Press Release

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Major North American Exhibition: Prototyping Architecture at Cambridge Galleries Design at Riverside and Waterloo School of Architecture at ACADIA 2013


Prototyping Architecture brings together the work of architects, engineers, manufacturers, product designers, academics and artists to explore the importance of prototypes in the delivery of high quality contemporary design. The exhibition, which runs at Cambridge Galleries Design at Riverside and Waterloo Architecture October 17 to December 17, places a particular emphasis on research and experimentation, showing how trial assemblies can inform architecture – with maquettes, models and full-scale sample productions from around the world. This exhibition began in the New Prototyping Hall at The University of Nottingham, England, then The Building Centre, London, where it was opened by Angela Brady President of the RIBA. Prototyping Architecture will open to coincide with the ACADIA Adaptive Architecture Conference. This exhibition has been facilitated by ACADIA and sponsored by Qbiss Air, KieranTimberlake, CAB, Schöck Ltd and S4AA. [i]

Curated by Professor Michael Stacey, Chair in Architecture of The University of Nottingham and Convenor of Michael Stacey Architects, the show includes prototypes by Amanda Levete Architects, Barkow Leibinger, Yves Ebnoether, KieranTimberlake and many more architects and makers.

The full-scale prototype for KieranTimberlake’s Loblolly House is a central feature of the exhibition. It demonstrates a new, more efficient method of building – using building information modelling (BIM) and integrated component assemblies. The thousands of parts, which make up a building, are collapsed into a few dozen off-site fabricated assemblies that are simply attached to this industrial aluminium frame on-site. The result is a truly modular house, which can be re-assembled allowing for wholesale reclamation.

See video ‘Loblolly House by KieranTimberlake’

Philip Beesley’s Protocell Mesh project integrates first-generation prototypes that include aluminium meshwork canopy scaffolding and a suspended protocell carbon-capture filter array. Designed in Toronto and primarily digitally fabricated in Nottingham, it was then assembled by The University of Nottingham architecture students under the guidance of Philip Beesley and Jonathan Tyrrell, of Waterloo Architecture and PBA Inc. This spectacular combination of sculpture, architecture and science is part of the Living Architecture research programme, a collaboration with The Universities of Waterloo, Nottingham, and Universitet Syddansk, funded by The Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada.

“New architectural prototypes show a kind of promiscuous exchange between widely varying sources, sweeping away traditional divisions between machine and hand crafts, and between nature and technology.” Philip Beesley, Philip Beesley Architect Inc.

See video ‘Protocell Mesh by Philip Beesley’

“This exhibition is a retort to skeptics who claim computational technologies are reducing architects’ engagement with materials and making. To the contrary, it celebrates the incredible creative production that results from experimenting with new technologies and techniques to push the boundaries of architectural design.” Professor Omar Khan, Chair in Architecture of University at Buffalo (SUNY).

This exhibition includes: a post-digital prototype for the Passion Façade of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família Basilica; a laser-sintered additively manufactured violin; lightweight prefabricated fabric formwork for on-site cast concrete; an additive manufactured titanium aircraft component and a Rolls Royce high pressure turbine blade cast and ‘grown’ as a single nickel alloy crystal. The exhibition continues to evolve and develop at each stage and new for this American edition of Prototyping Architecture sixteen*(makers) will display their latest thinking in this realm of making. Also, included for the first time is the gorgeous prototyping of Michael Hansmeyer. The extensive flat screens in the exhibition and the book Prototyping Architecture, edited by M. Stacey, articulate and capture the essence of all the exhibits of the three stages from Prototyping Architecture.

“Prototyping Architecture celebrates vital methods of design development with new technologies that potentially herald the beginning of a second industrial revolution. The exhibition forms a bridge between architecture, engineering and art with exhibits that are truly beautiful.” Professor Michael Stacey, Chair in Architecture of The University of Nottingham and Convenor of Michael Stacey Architects.

ACADIA 2013 Adaptive Conference 

Prototyping Architecture Exhibition [Canada] has been kindly hosted by Cambridge Galleries Design at Riverside to coincide with the Adaptive Architecture Conference co-hosted by Waterloo Architecture [Canada], University at Buffalo [SUNY] [USA] and The University of Nottingham [United Kingdom].

On October 17 to coincide with the opening of the exhibition, the Prototyping Architecture book, edited by Michael Stacey, will be launched. This book includes his introduction to this field of research and its importance to architecture. The book also contains essays by Bob Sheil, Anne-Mette Manelius, Kristina Schinegger and Stefan Rutzinger.

International Prototyping Architecture Conference

The conference was held during the London exhibition, on February 21-23 2013. The conference was structured into five streams: Prototyping Architecture, Exemplar Prototypes, Technology Transfer, Systems and Material Future and Low Carbon Prototypes.

Notes to editors

1. About the University of Nottingham: The Department of Architecture and Built Environment is a leading centre for teaching in architecture, urban design and sustainable energy technologies. The Wolfson Prototyping Hall, based in the £6.5m Energy Technologies Building, is a unique facility for the prototyping and testing of assemblies and components. It allows for experimental engineering, research into sustainable architecture and the development of low-carbon technologies.

2. For more information including a complete list of projects and participants an or hi-resolution images please contact:


i. Qbiss Air, KieranTimberlake, CAB, Schöck Ltd with S4AA are the founding sponsors of this exhibition, the grant funders are listed below.

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