details to be confirmed
The Building Works Unit was formed by Thomas Randall-Page, Theo Molloy and Niklavs Paegle to teach through making full-size architecture with one’s own hands. The act of students building, plugs gaps and connects loose ends left in traditional University-based architectural education. This Classroom purports that the process of design is one of discovery through doing, as opposed to something that emerges in the mind of a sole author.
The Classroom builds 1:1 scale structures that are embedded in social and material contexts, often only becoming fully functional during an event. Underlying the unit’s development is a belief that building is a social act. The built structures seek to be rooted in the life of a place, to be functional and also provocative investigations into its culture.
The Classroom is based in rural Devon, in a wooded gorge on the north edge of the Dartmoor National Park. There is an emphasis on innovative use of locally sourced materials. Small groups of students are guided through a compressed design process, from research, fieldwork, debate and concept design, through to material experimentation, detailing, pre-fabrication and assembly on site. Innovative explorations of a limited materials palette is encouraged, developing new ways of using them through testing and prototyping.
The Building Works Unit is led by designer and maker Thomas Randall-Page, who is a Free Unit alumnus.