Tokyo Backup City embraces the collisions of traditional tokenism with super-plastic arcade cabinetry.
Over time, the city would ring in the ears and become burnt into the retina of the observer, urban design that plays with the neon light and flashing LEDs of the medal games not only as a landscape feature but as an ethic of the city itself. Reflected in the glow of the Medal Game cabinet, the city morphs into a creature of sorts. These might be the fevered dreams of a resident commuting to the Backup City daily. Or they might be the reflection of a medal on a pool of water collecting on the pavement, or even a form of AI interface that regulates the backup, occluding its workings through a spatial cacophony like the medal game cabinet.
Zero Wastage Furniture
A collaboration with the Department of Computer Science UCL and BBC News Lab. Coming soon!
The Folkets Portal is inspired by the flows of information in our digital age and how computers become gateways that collapse our conceptions of space.
We take two archetypal Folkets Park gates and transmit them through metaphorical portals across Kvarnbacken, materialising them like emanations from a digital realm, emerging from an imperceptible network that covers the park.
At either end of the park visitors will encounter a structure that seems familiar but strangely deviated. One would need to encounter both structures to understand their logic, encouraging the visitor walk the hidden gap of the portal, wandering through the natural landscape while imperceptibly guided along a ‘digital pilgrimage’.
Twisting in orientation they are designed to be experienced in reality and be further abstracted through the numerous formats and filters of social media. These monolithic structures of curiosity will demarcate the entrances to the park, blurring the boundary between public space and invisible digital realms.
Project Type: Competition [Login Gate] Location: Jarfalla, Sweden
Tokyo IRTBBC responds to Hajime Ishii’s 2011 proposal for a new backup city for Tokyo in the event of a natural disaster. Under Ishii’s ‘NEMIC Initiative’ the project, located in Osaka, would also introduce American style gambling resorts to Japan which are currently illegal.
Our alternative vision for NEMIC is inspired by Japan’s gambling (and religious) culture of ‘tokens’ and the aesthetics of arcade ‘Medal Games.’ Gamifying the urban realm itself, a series of ‘medals’ would be designed as mixed use structures encapsulating the mania of Tokyo, usingsymbolic gestures as an economic generator for new types of space.
Project Type: Research Location: Osaka, Japan
The Planning Portal
The Planning Portal is an architectural manifestation of public opinion. It would demonstrate how a building could become a record of the social and political contexts that surround it. It would be site for gathering and discussion as well as a momentary display of public delight. By turning the dry opinion poll into a visual spectacle, we hope to transform the way communities discuss and voice their opinions.
This project was shortlisted and exhibited at Peckham Levels as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016. We also discussed our concept at the Constructing Communities Pecha Kucha RIBA Late event.
A 'satirical app' / renegade startup platform investigating the burgeoning skyline of phallic residential developments across London - targeted at the unfeasibly wealthy. The app asks users to produce 'napkin sketches' and parametricize their architecture, allowing someone of limited formal training to produce their own totemic structure. The Toolkit also provides a facility for the production of rich and visually evocative promotional material to capture the hearts and minds of potential investors.
This game has also been developed into the design for an interactive booth where visitors can play the game, produce their own skyscraprs, and use the app to print their own glossy posters, uploading these onlne. This was also designed to be accompanied by physical models of the skyscraper elements for people to compose alongside the video game.
Project Type: Research
The Interactive House
Proposal for a planning document as a physical room-sized installation, seeking to demonstrate certain tensions that exist in the gap between planning process and physical reality. This would transcribe them into an inhabitable structure as a way of sharing and decoding often cryptic planning vocabularies as a truly Interactive House.
Project Type: Installation Location: Gallery space, London
The Interactive House
The MIP-MAPS kiosk is inspired by the history of exploiting resolution as an architectural approach. During World War II, operating at the Chicago School of Design, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy developed cutting-edge techniques for camouflaging the city. A series of artificial islands and structures were proposed to move the shore away from Chicago, creating a facsimile version of the lake’s edge. The MIP-MAPS kiosk draws from this hidden history to propose a structure that becomes a low-resolution ‘island’ as a response to the state of the art today.
The term MIP-MAPS comes from a computer graphics technique used often in videogames and software such as Google Earth. A mip-map is a texture that contains multiple versions of itself at both high and low resolutions. As one moves closer to or further away from a structure using mip-maps, its level of detail changes and the architecture becomes ‘camouflaged’ through resolution. We developed the concept of a building using the voxel as its basic unit of space. A new architectural language is created through multiple levels of detail.
