So it’s already the last full week of January, and also an awful long time since my last blog post. Well, 2016 was pretty busy, so that’s why. But it also seems time to reflect on the work I did in 2016, and what I learnt.
Unlike 2014 and 2015, which had been dominated by projects not for architects, pretty much all my work last year was for architects. Perhaps there was a bit more happening in the world of architecture and construction than the previous few years?
I started the year with completing the Edinburgh model for ICA Architects, as featured in the previous post. It remains one of my top jobs of last year - the scale, style, and of course, the location. Following that, I made the timber Graving Docks model for ZM Architecture, the Fraser Avenue (Inverkeithing) model for 7N Architects, and two models for 3DReid of their development in Vauxhall, London. Particularly around late spring was a massively busy time for me, but hugely rewarding. I brought in two freelancers, Chris Merchant and Jessica Cowan to help with this workload, and I’ve have struggled to do it without them. Although the studio usually feels quite spacious, with three model-makers and three models (in five parts) in here, it felt pretty crowded!
Fortunately for me, I caught a break in the summer, nicely coinciding with a trip to Mexico, and immediately after, moving flat.
The main project since the summer was another two models, one massing, one detailed, of a scheme by ICA, photos to follow in due course.
The Fraser Avenue model for 7N was another favourite of the year. I was really pleased with the outcome, particularly because this stemmed with working closely with the architects to achieve an aesthetic that gelled with their own style, as well as the wish that it be fairly realistic so members of the public got a true sense of the scheme.
So, as I said, a busy time, and lots of work for architects. I had begun to think of the work I do as architecturally orientated, but not usually for architects. Thinking of projects like the Distillery Box and the Smart Homes for British Gas, these had been very much brief-led projects, where I had designed and produced the models. I love doing projects like this, it allows me some creative freedom, and working with a diverse range of clients and subject matter.
But as well as the models I produced in 2016, I attended a couple of events late in the year. Voices of Experience was arranged by Collective Architecture, and paired up an older generation of architects with architects at the start of their careers, all female. It was a hugely inspiring afternoon, and it was clear that all those involved had been really enthused and inspired by the experience. I also went to a Pecha Kucha curated by Page\Park, themed around cultural spaces, and some of the best of recent Scottish architecture was featured. These events in particular, as well as the models I've worked on recently, really got me thinking about how much I care about architecture; my interest and enthusiasm in architecture, in the way it affects people and society, and how exciting it is to me, as a model-maker, to occasionally get an opportunity to be part of it.
So, of course, the ideal is to strike a balance between those two types of project. Easier said than done. But the various projects that have been in discussion recently do fall into both of these categories, so fingers crossed for some interesting, exciting, creative, cultural (and well-paying!) jobs in 2017!