Constance Lau
Stephen Harty

In DS(3)3, the notion of cultural sustainability and learning from history for existing knowledge to be preserved and adapted is this year’s starting point for the studio’s interests in multiple interpretations.

‘Sweet disorder and the carefully careless’ refers to the orchestration of nature through framing techniques and design strategies where landscape and architectural features are co-dependent. This eighteenth-century adherence to particular instructions and design approaches resulted in aesthetic pleasures referred to as the picturesque. Consequently, the idea that nature can be displaced, controlled and contained was evident in the advent of greenhouses, museums and galleries where new ways of representation and presentation were key. These also include social conditions that have evolved from political, economic and cultural shifts and in this instance have brought about new architectural typologies.

The architectural proposals for the Marianne North Salon and Urban Pleasure Garden will elaborate upon and contest these discussions, to emerge with innovative architectural definitions of galleries, museums and gardens as well as new understandings of nature and/or natural history. Through notions of site, science-fiction and sustainability, the translation of research material into architecture encourages history to be (re)presented and take on its own relevance in this present day. Located at the Natural History Museum, London, the design work is approached by means of the techniques of montage as a spatial device and readings of the urban context through Bernard Tschumi’s The Manhattan Transcripts (1981). These include the generation of visual and tactile user experiences that consider in detail issues of site, authorship, conservation and presentation of the subject matter.

Hence architecture as an ongoing dialogue sees the construction of urban narratives that generate new meanings and most importantly, create updated definitions and different readings of ‘natural history’ that are relevant to the present context.

This show would not have been possible without the superhuman efforts of Silvia Galofaro as project manager extraordinaire, her right hand Tereza Vesela for animating every-and-anything under the sun and looking after everything else, Thomas McLucas as the Rhino set designer and curator, Alexandru Oltean transforming particles into letters and numbers, Sofia Yanez-Perteagudo doing all the model set-ups, Olga collating and collaging, and Nada as data director.

Our guests critics: Larisa Bulibasa (Projet d’Architecture), Loreta Lukoseviciene (Squire and Partners), Will McLean and the Westminster technical team, Thomas Grove and John Zhang.

Heartfelt thanks from everyone in the studio