WORKSHOP architecture was a student initiative established in 2012 by Clementine Blakemore, Alexander Eriksson Furunes and Ivar Tutturen as a means to pursue self-initiated community-engaged design/build projects. The studio developed from the work of Studio Tacloban, a group established in 2009, by Ivar, Alexander and their partner Trond Hegvold to design and build a Study Center in the Philippines, and the work that Clementine had done at the Rural Studio in Alabama the same year.
Focusing on collaboration, learning by doing and cultivating a deep understanding of place, the ambition of the collective was to use the design and construction process as a tool for positive social change. Each project was led by at least one member of WORKSHOP, alongside a group of local and international collaborators. Living temporarily with the communities they worked with, teams aimed to contribute new ideas whilst engaging in local building crafts and materials, to bring about an architecture of exchange that was both innovative and pragmatic. As a non-profit organization, projects were funded entirely through grants, donations and in-kind support, in close partnership with the beneficiaries of the buildings.
The group disbanded in 2016 to pursue individual paths; this website functions as an archive, but please follow the links below if you’re interested in what we’re up to now. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of the WORKSHOP projects, please get in touch via email@example.com
This autumn (2016) Alexander will continue his research on participative planning, design and build processes as a fellow at the The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (2016-19). His work will be a critical reflection on previous projects as well as an exploration of collaborative placemaking through new projects in both Asia and Europe. Alexander’s studio ERIKSSONFURUNES is now in the process of completing project Tagpuro, Philippines (2013-16) in partnership with Jago Boase, Streetlight, LvL and the community of Tagpuro. www.erikssonfurunes.com
Ivar has returned to Norway and founded a design and making studio, VERK ARKITEKTUR, with his partner Heather McVicar on his family’s farm outside Oslo. Here they are continuing to explore hands-on design and making processes, engaging with local communities, materials, crafts and skills. The location gives an opportunity for large scale explorations and in-house workshop facilities as well as an influential co-existence with the cycle of organic farming, nature and place. Current projects include small buildings, refurbishments, interiors, installations, workshops, research papers and bespoke furniture. www.verkarkitektur.no
Clem has gone on to found her own practice in London, which will continue to explore the relationship between design, making and place. She is currently a Designer in Residence at the Design Museum, where she is working on a commission for a pavilion in the grounds of the new museum, due to open in November. With a strong belief in the process of learning through making, she is also Director of the Lacey Green AA Visiting School, an annual design /build workshop based at Grymsdyke Farm in rural Buckinghamshire. www.clementineblakemore.com