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Processcraft: the magic of the real

Part 2 Project 2014
Daniel Tyler
Angus Ritchie
University of Strathclyde, UK
We were nearing the end of a long academic process and had grown weary of drawn projects that inevitably focus on the theory of design, rather than the act of building. So we set out to realise a built scheme to better understand the complexity that construction brings, and better prepare us for practice.

Last September Scottish universities were offered a £5000 grant to embed the Scottish Scenic Routes Initiative into their academic programmes and through this the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park became our client. The project started as a first year module where we participated in reviews and a number of projects were selected as possible concepts to be realised and referenced. One student had proposed a large, complex, mirrored design that had the potential to be developed.

We initially worked with the first year designer to distil key aspects of his design into a realisable form. We articulated a geometry from standard sheet material dimensions to keep the project within our budget. A 2440mm cube was the kernel of the form with voids introduced to frame space or guide views.

We developed a series of technical studies that prototyped aspects of the construction. This formed an iterative process of discussion with material suppliers, giving us a better understanding of the materials we were working with and how best to use them. To bolster our budget, we collaborated with local companies; the digital fabrication firm MAKLab offered us workshop space in its fabrication studio while Russwood provided us with hardwood for cladding the seats.

Having established our list of suppliers, addressed all of the client issues, completed our production drawings and defined our construction programme, we began building our structure in MAKLab’s fabrication studio. Over the course of three weeks, The Lookout was completed and transported to a site in Balquhidder Glen with views across Loch Voil and Loch Doine.
The project illustrates our belief that building at a small scale and engaging with a client better prepares architecture students for practice and shows what benefits client bodies can gain when engaging with academia.

Daniel Tyler
Angus Ritchie


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