AA Wood Lab 2019-
After securing research funding I will be directing the recently established AA Wood Lab. Built project and research driven, the Wood Lab will advance the role of our woodland Hooke Park campus in the education of architects in the sustainable use of forest produce.
Given imminent environmental concerns, trees are the source of an essential building material for the future. Working with leading thinkers and practitioners, through close collaboration between professions, the Lab will develop the potential of trees through a research programme beyond conventional architectural thinking. Integrating the latest science, design and fabrication technologies alongside traditional material knowledge, the Lab’s problem-solving approach will derive building strategies directly from wood’s inherent properties.
In YR1 we will undertake a thorough retrospective analysis of exemplary projects from Hooke Park’s 30-year history of experimental wood building. Project have included our own students and tutors, as well as renowned figures such as Frei Otto, Richard Burton and Ted Happold. By looking first backwards, the Wood Lab will project forward, laying the groundwork for projects to come. This will lead to the preparation of a major print publication and launch of an online platform to promote wood research across the AA.
The Wood Lab has been made possible thanks to the generous support of John Makepeace – who as director of the Parnham Trust (1982–2001) founded Hooke Park. The lab is a part of AA Residence – a cultural platform to research and develop new ideas and forms of practice at the intersection of architecture, art, technology, policy and design.
Research at the AA
With: Wood Lab Fellows, John Makepeace (Founding Donor)