DS 15


Sean Griffiths


Sean Griffiths practices as an architect, artist and academic. He was a founder member of the art/architecture practice, FAT and now practices as Modern Architect.


Kester Rattenbury


Kester Rattenbury is an architect, critic and writer. Her recently published book, The Wessex Project, a study of the architectural work of the novelist, Thomas Hardy was shortlisted for the RIBA research medal.


Guest Critics

Eric Guilbert
Eddie Blake
Susannah Hagen
Matteo Cainer
Tim Waterman
Pete Silver
Elise Aldén
David Capener
Michelle Barrett
Lou Kelelmen
Sinead Fahey
Aude Azzi.


DS15 pursues speculative design methodologies, making use of notation systems, chance operations, alternative ways of drawing and making, all carried out collaboratively. We work in teams. We swap bits of work with each other. We act as each other’s clients and contractors. We refuse the notion of the individual ‘genius’ and encourage a dialogical and collective approach to design. The project was to reuse and extend the existing buildings at Wormwood Scrubs prison in West London - a very difficult site, architecturally, historically and psychologically. The studio was encouraged to recycle existing materials to create housing, workspace and a school, alongside facilities appropriate to the themes developed by each masterplan group. Groups proposed ambitious programmes for a mycelium institute, a refuge for women, a medical institute for the study of the elderly, and a village for refugees. Questions that had to be dealt with included, what to do with the cell blocks and the prison wall, and how to integrate a former site of incarceration into an existing context and community. The groups responded to the challenges posed by the site and the sensitivities of their programmes with very different but inspiring transformations of the prison campus. While maintaining the sense of their historical importance, the projects also explore the reuse of challenging buildings and how to make the best use of the embodied carbon that already surrounds us.