It’s great to be part of such a lively and passionate group of architecture enthusiasts! We thank our speakers for their time and insightful thoughts. From established, quite traditional practice, to experimental, dynamic small teams, we managed to touch on many different aspect of the profession.
Marion talked about one of her projects that she found particularly challenging in terms of bringing all the interested parties together, Grove House in Oxford (which I’ve actually mentioned in one of my posts here). We also talked about what one might do when, after you’ve tried all you could, you might find yourself in the position to just try and circumvent the issue altogether (scrapping the project? or changing the entire premise?). It’s good to talk about failure, that’s how one learns, just don’t be afraid to go through it altogether. For reference, this is the slide with the timeline of the project, and there were many other conversation before, during, and in between these “checkpoints”:
“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”- Edmund Burke (1729-1797, MP for the Whigs)
Eric talked about his experimental structures and how he gets teams together to deliver temporary inflatable pavilions that need to go up quickly, cheaply, and anywhere in the world. I even recognised my hometown in one of his photos! Eric also talked about how they use digital tools, including software he coded himself, to design these structures to the degree of accuracy needed for such an operation. It takes a lot of careful planning and laborious and extensive digital modelling and testing, but the results are just beautiful. Eric also added to the growing trend of using BIM as an indispensable tool in practice, especially when even 1mm error could make a difference.
Copyright: Architects of Air
Harry told us about his experience designing the multi-award winning Springhill CoHousing in Stroud, the UKs first new build CoHousing project. Cohousing is a housing community where the cars are parked on the periphery, freeing pedestrian space for community members of all ages, where each household has a self-contained house, and people have the opportunity to eat together and meet regularly in a large communal house. The original members had a say in the design of the community and decision making was by consensus, where possible. When clients participate actively in the design process, beyond specifying the brief, the story becomes about making architecture accessible and the process transparent. Although it might sound like something that’s part of the day to day practice of architecture, it is, in fact, quite rare that architects try to actively engage in bringing the client’s input into all design stages.
Zahra Moon was a star and took some photos for us:
I’m very much looking forward to next year’s edition!