Two main interests underpin the work of Tsuruta Architects. One is good product delivery, which means investigating construction methods and delivery processes, as well as the ways that they are put together efficiently and sustainably. The other is story or memory associated with a building/space, regardless of whether these are individual or shared narratives. This relates to a question of whether the physicality of a building, structure or place defines itself or if it’s the story or memory associated with them that defines value and identity. Both are two different subject matters; one is technical (tactile) and the other is narrative (abstract). In order to maintain equilibrium in each project, Tsuruta explores these two, which could be said as opposite matters but are in fact intertwined. In this lecture, Taro Tsuruta will introduce the practice’s work from these two perspectives through everyday experiences as an architect.
Taro Tsuruta was brought up in Osaka, Japan and then studied and trained in both Japan and the UK. Tsuruta has worked at several leading London design practices on large complex projects before setting up his own studio in London. The work of the Practice has been written about in numerous publications and has gained a number of industry awards, recently RIBA National Award 2021, RIBA Small project of the year 2021, Wood Award 2020, and most notably for their project House of Trace which received the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2016 and was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award 2017.
Exhibition curated by Rahesh Ram and Rayan Elnayal
Private View: Wednesday 20th October 6pm
Stephen Lawrence Gallery, 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich, London SE10 9BD
The notion of what it is to be British has arisen yet again in the light of the current debates instigated by Brexit, Black Lives Matter, the toppling of statues that celebrated slave traders and structural racism.
It seems, like more than ever, understanding the multitude of cultural identities that inhabit Britain is needed. This exhibition invites you to explore some of these cultures through the conduit of work undertaken by University of Greenwich alumni who embedded their cultural identities into their graduate projects.
The work selected is specifically by British architecture students with hybrid identities (i.e., with diasporic backgrounds). The exhibition showcases projects that these students used to explore their own culture and identity through an architectural lens. It is both an investigation into the self and also an opportunity for others to learn and understand a British demographic that is sometimes seen as the other.
The contribution of these recently graduated architects is essential to the cultural debate that is currently taking place as they inevitably influence British architecture and culture today.
Rayan Elnayal (British of Sudanese descent); Peter Efe (British of Nigerian descent); Dhruv Gulabchande (British of Indian descent); Sachini Jayasena (British of Sri Lankan descent); Ahad Mahmood (British of Pakistani descent); Parisa Shahnooshi (British of Iranian descent); Niraj Shah (British of Indian descent); George Aboagy Williams (British of Ghanaian descent).
‘Once Upon a China’ is an unconventional architectural story of great beauty, empathy, honour and sadness. The chapters are ingenious re-imaginations of ‘Dream of the Red Mansion’, ‘Journey to the West’, ‘The Water Margin’, and ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, and are conceived as specific themes of Chinese identity: domesticity, consumerism, democracy and adaptability. These four seminal pre-modern fictions contain diverse voices and philosophical perspectives on history as well as satires that have defined past developments of Chinese societies, politics and the built environment. The eccentric characteristics of comic-inspired drawings in this book enrich the processes of conception and conceptualisation of design – their fragmented yet sequential nature proves versatility in the imagination of spatial experiences, enabling the complex stories of place, brief and building to materialise.
CJ Lim is the Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at The Bartlett UCL and founder of Studio 8 Architects. He has held a long preoccupation with architectural storytelling, exploring how narratives from literature, history, politics and humanity can inform the innovation of resilient architecture and cities. His other authored books published by Routledge include Short Stories: London in two-and-a-half dimensions (2011), Food City (2014), Inhabitable Infrastructures: Science fiction or urban future? (2017) and Smartcities, Resilient Landscapes and Eco-warriors (2019).
Steve McCloy is a practicing architect based in London and co-founder of McCloy + Muchemwa. He has worked on a wide variety of projects from public installations and private homes to civic buildings, polar research stations and sustainable urban developments. He has a long-standing association with Studio 8 Architects.
The book is on cash only sale at the lecture for the discounted price of £15 (RRP £22).
This lecture explores the distinctive character and methods used in developing and creating the early iconic architectural images of the Archigram group 1961-1974. Material sourced from the Ron Herron Archive provides a rare view of the profession on the eve of the digital revolution, with works that combine orthographic drawing, collage, photography and xerography – lost analogue technologies of the recent past deployed to imagine the ephemeral technologies of a utopian near future. Zoom will trace historical antecedents from the writings of Marshal McLuhan, comic book hero’s, artists, cinema, popular magazines, throw-away-advertising imagery, film set living – fantasy or reality, collectively set within in the hot headed, psychedelic, technicoloured context of youthful rebellion and rejection of the 1960’s London.
Simon Herron is Head of Architecture at the University of Greenwich, where he also teaches postgraduate design with Susanne Isa and Nick Elias in MArch Unit 16. He previously taught at the Bartlett UCL, University of Westminster and Oxford Brookes, running international studios at Sci-Arc Los Angeles and Lund, Sweden whilst lecturing and exhibiting internationally. Simon trained at the Architectural Association and the Städelschule Frankfurt, and worked for Michael Hopkins Architects before joining Ron Herron Associates, where he became a partner in 1989. Built works include, Machi No Kao, three pavilions for Toyama Prefecture, Japan with Herron Associates @ Imagination, and a collaboration with AHMM & Studio Myerscough to produce the Millennium products touring exhibition for the British Council and display units for the Millennium Dome Learning Zone. His current research centres on the Ron Herron Archival Project, supported by a research and development grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Simon Withers [Captivate Spatial Modelling Research Group]
Thursday 7th October 2021, 6.30pm
Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre 
Captivate Spatial Modelling Research Group are making a 3D digital model of the entire Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site above and below ground, including under the Thames, using remote sensing technologies such as 3D scanning, ground penetrating radar, drones, photogrammetry, photography and film. These Curious Devices are a series of unfamiliar models and novel points of view evolving from the project.
‘Belle: Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime’ (Belle: The Dragon and Freckled Princess) is the new film by the Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, who founded Tokyo-based Studio Chizu, and was Oscar-nominated for his animated film Mirai. His new film is an animated science-fiction fantasy about a teenage girl in a small town with an alternative virtual existence as a global music icon. The film premiered at the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival. The film will also premier at the BFI London Film Festival on the 7th October. Director Mamoru Hosoda sought out Eric to create a vast and complex setting for the story. In taking on the mammoth digital stage design brief, Eric designed an entire virtual world, known in the film as “U”. This included designing a virtual city for the film, a stadium and a park, as well as app design and interface, environment and colour developments. The film has also partnered with clothing retailer Uniqlo, with the concept artwork being printed on t-shirt designs available to buy worldwide.
Eric is an Architect, illustrator and design tutor. He studied Art and Architecture at the Byam Shaw School of Art, Central Saint Martins. He completed his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University and later graduated with a masters from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Eric was nominated for the RIBA President’s Silver Medal and is a recipient of the Bartlett School of Architecture Medal for outstanding academic achievements in professional performance, the Sir Banister Fletcher Medal for highest marks in Part 2 graduate studies and the Fitzroy Robinson Drawing Prize for best drawings in Part 2 graduate studies. He later completed his Part III professional studies at the University of Cambridge where he qualified as an Architect.