Stretching Architectural Boundaries along with Studio 8FOLD | DT Interview

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!

Aleksandar Stojakovic

Alexander Frehse

Studio 8FOLD

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

Competition Head

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!

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