Studio Start Up

StartUp Our studio is focusing on the correlation between three related areas of life: work, live and community/culture. We investigate public spaces and how they function within the context of a work – live model, whilst also exploring gradients of privacy and community. We aim to help strengthen local identities and are interested in exploring the possibility of blurring the lines between the physical and the digital. Our site will be in Walthamstow, the first London Borough of Culture in 2019. During term I, the students will analyse the market there, which is the longest in Europe and look at related local trades. We will visit the museum of the iconic William Morris and learn from his groundbreaking approach to design, production and business. The students will have the opportunity to develop their own public facing start-up as part of the site investigations, such as tile or textile manufacturing, artisan food production or a social/cultural enterprise, within the context of our digital age. This will be developed into a coherent spatial strategy and prototypes can be developed for a structure at the rear podium, taking advantage of another year of funding from the Quentin Hogg Trust Fund. In Term II we will widen the scope and integrate accommodation for a larger start up community and will develop a 1:1 as part of the exhibition. There will be group workshops, presentations, regular individual and group tutorials, visits to architectural sites and a step by step programme, guiding the students throughout the year. Self-initiated and reflective learning and a continuous testing of ideas, backed up by research of precedents will be crucial. The students will learn digital tools such as Rhino and Grasshopper and these will be used to enhance your conceptual and architectural proposals. We believe that working methods strongly influence outcomes, so we encourage a cross-media approach, high and low tech, which helps to develop your individual approach and intellectual investigations. We aspire to an architecture that conveys an intense spatial quality, which is contextual and transparent and where facets of light, views, materiality and access to green spaces are implicitly considered; an architecture, which dares to question our times and has a strong conceptual approach.

Due to the challenging housing market, people are becoming increasingly open to different ways of living. High-density accommodation with few amenities in urban centres leaves little space to develop a sense of community.

We will develop a mixed-use living model, exploring gradients of privacy and thresholds to public space building upon your initial project. Analysing your StartUp idea you will attempt to take its conceptual idea and essence and develop this further. In addition you will take part of its original programme into term II as the community/ public aspect of your project.

For the ‘living’ element we will initially focus on the most private aspect of the brief, the bedroom: In his short text ‘Louis-Philippe, or the Interior’, Walter Benjamin wrote of the splitting of work and home in the nineteenth century…The private person who squares his accounts with reality in his office demands that the interior be maintained in his illusions…From this spring the phantasmagorias of the interior. For the private individual the private environment represents the universe. In it he gathers remote places and the past. His drawing room is a box in the world theater.’

 Fast forward to our digital times and ‘a whole new horizontal architecture has taken over. The bed is now a place of work as well as sleep. Industrialisation brought with it the eight-hour shift and the radical separation between home and office/factory, rest and work, night and day. Post-industrialisation collapses work back into the home and takes it further into the bedroom and into the bed itself. Communism had its own ideas of bringing the bed to the workplace. In 1929…the Soviet government organized a competition for a new city of rest. Konstantin Melnikov presented the ‘Sonata of Sleep’, a new building type for collective sleep attendants would regulate temperature, humidity, smell, and even sounds to maximize sleep….’

What is the nature of this new interior in which we have decided collectively to check ourselves in? The bed as one of the most critical sites of social, cultural, artistic, psychological, medical, sexual and economic transaction can no longer be left behind’, as per the architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina from ‘Century of the Bed’.

‘The glowing screens that is increasingly penetrating bedrooms… is a civilised and culturalised transitional space, shifting form the light of day to the dark of night and also from public to private and back again. It is here, in this shift between awakeness and sleep as states of consciousness and also in the perceptual turnabout form outside to inside and then again form inside to outside, that regressive and progressive movements wander through those mediatic worlds that make up our (human) universe… with thought beginning to think itself and feeling to feel itself…it is here that a virtual reality unfolds, with these ideas escalating to become visions and hallucinations.’ From Good

Room-Bad Room by August Ruhs, The Century of the Bed.

You will research your own individual approach into this ‘private universe’ and develop concepts including thresholds from the outer world to your inner worlds. We will try and understand how the day and night rhythm influences us psychologically and analyse individual findings based on both quantitative and qualitative research of sleep patterns and experiences. You will develop individual prototypes of possible ideas for related spatial experiences, which we will try and translate into a pavilion structure.

We will question how our life styles are evolving and the traditional organisation between private and public, considering co-living by investigating the potential of sharing facilities whilst offering additional amenities.