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  • Writer's pictureAS:CSM

Online Tea Time

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Over the course of lockdown, the CSM Architectural Society hosted a biweekly tea-time zoom session.

The lock-down period quickly became a turbulent time for Central Saint Martins Architecture students, along with the rest of the world. Typically, there is a huge energy within the spatial practises’ studios every day of the week. Students and tutors migrate to these studio spaces during all hours of the day. This creates and sustains a creative momentum. Students are constantly being exposed to the work of their peers, creating an environment of creative inspiration. Students and tutors are constantly bouncing ideas and thoughts off of each other, giving crucial external viewpoints and opposing ideas to form a working synergy between peers and tutors.

However, during the lockdown as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, this changed entirely. Students were geographically, creatively and emotionally removed from their peers and it quickly appeared as though this momentum that is carried so naturally in the spatial practises studios in Central Saint Martins began to deteriorate. It’s an almost indescribable change to go from the studio environment to working from their bedrooms at home, as most students did. Many students were living in different time-zones and didn’t share the same waking hours as their peers and tutors making contact difficult. There was no longer an opportunity for passing chats in the studios and hallways of CSM. Whilst the tutors tried their absolute best to maintain contact between students, it wasn’t quite the same.

AS:CSM reacted to this change by setting up a welcoming virtual tea-time session, held biweekly. Huge efforts were given to host these sessions at varying times of day, to suit the time zones of all students who wished to participate. This gave the students an opportunity to again talk amongst their peers, as if they were in the studio. Students were able to voice their concerns about problems they’d been having and this was feedback to the tutors. It gave students the opportunity to discuss what has been going on with their work in a more informal setting; a space for all thing’s architecture. Hearing the voices and seeing the faces of their peers appeared to become so valuable to many students who had begun to feel distant or disassociated to school, architecture and their work over lockdown. The Architecture Society had missed seeing the smiles of their peers, a priceless respite during such unprecedented times.


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