This series of conversations, organised and chaired by AA tutor Juliet Haysom, explores the relationship between designing and making, and between designers and makers. The politics, poetics and practicalities involved in this exchange are regularly overlooked, with representation and documentation of completed projects tending to emphasise the role of the designer as sole author. Although a process of design delegation is intrinsic to construction at an architectural scale, the skills and expertise of a projects’ makers are often integral to the development of the design itself. In a year defined by the challenges of working remotely, it seems particularly important to maintain a conversation about working relationships, and to examine the means by which practical experience is exchanged, instructions communicated, and designs developed as shared endeavours.
In the third and final talk, Fenella Collingridge and Daren Bye will review the construction of Walmer Yard. Completed in 2016, this group of four houses is built around a shared courtyard within in Notting Hill. Rich in both material and spatial variety, Walmer Yard presented unique technical challenges to both designer and maker in the production of bespoke components and details. Focusing on the cast-in-situ concrete elements, Fenella and Daren will discuss their collaborative working method and the media used to resolve Walmer Yard’s detailed designs.
Fenella Collingridge was associate designer of Walmer Yard. For many years she taught architecture at the Royal College of Art. She teaches at the Architectural Association and has run research projects into the relationship between colour, volume, tone and texture in architecture. She exhibited ‘Proposal B’ with Peter Salter at the Venice Biennale in 2018.
Daren Bye is a master builder. He has worked on regeneration projects, high end refurbishments and bespoke new build developments. His attention to detail and quality has led to collaborations with some impressive artists, architects and designers on projects such as Walmer Yard, Camberwell Church and Proposal B; an installation designed and constructed for the Venice Biennale.