DS 21




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.


Guest Critics

Nimi Attanayake
Matt Barnes
Harry Charrington
James Crawford
Anna Wakeford Holder
Robert Mull
Ella Riley


DS21 is concerned with people, places and politics. Faced with today’s global environmental crisis the response of architects ranges between eco-abstinence, technological salvation and outright denial. We believe a more optimistic, progressive approach is to be found through a meaningful interrogation of the Wild – as a place, an ecology and a character - to understand how buildings may better co-exist with the natural world. We began by collecting texts, images and objects that defined Wild-ness, allowing individual definitions to evolve. These were developed through large expressive drawings of wild landscapes and wild objects that explored the quality, evolution and manipulation of found materials. The context for our investigations was the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a man-made, state-sanctioned wilderness suffering from flooding, unemployment and a declining economy. In response to a recent government report calling for a ‘transformational catalyst project’, students collectively developed visions, briefs and spatial constitutions for new universities in the Dales. Channelling the utopian radicalism of the ‘plateglass’ universities founded in the 1960s, we conducted a drawn survey of the physical and social forms of relevant universities around the globe, supported by trips to Cambridge and Yorkshire. We studied the relationship between landscape and learning, considering how form, material and myth define the particular qualities of an inhabited landscape