competitions and collaborations

Lately, I’ve started to appreciate how dependent I am on a side quest to help boost creative energy. They come in many different forms but the key criteria for any side quest is that it should be tangential, of uncertain outcome and ideally include a companion to help you chart a new part of the …

Retreat! Re-peat!

Wetlands, grottoes, rural remediation, extremophiles, methanogenesis, will o’the wisp, flora, fauna, funga, fenlands and the sublime. Retreat! Re-peat! The sunken land begins to rise again* The Fens, Norfolk – endless sky and sunken landscape, drained for agriculture and taxes, a common land divided by channels and dykes. A future victim of greater human intervention: climate …

Notes from ‘Structural Fabulation: An essay on fiction of the future’

It would be great to find more examples of keynote speeches given in my profession that even came close to the care, rigour, sense of shared responsibility and warmth for fellow thinkers and practitioners as that found in Bethany Nowviskie’s talk on Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene. I suspect I’ll be digging around at the …

metamatter that matters

This week I was invited by Birmingham City Council to talk at their Sustainability Forum meeting about our experience of environmental design challenges and the 2016 zero carbon goal. Sadly, the idea that the sector might be in a position to deliver zero carbon buildings consistently 3 years from now is laughable, but the drive …

fabric first

Perhaps it’s because I’ve just finished listening to McCloud’s (Sennett referencing) lecture on the importance of craftsmanship, or the exhaustively comprehensive work of Joseph Little I’ve just been reading on condensation in walls, or even just the day to day experience that gives one cause for concern over trade skills; but either way it’s hard …

The Passivhaus Style

As you may have noticed from all the (t)wittering a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be offered a place on a field trip to Germany to study Passivhaus construction principles. As my practice continues to try and raise the energy efficiency bar in the social housing sector and travel along the seemingly …

Ecobuild 2009

Should you find yourself at Ecobuild tomorrow afternoon, be sure to stop by the Thames Lounge and say hello. I’ll be there from 1pm, starting with a talk on passive solar for the ‘Making Sustainable Affordable’ session followed by another on BIM and social media for the ‘Information Modelling for Greener Buildings’ seminar. I’m particularly …

a landscape problem

Happy birthday blog, you just turned 5 years old. Here’s an interesting article on static caravan parks: Trailers have long interested Morrish. He likes the simplicity of long, narrow, free-standing structures. Light and breezes come in from either side. If ceilings are pushed to 10 feet or higher, small rooms can feel much larger. And …