Young practices across the globe are challenging conventional ways of practicing architecture. In this process of redefining the architectural scope, the practice in conversation with us this week – Studio 8FOLD – strikes right on what the field can really deliver beyond the known conceptions and how.
The talk covers their recent projects and issues that are also close to the hearts of many proactive sustainability lovers, like yourself, and concerned social reformers. If you were also impressed by their well researched competition entries and ‘Wasteline’ exhibition, we have got it all covered. Read on to get inspired by what Aleks, Alex and Lloyd have got to say!
Studio 8FOLD is an innovative design, strategy and research led studio based in London & Berlin.
The founders of the studio, Aleksandar Stojakovic & Alexander Frehse, see architecture as a powerful nexus to fuse social & environmentally conscious projects with capital-driven projects, spatialising an outcome that leverages the best attributes of each.
In their words, “We seek out organisations that aim to bring about a cultural shift for a more sustainable world, starting at a neighbourhood scale, and with this innovative initiative create a powerful USP for the capital-driven party involved. Through our unique set of skills in synthesising research, spatial intelligence, and bringing together the right people we help both parties to find a win-win outcome.”
At Studio 8FOLD, the team values collaboration, initiative, and offer synthesis through spatial intelligence.
Lloyd Martin heads the competition team at Studio 8FOLD. He was born in Zimbabwe, raised in Botswana, trained in South Africa and spent over six years travelling. He is driven by new experiences in creative and social realms; feeding off the unknown, with hunger for knowledge and adventure.
His two years at Netherlands were spent in finding opportunities for the urban metabolism framework to contribute to the sustainable development of the city. For the past two years he helped set up and has been lecturing at the Architecture Department of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. During which, he has been conducting research/working with the Great Demas Nwoko. (artist, architect, renaissance man).
DesignTerrains (DT): Welcome Aleksandar and Alex! Thank you for letting us cover your practice. Foremost, we would like to hear about the germination of Studio 8 Fold.
Alexander Frehse (Alex):The idea of studio 8FOLD was taking shape when we were both still studying at the University of Cape Town, first having met on registration day for our Bachelor’s degree. Our undergraduate years were hands-on, walking the earth, having to tackle problems in extremely complex environments, and we shared the same values when it came to talking about architecture’s role in shaping a better future. I guess we knew already then that we wanted to start something that would do exactly this.
Aleksandar Stojakovic (Aleks):After completing undergrad, I came to London and worked a few years at Paul Davis + Partners in London and then Grimshaw. Alex went down a different route at first and initially we parted ways. He worked at Alejandro Aravena’s office ELEMENTAL, which had a remarkable impact on him. A few years later after further studying in Cape Town, he came over to London and joined me at PDP.
In the office there were a bunch of us looking to do our Part 2 qualifications, and the London School of Architecture (LSA) caused hot debate. At that stage it was a risky option to apply because it didn’t yet have accreditation, no previous students, and we would be the guinea pigs, but it was promising to break ground in an architectural education that merged academia and practice and fixated on tackling the real world problems. You can guess what we did!
Student: Monal Ambastha Course: Bachelor of Architecture Institution: Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi Project Year : 2019 Project Type: Final Thesis
The project site is situated near upcoming international airport in Navi Mumbai. The climate of the region falls under hot and humid, with major wind flow from the West. The design features are based on the climatic analysis and incorporates passive cooling measures that have proven to reduce thermal loads in past research studies.
Panvel is called the gateway of Konkan coast. It marks the onset of the western ghats range. The form of the building is inspired from the terrains of the Western Ghats. Every plate is unique and is arranged in such a way so that it resonates with the different terrains of the Western Ghats and represent a hill-like form. This also comes as a response to minimise the surface run off during heavy monsoon rains and manage harvested water at different levels.
UN Environment Programme had launched on 1st September 2020, an easy to use sustainable campus guide – ‘The Little Book of Green Nudges‘. The book defines nudges as positive and gentle persuasions that are meant to influence behaviour and decision-making. Such interventions include choice architecture, default setting, social influence and increased salience.
Developed by UNEP in collaboration with Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) and GRID-Arendal, it contains 40 ready-made nudges – simple measures that make it easier to make green choices – which university campuses can deploy to encourage students and staff to embrace more sustainable behaviours.
This book can be used a guide by anyone who wants to create positive change at their university, anywhere around the world, from provosts to campus sustainability coordinators to professors to student leaders.
