaceful and fruitful’ to provide opportunities for working people to cultivate land and reconnect with nature. The Ruskin in Wyre project aims to reinterpret Ruskin’s ideas in meaningful, creative and productive ways for a new generation.

Traditionally oak has been imported to the UK for building however postgraduate students from the School have worked closely with mentors in Ruskin Land to explore ways in which this could be changed. The students have been using hand tools on soft, durable English green oak to investigate how the material could be used in modern architecture.

The students have been using their time at Ruskin Land to design and build a new information centre from the natural resource of English oak around them. It is hoped that projects like this will inform students’ careers later on and make them more likely to work with, and promote the use of, English oak.

The Welsh School of Architecture prides itself on the quality of student experience and offering students the chance to get involved with projects like Ruskin in Wyre.

One student commented:

“This workshop for me is all about understanding the material and how to apply it in our architecture. It is really great to work in a natural habitat…it’s got a narrative that’s really nice.”

The Ruskin project was featured on a recent BBC Countryfile programme where students were interviewed by John Craven about their involvement with the project. The whole programme can be watched on BBC iplayer.

For more information about the Ruskin in Wyre project visit the website.

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