DS16 continues as Anthony Boulanger, Stuart Piercy and Guan Lee.
Stuart brings to the unit years of ambitious teaching from the Bartlett, while running award-winning practice Piercy and Company. GuanLee, director of Grymsdyke Farm and currently finishing his PhD at the Bartlett, brings with him his design based research in materials and fabrication, with the farm forming an informal testing groundf or students. We have teamed up to continue the ethos of DS16, with an added focus of interrogating concepts and structures.
This year the theme of the studio is entitled Field-work Our brief is to challenge students to think about the relationship between rural and urban environments, and question how the countryside might play an inventive and positive role in contemporary urban life. The theme forms the starting point to enable students to explore a DS.16 pre-occupation with craft and creation of elegant and refined
architecture. During the first term groups of students conceived and built installations at Grymsdyke Farm in Buckinghamshire. Each installation piece was derived from a different concept of rural life and culture. Themes such as “migration”, “seasons”, “boundaries” and “livelihood” were scrutinized to invent site specific objects and devices. The projects were developed and made during intense design sessions on the farm and fabricated with support of the farm’s workshop. The objective was to inform concepts by materials, techniques and the site. For the remainder of the year students where asked to research and develop individual architectural propositions that examined and questioned the reciprocal relationship of London with its rural surroundings. They were invited to invent their personal take on a theme from the first term and support that with a brief,programme and site location. There was a continued emphasis on the process of testing ideas through making, now with a need to address social and environmental sustainability. Projects vary in approach, scale and setting; some being based on the intensity of centralLondon and others addressing more peripheral/suburban conditions of the green-belt.
INNOVATION AS SPECTACLE: DESIGN SCHOOL AND EXHIBITION HALL
The project focuses on the park within the city. Crystal palace’s legacy of spectacle and celebration of innovation is reimagined within a new building, combining a design school with a series of radial exhibition spaces. e UK’s innate creativity, inventiveness and competitive spirit brought together, and celebrated in a centre of excellence for design engineering. Situated below the Italian terraces of the original crystal palace, the building carves into
the steeply sloping site with its radial hyperboloid shell forms. ese intersecting shells provide discreet conditions in each of the exhibition spaces and also a circulatory ‘underbelly’ connecting between them. e family of forms generated from this simple ruled surface are tailored to suit the varying sculptural and lighting qualities of the space, from elliptical amphitheatres to controlled dark room spaces. e design school and inventor workshops/ incubator units attach to this composition of spaces in a series of buried legs that sequentially rise from the drop in site level
THE JEWELLERS ARCADE
Beginning with a study into the occupation of land by travellers in the green belt around London, this project brings the act of “land grab” into the heart of the city. In a response to the threat of eviction, the jewellers of the Burlington Arcade extend and augment both their shops and the Arcade itself until it can support and sustain its shopkeepers. e roofscape above is transformed into accommodation, forges and jeweller’s workshops. In addition, the airspace above the passageway running beside the Royal Academy becomes the arcade’s back-of-house, housing the plant for the recycling of precious metals from London’s discarded electronic waste.
katie jackson, chris allen + lee whiteman Commuting for Non-commuters You begin walking to the local bus stop, but are confused to find opposite a second bus stop, it looks similar to the existing jubilee bus stop, what you donʼt know is there is something magically different. You see a simple bench, on the back wall of the shelter a rectangular bus map is displayed. Wait. You step closer. This isnʼt a bus route for the local village, but a mapping of another journey. Walking behind the bench to take a closure look at the map, you find yourself sitting down facing inwards. A curtain shuts behind and you are enclosed in darkness. A light pings on, and the bus route map begins to slowly rise up and reveal a small window. Behind lies a alternative world- your very own commuting experience.