The competition brief was quite simple. We were asked to design a microhouse living concept on a hypothetical site of 5mx5m with basic living requirements as provided with proper planning, sections, illustrations and other explanatory details as per participants’ interest.
Research and Concept Synthesis
Though the provided brief was straightforward but the challenge was to come up with a unique spatial algorithm. I started bifurcating the brief and thought of going in detail of every aspect and requirements.
Upon doing enough research on materials and existing microhousing trends, I finally came up with an adaptable design – which was upcycling of shipping container. I found this to be practical as well as environment friendly. My focus was to showcase sustainability factors in design when added to fulfilling design brief requirements.
Although shipping containers have been employed practically in many affordable housing projects, my input to this was creating a better responsive spatial arrangement while using every surface as an opportunity for enhancing energy efficiency and biodiversity.
Daylight Simulation helps designers in identifying best building orientations to reduce heat gain and HVAC loads. For the ambient indoor environment, it can help decide advanced passive interventions for reduced glare and sufficient diffused light penetration.
Energy Efficient or Green Buildings are recognised solutions for slowing down climate change and reduce overall contribution to carbon emissions. Professionals in the building sector and green building analysts are adapting to this need and the use of Computer-Aided Design has proliferated the results.
Environmental Design Solutions (EDS) organises various workshops and courses on enhancing building performance and reducing its carbon footprint. EDS is a sustainability advisory firm focusing on the built environment. They have worked on over 350 green building and energy efficiency projects worldwide
This certification course lasts for 2 weeks, starting 21st September 2020. It enables learning of 3D modeling in Rhindo3D and scripting in Grasshopper to conduct daylight simulation using Ladybug and Honeybee plug-in.
Have you ever wondered about inciting spiritual metamorphosis of self, committing to human service, and living closer to nature, while practicing sustainable architecture? We have and we care to share with you about a place where it is possible, a place that teaches sustainable and compassionate living in parallel to physically building one, a place called Dharmalaya. Since its conception in 2008 by three of Earthville’s directors – Mark Moore, Mai-Linh Leminhbach, and Dara Ackerman, the institute has welcomed numerous workshop participants, volunteers, architects and nature lovers.
Nestled in the Indian Himalayan foothills of Bir, this charitable organisation transpires educative empowerment to traditional wisdom and integrates innovative modernity in its various participatory programs. They have focused on sustainable village development, contemplative service-learning, immersive ecotourism and preservative adaptation of vernacular intelligence.
Founder of Doodle Studio, Vaishaly is a Delhi based architect with expertise in Sustainable architecture. Her thesis project had bagged the 2016 INSDAG National Award for Innovative Use of Steel. Working as a green building analyst at Environmental Design Solutions (EDS) for 3 years now, she has had significant experience in handling building rating systems and striving for net-zero buildings.
In a talk with DesignTerrains, Vaishaly uncovers her experience in building analysis and passion for ‘Green Architecture’. With Pushpangan being a milestone in her journey, she explains the challenges of working with unconventional building techniques.
DesignTerrains (DT) :Congratulations Vaishaly on realizing your first sustainable project, your own residence Pushpangan. What inspirited you to independently take up this challenge of building sustainably?
Vaishaly (VA) :My love for creating a better world made me take this challenge. Since college, I have been incorporating sustainability aspects in each of my studio projects. I wanted to implement them in real life as well.
DT :That’s a great first step! Amongst the featured low impact techniques of this project, which one in your opinion was the most backbreaking to achieve?
VA :I would say, getting bamboo work done on-site was the most challenging one. As we do not get skilled labor to work on this material in the Noida region, I planned a bamboo workshop at the site itself. Around 10 people participated from varied backgrounds and we did the whole cutting, finishing, chemical treatment of bamboo on our own. Only the installation was taken care of by the site workers. It was a great experience for me and I will always be grateful to all those who participated during that time.
Information is taken directly from the official website of the competition. We hold no guarantee or viewpoint for any future disservice.
The Solar Decathlon India is a competition among post graduate and graduate students from Indian institutions to empower the next generation to combat Climate Change in the buildings sector. Using a competition platform, the competition reaches out to 500,000 engineering + architecture students across India and invites them to innovate for net-zero-energy, net-zero-water, net-zero-waste and climate resilient buildings.
Pioneers in off-grid living, Morgan and Mary Jane of North Carolina have been hosting natural building and sustainable living workshops since 2016 at Sustainable Life School. Their previous experimentation with earthbag construction serves as a basis for workshops. They believe that the technique results in strong, versatile, inexpensive and eco-friendly structures.