DS 21


Gill Lambert & Geoff Shearcroft

Gill Lambert & Geoff Shearcroft practice together at award-winning practice AOC Architecture. They work with communities, institutions and individuals to develop new briefs for contemporary needs designing buildings, rooms, objects and places in response. They are currently developing the civic infrastructure for Whitecliffe, Ebbsfleet, including a new landmark building where essential public services are co-located with cultural organisations to help nurture a dynamic public life for the Garden City’s evolving community.


Guest Critics

Clare Carter
Tom Coward
Will Haggard
Simon Harrison
Cathy Hawley
Charles Holland
David Knight
Richard Morrison
Nick Wood
Daisy Zhai


DS21 is concerned with people, places and politics. This year we studio focused on Ebbsfleet Garden City, a 19th century invention superimposed on a 21st century post-industrial landscape.

Initial mark-making experiments in the confines of the home expanded into landmark designs for Ebbsfleet that celebrated and defined the collective character of the new garden city. We collectively explored the continuum of city making defined by the High Speed 1 ‘Javelin’ trains - Kings Cross, Stratford, Ashford, Canterbury and Paris. Precise mapping of the existing allowed bold proposals, sampling cities to create new forms of 30 minute walkable cities centred on Ebbsfleet International Station.

Collective proposals for new Ebbsfleet Garden City – physical, social and cultural – created a context for individual designs in a place with a collage of intense inhabitation and unoccupied quarries. Each student identified local, regional and national organisations to collocate in the new city. Contemporary challenges and political events informed their reimagining of the brief for a large scale civic infrastructure. Designs bounced between XL and XS, testing ideas at the scale of the city and body.

The evolution of the studio’s conversations from making simple marks in the soil through to city-scale propositions and user-focused design created a diversity of individual architectures, that collectively define a new joyful, civic vision for Ebbsfleet.