WHAT WE DO HERE – Premiere and residency at TIME SPACE EXISTENCE during Venice Biennale 2018

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On Friday, 29 June the Venice Biennale saw the premiere screening of WHAT WE DO HERE; a documentary film about the role our modelmaking workshop plays in student and staff learning and development. In the basement of Humanities Bridgeford Street you’ll find the B.15 Modelmaking workshop which has served our architecture department since 1970.

The long-established workshop introduces students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level to modelmaking as an important design tool.

Documentary film makers Kieran Hanson and Howard Walmsley set about recording the plethora of daily happenings in the workshop environment back in September last year. The aim was to explore modelmaking pedagogy for the many students and staff at Manchester School of Architecture which frequent the workshop space. MSA is a joint school across our university and Manchester Metropolitan University giving students the benefits of both campuses.

Screening at the prestigious Venice Biennale gave the film the perfect setting. Architecture practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Simon Doody and award-winning furniture maker Hugh Miller presented before the screening which led to a constructive debate on the subject of making in design.

The film is now resident at the Time Space Existence exhibition space at the Palazzo Bembo on the famous Grand Canal. Entry is free, and it’s expected to attract many thousands of visitors across the summer up until the end of November.

The completion and promotion of this film and its associated events would not have been possible without the University’s Investing in Success scheme which backed the project. The workshop team is currently planning a number of local screenings and UK events that will feature the film in the coming year.

A huge thank you to all who have contributed to this project in time, funding and above all morale support over the past academic year that has made it all possible. We’ll be announcing additional screening events in the coming months so keep a look our for those.

If you get a chance to visit Time Space Existence in Venice, tag @b15workshop #whatwedoheremsa on social media and enjoy!

Scott & Jim

Guest Speakers announced for “WHAT WE DO HERE” Film Premiere

Following the Premiere screening of WHAT WE DO HERE taking place in Venice on June 29th we are please to announce 2 guest speakers. The premiere will take place at 15.00 followed by presentations from Simon Doody and Hugh Miller and a discussion on the subject of modelmaking making in design. The discussion will be chaired by Professor Tom Jefferies, Head of Manchester School of Architecture.

Simon Doody – Partner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Simon is a partner at the award winning architectural and urban design practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Simon works across a number of sectors, however his focus has been on the Higher Education sector, which he heads up for the practice.

Simon led the design of the award-winning Business School and Student Union buildings for Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently working on their high profile new Screen School. He is currently in the final stages of an engineering research hub at the University of Toronto and the early stages of a Sustainability Institute for Trinity College Dublin. His design for an exhibition building in Changsha, China was awarded the country’s first ever BREEAM Outstanding certification.

 

Modelmaking has always played an important role in design development at FCBStudios, and the relationship between the studio and workshop environment is considered integral to the design process. The practice has recently invested in new workshops across its UK studios, providing state of the art facilities accessible to all.

Find out more about Feilden Clegg Bradley and their use of modelmaking here: https://fcbstudios.com/

 

 


Hugh Miller – Hugh Miller Furniture

Hugh Miller is a designer and maker specialising in studio furniture in wood. Hugh trained as an architect prior to founding his studio, and sees his work as small pieces of architecture, where the concept is embedded in the articulation of the details.

Hugh is heavily influenced by his time researching craftsmanship in Japan as a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow. This transformative experience led him to develop a set of design principles, inspired by Japanese making philosophy, that now underpin his studio. As well as creating his furniture collection, Hugh also designs for established brands including collaborations with Benchmark Furniture, Savoir Beds, and The IceHotel Sweden.



Hugh has lectured widely on the subject of furniture, it’s connections to architecture, and on Japanese design and applied arts philosophy. Hugh is a design tutor at Newcastle University School of Architecture, and is a visiting lecturer at Osaka Institute of Technology. His most recent talk, titled ‘Furniture is Small Architecture’, was delivered in Osaka in November 2017.
In April 2018, Hugh won a commission from the National Trust to create a piece to be added to the permanent collection at William Morris’s Red House, London. The piece will be handmade in Hugh’s studio in Liverpool, before being transported to London, where it will be (briefly) set on fire in a public ‘Burn Ceremony’.

Find out more about Hugh’s work here: http://www.hughmillerfurniture.co.uk/

‘WHAT WE DO HERE’ documentary film project taster

‘WHAT WE DO HERE’ is a documentary film project that follows the people, practice and process of learning through making at Manchester School of Architecture.

What place is there for physical hand-crafted models in the increasingly digital realm of modern architecture? How does challenging students to look beyond the screen and ‘get their hands dirty’ inform their understanding of and relationship with the structures they are conceiving?

This film aims to explore how these young architects tackle the various stages of model-making as they grapple with materials, moulds and machines and ultimately reveal the ways in which the models, in turn, inform their individual growth and understanding.

The theme of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale; ‘Free Space’ is presented clearly through ‘WHAT WE DO HERE’ giving a unique insight into a space where the next generation of architects are free to experiment, test, fail, learn and grow in their craft and knowledge.

Project Sponsorship

We are currently seeking sponsors to support the project and participate at the Venice Biennale 2018 and welcome any interested parties who might wish to be associated with this truly global architecture exhibition.
Please contact scott.miller@manchester.ac.uk for further information about partnering with us.