15.00 Introduction: Sarah Mills (Head: Leeds School of Architecture)
15.15 Jas Bhalla (Jas Bhalla Architects)
‘Out of the Ordinary’
15.50 Steve McCloy and Bo Muchemwa (McCloy + Muchemwa)
‘Situating a New Practice’
16.30 Wilf Meynell (Studio Bark)
'Architecture vs The Planet'
17.10 Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg (Space Popular)
‘Architecture Across Realities’
17.45 Q and A
Jas Bhalla (Jas Bhalla Architects)
Jas Bhalla Architects is an interdisciplinary design practice operating in the fields of architecture, town planning and urban design. Their work spans a broad spectrum, from strategic masterplans to intimate refurbishments. Underpinned by rigorous analysis, all of their projects seek to deliver innovative, cost effective and environmentally responsive design solutions. The practice collaborate with a variety of clients, including landowners, house builders, local authorities, and home owners. All work is united by a common ethos; it is only possible to deliver well crafted, thoughtful and enduring spaces and places through a rigorous understanding of context.
Jas Bhalla is a qualified Architect, Urban Designer, and Town Planner. His practice undertakes a range of projects, from intimate refurbishments to strategic masterplans. JBA recently won the William Sutton Prize for Affordable Housing Design and the Housing for a Better World Competition, established by Brick by Brick and the Stephen Lawrence Trust. Jas was recently recognised as one of the AJ’s “40 under 40” and acts as a Design Review Panel member in Hounslow, Redbridge, and Essex.
Steve McCloy and Bo Muchemwa (McCloy + Muchemwa)
McCloy + Muchemwa is the design and architecture studio of Steve McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa. With their roots in Africa and now London-based, the studio’s work demonstrates an inventive exploration into design thinking. They have been named in the Architects' Journal 40 Under 40, and featured in Wallpaper* magazine's survey of the next generation of 10 London practices. As keen collaborators, they enjoy the opportunities for teaming-up with other organisations to tackle all manner of public projects… and preconceptions!
Steve McCloy is a fully qualified, UK registered architect with experience across a variety of sectors from public installations and private homes to civic buildings, polar research stations, and sustainable urban developments. He is also published as a researcher / author and has contributed to numerous books and articles including 'Inhabitable Infrastructures: Science Fiction or Urban Future' by CJ Lim (2017) and 'Once Upon A China' by CJ Lim + Steve McCloy (2021). Steve has exhibited work at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, and was nominated for the RIBA President's Bronze and Silver Medals.
Bongani Muchemwa is a fully qualified, UK registered architect with significant experience at some of the UK's most high-profile architectural practices. He has won numerous awards for design excellence and had his writing published. His work with film and animation has been widely celebrated including at Magma Film Festival in Sicily. Bongani has exhibited work at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, and was nominated for the RIBA President's Bronze Medal. Bongani is also a lecturer + studio tutor for architecture at the University of Westminster and is a trustee of the Wakefield-based arts charity Beam.
Wilf Meynell (Studio Bark)
Studio Bark is an award-winning architecture practice creating inspiring and ambitious buildings. They are a collaborative team of architects, designers and makers based in East London. As a young studio, their work is diverse, interesting and constantly evolving. Studio bark believe in the transformational potential of the built-environment and have a passion for outstanding environmentally-driven architecture. They deliver bespoke, unconventional buildings which are inherently contextual and inspired by meaningful investigation of site. Environmental design is a core part of the process: the work incorporates best practice principles while attempting to push the boundaries of ecologically-conscious architecture. The practice believe that compelling architecture can realise the latent potential of a site and bring joy to people’s lives.
Wilf is a founding member of Studio Bark, Studio Bark Projects and the recently launched U-Build construction system. He is a passionate and diverse practitioner, who enjoys designing and making beautiful spaces. He believes that the very best of architectural manifestation is born from the combined understanding of people and nature. His approach to design transcends into finished buildings; designed for the people within them and for the environment around them. He has an eye for detail and loves working with innovative, natural and locally sourced materials, culminating in his unique understanding of low energy construction techniques. Wilf completed his undergraduate architecture studies at the University of Brighton and went on to complete his masters at the University of East London. In addition, he has an MA in Sustainability and Design. During his professional career, he has taken a leading role in a number of ambitious live-build projects, working collaboratively with diverse teams to deliver a range of interesting buildings and structures. This work has led him to become an expert in ‘true self-build’ and one of the pioneers of the empowering U-Build system. He is a keen public speaker, who is always ready to be involved in constructive dialogue on social, political and environmental issues.
Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg (Space Popular)
Space Popular creates physical and virtual architecture, concentrating on how the two will fuse in the near future. Founded in Bangkok in 2013 by architects Lara Lesmes (Spain) and Fredrik Hellberg (Sweden) the studio has since completed buildings, exhibitions, public artworks, furniture collections, and interiors across Asia and Europe, and virtual architecture for the Immersive Internet. Space Popular is currently based in London. Lesmes and Hellberg are both graduates from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where they also teach a master studio exploring the future of virtual gathering spaces. From 2020 Lesmes and Hellberg also teach a master studio at University of Toronto.