Hernan Diaz Alonso introduces Bob Sheil, architect and Director of the Bartlett School, University College London.
Sheil begins by characterizing the radical 2016 renovation of the Bartlett’s 22 Gordon Street building, and the 2018 Here East facility in East London as places of production.
He notes some precedents that orient his work in design and his work with the Bartlett, including Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center; Toyo Ito, Cecil Balmond and Arup’s 2002 Serpentine Pavilion; La Machine Compagnie; and tactility.
Sheil reviews some of the topics developed by students, and topics covered by publications he has edited for AD, the “Fabricate” series of conferences, and the new “Design for Manufacture” program at the Bartlett, which stresses “experiment between the drawing, the making, the performance, the event, the idea, and the collaboration”
He surveys his own work as an architect, starting with wood and metal furniture; experiments in early digital fabrication; “The Blusher” (2001/2002) an interactive, movable installation for the “Making Buildings” touring exhibition; the “55/02” shelter om Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumbria; an unbuilt portable pavilion for the Central School of Speech and Drama; and a collaboration with the immersive theater company Shunt.
Sheil argues that the Bartlett is a school that re-invents practice, and he reviews a wide range of current work engaged with drawing, narrative, robotics, scenography, nature and other fundamental issues. He describes in detail the recent renovation of their Gordon Street building, and the Here East facility.
He concludes by announcing a renewed partnership with SCI-Arc: “LoLA Land”.