Project Type: Competition [Chicago Lakefront Kiosks] Location: Chicago
The Universal Tea Machine
Built as part of London’s 2012 Olympic celebrations, the Universal Tea Machine is a pavilion-sized ‘adding computer’ that celebrates the British appetite for trade, technological innovation and tea. Reflecting the ‘Alan Turning Year 2012’ it also pays homage to the late English mathematician’s ‘Universal Turing Machine’. Visitors operated the UTM to produces displays of calculation, as one of the fundamental logics of trading and computation.
The project is a representation of a simple principle of computation, evoking the educational possibilities of play and public engagement. A total of 193,000 people visited the project site during its two-week installation in Victoria Park.
Project Type: Public Installation Team: Sandra Youkhana, Luke Pearson, Laura Allen, Mark Smout, Iain Borden [Concept + Design] Ollie Palmer, Westby & Jones [Fabrication] Location: Victoria Park, London Client: Mayor of London's Office [GLA]
The Universal Tea Machine
One of five innovative architectural installations designed by staff at the Bartlett School of Architecture commissioned by the Mayor of London’s Office for the capital’s WONDER series of ‘Incredible Installations’ in preparation for the Olympics 2012. The project was won after a competition process led by Greater London Authority and was open to the public between 26 July and 12 September 2012 for the duration of the Olympic Games.
The Universal Tea Machine was designed by Sandra Youkhana & Luke Pearson [You+Pea] Mark Smout & Laura Allen [Smout Allen], & Iain Borden.
Project Type: Competition [Mayor of London's WONDER Series] Location: City-wide, London
You+Pea x U11
6-week ‘Pressure Drop’ design workshop run with MArch Unit 11 students at the Bartlett School of Architecture.
Inspired by Stanley Tigermann’s ‘Titanic’, students created provocations in response to a pressure point that Chicago faces today. Their research was directed towards synthesising a unique architectural agenda for the year, testing methods and techniques through confident design iterations.
Themes included the Sims as suburban simulation; physical materialisation of digital infrastructures; subversion of the skyscraper; gang-deterring playscapes, and using hypoxia to regenerate industrial wasteland.
Many thanks to Smout Allen and our critics Julia Backhaus, Kyle Buchanan, Rhys Cannon, James A. Craig, Vicky Richardson, and Tomas Stokke.
5th Year Students: Felicity Barbur, Robin Farmer, Emma Kitley, Fergus Knox, Adam Lampon, Fergus Seccombe, Ali Qureshi.
4th Year Students:Alexander Chapman, Christopher Delahunt, Milo De Luca, Ness Lafoy, Johanna Just, Anthony Ko, Agostino Nickl, Howell Tsang, Grace Quah.
The Imagineer's Toolkit is a surface holding a number of devices each in turn ‘revealing’ the assessed building codes in the Disney streetscape when held up against it. The underside of the surface houses an axis at which the toolkit can be controlled - an engineered sub-structure similar to that of the Magic Kingdom and its Utilidors. Above the ground plane the overlapping tools are inserted - disappearing when not needed as the surface is reconfigured against its intended backdrop.
Project Type: Research Location: Walt Disney World, Florida
‘Media Planning’ is a study which takes a different angle on the regulation of the built environment by investigating the architectural agency of planning as a medium, rather than planning as pure content. The project intends to highlight the ‘fuzzy logic’ of planning where resolution, colour, semantics and new technologies are used as tools of indeterminacy within the planning process. This research investigates how representation and other media for communicating the built environment form a crucial part of the conversation between regulation and design, and how the representation of a proposal through drawing, modelling and fabrication can have a significant role within these frameworks.
Project Type: Research
UP-POP was a panel discussion curated and presented by You+Pea part of the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. Held at the Swedenborg Society in central London, the talk brought together a set of diverse speakers for a discussion on the relationship between architecture, pop culture, politics and technology.
UP-POP interrogated how the shifting technological landscapes around us have fundamentally changed our relationship to the production of culture. We asked how architecture reacts to the new ways in which the city is seen, mediated and communicated? If ‘pop-up’ suggests fleeting architectures and social events, UP-POP discussed the wider and more long-lasting cultural impacts that everyday technology is having on our cities and architectural practice itself.
Project Type: Syposium [LFA 2015] Speakers: Holly Lewis [We Made That], Hannes Coudenys [Ugly Belgian Houses] and Darran Anderson [Imaginary Cities] Location: Swedenborg Society, London