A 17 year old Farlington student’s unique design for a 21st century place of worship won her a place to speak at the Association of Art Historians’ annual conference, held on Saturday, December 1 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
In front of an audience of 200 Georgia Hamp, from Farlington’s Upper Sixth, presented the design she created for her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
The EPQ is equivalent to an AS level but is assessed at A-level standard, and is studied alongside a student’s other AS and A-level subjects. Students must complete an independent project – either a 5,000 word dissertation or an artefact such as a musical performance – which demonstrates their ability to plan, research, problem-solve and evaluate.
Georgia studied the EPQ qualification offered by exam board AQA.
Georgia, a keen history of art student who hopes to study architecture at university, decided to use her EPQ as a chance to design a chapel for the 21st century.
Inspired by childhood trips to historical churches, Georgia wanted to examine what a modern religious space might look like, and how its design could create a mood of quiet reflection in the middle of modern society’s many distractions.
Georgia Hamp, EPQ student, said: “Taking the EPQ was the perfect way to explore my split interests in fine art and mathematical problem-solving.
“I realised that architecture was the perfect way to combine both subjects, and the EPQ meant I had the option to take my new-found interest in architecture in any direction I chose.
“I love visiting old village churches but many no longer function as the architect designed, to inspirea community.
“They were built in the spirit of their age and undoubtedly this ‘spirit’ has radically changed.
“To inspire a new generation, I wanted to design a building that will engage people today.
“My design is an undulating, fish-like structure sitting on the edge of a cliff, where sky and sea appear infinite.
“Small skylights let in shafts of sunlight, and I have used a simple cross design to create a vast window looking out onto the ocean.”
Penny Huntsman, Georgia’s History of Art teacher and sixth-form tutor at Farlington School, said: “The EPQ has given Georgia the chance to explore a topic without limits – a rare opportunity for
teachers and universities to see evidence of a student’s blue-sky thinking.
“Georgia researched iconic religious spaces going back hundreds of years in pursuit of their common denominators and every design decision she made is wholly substantiated.
She even experimented with basic CAD programming while on a work experience placement, and subsequently managed to put her ideas into 3-dimensional form - effectively assuming the role of an architect.”
Georgia is taking the EPQ in addition to her A-level subjects: maths, history of art, and art.
She added: “When I began researching my EPQ I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to present my design and its inspiration to a vast audience in such a prestigious venue. It was a terrifying but exhilarating experience which has given me an exciting taste of what is to come when I start my degree in architecture. I am so pleased to have had this unforgettable and immensely valuable opportunity.”
Pictured here is Georgia Hamp at the conference and her design