Making and Practice
Making and Practice is one of five new research groups established by the School of Architecture and Cities in 2021. It brings together design practitioners who teach and research through practice with academics who explore and use creative practices in their research, covering the full range of Christopher Frayling’s Research For, Research Into and Research Through design, with all their permutations.
The group brings together leading and award-winning design practitioners who demonstrably innovate in their field, with leading academics and teachers who study and use design methods and processes within their research, including the school’s exceptional expertise in representation, fabrication, live projects, experimental projects and environmental design. It incorporates those who focus on testing and evaluating design performance for human and non-human comfort and their impact on the built and natural environment. Reflection on this collective practice is intended to inform the future intellectual and practice agenda of the Making and Practice Research Group.
The group is closely linked into teaching and practice across all areas of the school from design studio to technology and cultural studies. It builds on the and incorporates the work of the group Experimental Practice, which instigated the AHRC-funded ‘Outstanding’ Archigram Archival Project and the seminal Supercrit series. It supported the production of the 2020 REF Folios, and it also currently offers access to the PhD by Practice using the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s model. In this model, eminent design practitioners discover, test, develop, challenge and disseminate the findings of their own practice experience, including through the programme’s international Practice Research Symposium community.
Cities are becoming increasingly affected by climate change while also being one of its major contributors. Since more sustainable and resilient design approach represents a key challenge for the near future, the Next-Generation built environment will most likely focus on regenerative design, adaptation rather than mitigation, and the ability to deal with uncertainty in both acute and chronic ecosystems and communities’ status. How to drive this transition? Which the key priorities and which the barriers?
The book puts forward the notion of body agents: non-ideal, animate, and highly specific figures integrated with design to enact particular notions of embodied subjectivity. Body agents present opportunities for architects to increase imaginative and empathic qualities in their designs, particularly amidst a posthuman condition. Structured around speculative historical fiction from the viewpoint of body agents, the book presents a fragmented history of the figure in architecture that informed the process of creating the multi-media design experiments, moving from the design of the body itself as an original prosthetic to architectural proposals emanating from the body.
Pete Silver, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Cities has been awarded a patent from the UK’s Intellectual property Office for his design for a helical structural framework. Hopefully, we shall be able to prototype and construct this at a large scale on campus.
Professor Sean Griffiths will present a paper, ‘Act without Agency,Production without Purpose, Competence without Comprehension’ at this year’s Royal Academy Architecture Symposium on Tuesday 7th of June 2022.
Based on almost 10 years of applied research by Paolo Cascone between Europe and Africa, his work investigates the potential role of indigenous and spontaneous architecture in the contemporary debate on sustainability in architectural design: How to respond to climatic changes reconciling nature with tekné? What is the social role of technology? How architects reconsider their practices in supporting community-oriented projects?
These questions are discussed through a number of paradigmatic projects in order to shape an interdisciplinary approach that bridges different knowledge.
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This is the first in a series of Incomplete Works documenting the practice of Doctor Watson Architects. These architects have recoiled from the methods of architectural design to invent a new form of material practice known generically as Air Grid.
The University of Westminster and Lund Humphries are delighted to celebrate the launch of Revolution? Architecture and the Anthropocene, a new book by Susannah Hagan hat asks why architecture has lagged behind the environmental curve for the last fifty years. Susannah Hagan will be in conversation with Harry Charrington, University of Westminster; Brian Ford, University of Nottingham; Ricardo de Ostos, NaJa & deOstos and the AA School of Architecture, Marie Braithwaite and Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster.