Studio 13


Rachael Halstead and William Cassell

This studio is available to students enrolled in ABPL90142 Studio C, ABPL90143 Studio D, and ABPL90115 Studio E.

Studio Description

“Off-cuts” will explore both the pragmatic and poetic value of construction waste, and by-products of the built environment. While traditional recycling considers waste as a raw material to be fed back into industrial systems, the studio explores how design and architecture can become the system by which waste materials retain value or even become more precious than their original products.

The philosophical goals of the studio are equal parts architectural and environmental. We will explore texture, atmosphere, colour, form and space, through the lens of discarded materials, extracting beauty and intrigue from the rough edges of things supposedly ready for landfill. You will develop a new language, derived from the intrinsic character of materials that have been produced, used, weathered and then extracted.

As the next generation of architects it is incumbent upon us to move past accepted systems for designing and constructing our environments; away from using raw, extracted resources and towards reusing the materials already embedded within our cities.

Studio Outcomes

Students will be required to imagine, research, and design a cohesive piece of architecture. This will be explored in a process which utilises a variety of physical model making and drawing techniques. The final outcome will also be represented in a 2D/3D, digital/analogue mix to meaningfully communicate an understanding and expression of the off-cut as building fabric, urban context and architecture

The pragmatic

Through research into common materials and systems, we will gain a better understanding of the causes and nature of waste generated by trades and industries of the built environment. We will invent ways in which the life of a material or system can be prolonged by intervening at different stages during a building’s life-cycle i.e. construction and demolition.

The poetic

We will explore the derivation of an architecture through scale models, using off-cuts as both media and muse; a detail, an interior space and a whole building will be developed throughout the course of the semester. A site will be prescribed, selected for its ‘residual’ nature, an urban off-cut.

The final project is proposed to be a mixed-use building, including a culture and/or arts programme to be defined by the student. The studio has the support of COX Architecture, and focused workshops will be provided by expert guests on topics such as workplace, urban design, drawing and construction systems

Studio Leaders

Rachael Halstead has worked as a designer at Cox Architecture since 2015, predominantly in front end and master planning roles across a range of typologies including living, workplace, educational, and cultural buildings. She graduated from Monash University in 2018 (B Arch, M Arch) with an Academic Medal and Masters Dux award. She is actively involved in the leadership of Cox design methodology as well as mentoring staff in design practice and research.

William Cassell is an Associate and Architect at Cox Architecture where he has worked since 2014. William completed his studies at Melbourne University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music Performance (VCA) and Master of Architecture. He was the cofounder of Inflection Journal and continues to contribute to the broader architectural discourse through research projects with Monash University and previous assistant tutor roles at the MSD. William has a particular interest in tectonics and architectural craft as fundamental to the design of considered, beautiful and responsible buildings. He continues to experiment with craft in practice with the establishment of the Cox Guild in 2017; a dedicated workshop and resource for the development of models, objects and building components. He also chairs the Cox Research and Innovation leadership group, supporting project-based and in-house research.

Readings & References

  • Goldsworthy, Anna.  (2022, June). Slow Fade: An Elegy for music, education and impoverished culture. The Monthly
  • Arup & University of Leeds. (2019, June). The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5° World: C40 Cities Headline Report. Arup Research Perspectives.
  • Arup & University of Leeds. (2019, August). Building and Infrastructure Consumption Emissions: In Focus. Arup Research Perspectives.
  • Writings and work of Kazuo Shinohara
  • Works of Peter Zumthor, Carlo Scarpa and Richard Leplastrier
  • Diller + Scofidio (1996). Flesh: Architectural Probes
  • The Living Building Challenge

Schedule Mondays 18:15-21:15 and Thursdays 15:15-18:15
Off-campus Activities Week 3, $9

Contact Handbook

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