AA3DS6 - Complexity


Our Spring and Summer project started at Marlborough Mound, the legendary burial site of Merlin. The town’s motto is: Ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini, “Where now are the bones of wise Merlin”… Morgan le Fay is a more recently prominent figure in the Arthurian legend. We studied the landscape that lies between Reading and Bath, bounded to the north by the M4 and to the south by the Kennet and Avon canalThe town of Marlborough lies roughly halfway and other towns in this area include: Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Melksham, Calne, Devizes, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Hungerford and Newbury. If you were walking to Reading from Bath  you’d pass through the Vale of Pewsey, The Marlborough Downs and the Berkshire Downs. Each student researched an imaginary walk through a 2k wide by 25k long strip of this territory mapping relevant happenings. Together the strips covered the entire territory in detail. We next considered the actions of radical nature lovers who are secretly breeding endangered species and releasing them into the wild and the incredible revival being staged by Badgers, Stoats and Otters, and we considered the barriers of the M4 and canal to the spread of these reintroductions and revivals. A species development strategy, orchard, support for a local community group and animal bridge formed the basis to the brief, some fifty animal bridges, orchards and new community facilities, spaced along the M4, being the consequence of the project.   

Module Convenor: Oliver Froome-Lewis  

Design Studio Team: Oliver Froome-Lewis, John Harding, Mike Kane, Sabrina Morreale,  Michelle Tomlinson.  

Technical Sessions: Structures: Millie Beesley, Peter Corbett, Environment: Sabine Hogenhout. 

Review Guests External: Bob Allies, Eugenie Dürfeld-Giovanelli, Hyunbai Jun, Nazar Ali Khan, Juan Pedro Leiva Lopez, Nacho Marti, Lorenzo Perri, Vseva Kondratiev-Popov, Matt Ruddy, Patrick Ueberbacher, Matthew Utley, Nasios Varnavas, Alvaro Velasco. 

Review Guests Internal: Lorraine Farrelly, Stephen Gage, Negin Ghorbani, Penelope Plaza, Sayan Skandarajah, Carolina Vasilikou, Izabela Wieczorek. 

Kelps are large brown algae seaweeds that make up the order Laminariales. Kelp is not a plant since it is not made of more than one clearly differentiated tissue, it is a Heterokont. Following our autumn project, cargoes, we moved to explore a product new to the UK being produced by the sea itself.

This brief continues the series of third year final projects each
concerned with a specialised ecological system, from the Forest and Forestry (18/19) and a Wildcraft based community (19/20) both at Greenham Common, to Animal Bridges and Sanctuaries along the M4 Corridor (20/21). This brief was developed with Angela Mead at Biome Algae which operates from Par Harbour in Cornwall, the current seaweed farm site is at St Austell. There are six seaweed lines totalling 16km in length, creating about 80 to 100 tonnes of seaweed, harvested for the first time this spring.

This will develop to a 5000+ tonnes project with farming at five sites around the coastline and a central hub. Heterokont has provided a fascinating research opportunity to produce a comprehensive resource covering relations in contemporary art and architecture with nature, the biology of seaweed, the history of seaweeds relations with humankind – societies and myths, different uses for seaweed historically and today, where seaweed fits in the active field of material innovations, seaweed processing precedents – details of processing equipment, packaging, distribution and product placement. Students created a 360 page research ebook. The brief called for a social, contextual and functional design with refined relations with the harbour context and with a wide range of facilities, each with quite different spatial, environmental and constructional opportunities. An integrated project synthesised to explore relationships between social groupings, spaces, equipment, specialised structures, environmental controls and relations with entities beyond the project.

MODULE CONVENOR: Oliver Froome-Lewis

STUDIO TEAM: Oliver Froome-Lewis, Negin Ghorbani, Mike Kane, Sabrina Morreale, Michelle Tomlinson,

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL GUESTS: Adam Dobson, Lorraine Farrelly, John Harding, Paulina Lemos, Penelope Plaza, Sayan Skandarajah, Millie Beesley, Peter Corbett, Lloyd Evans, Sabine Hogenhout, Carolina Vasilikou