New Vernaculars is a collaborative research project being developed in partnership with the architect Clementine Blakemore, that will explore ways in which contemporary forms of rural architecture might emerge through an engagement with the landscape, culture, wildlife and community.
Through a series of projects, developed over a number of years in partnership with local clients, artists and craftspeople, the aim is to produce a collection of small buildings which test both innovative design ideas and methods of construction. At the centre of each project will be an interest in locally sourced skills and materials, the accommodation of landscape and wildlife within architecture, community engagement, and interdisciplinary practice.
For the first year, this project will be partnering with the Architectural Association’s Visiting School program, using its rural campus at Hooke Park to lead a two-week design and build workshop for twelve international architecture and design students in July 2017. In this way, education and exchange will be a core part of the project – with the definition of ‘localness’ being informed by the cultures and experiences of a range of different people.
Alongside buildings, we will create a series of films and books to capture and communicate the process. The ambition of the project, whilst deeply rooted in Dorset, is to become a model for similar approaches to architecture in rural areas – both with the UK and abroad.