Scott Burton stone seating Stone seating outside Tate Britain London 2010 Extruded bench Thomas Heatherwick Stone seat Merton college Oxford Old tree trunk Christ Church Oxford Bench St Catherine's college Oxford Straw seating Chaumont France 2010 Ron Arad Barbican London
Richard Serra

This body of research began by looking Richard Serra's magnificent pieces these interested me on many levels weight, density, presence, how these pieces impact the viewer and how imposing materiality can be on such a scale. All of these ideas resonated through my own body of work during the research based at Central Saint Martins.
Phenomenology of architectural spaces

How spaces are designed to create a particular sensory or emotional response for example Memorials and Sacral design were all key reference points giving me a basis to understand how we react to particular space or environment. How we move through spaces. Does it force us to interact in a certain way or does it provide a series of choices as to how we use the space.

Memorial to the murdered Jews in Europe Berlin designed by Peter Eisenman 2005 photo by Gorrriti
Peter Zumthors Serpentine Pavilion London 2011 light became a key element surrounding these ideas of a secluded space being flooded with light at particular times of the day ultimately knowing that this would change throughout the year. What affect does light have on the way we use a space.

Peter Zumthor is fascinated by light and dark and the saturation of blackness which is clearly evident within Brother Klause Field Chapel and can also be seen in the Serpentine Pavilion 2011
Considering one of the main drivers during this project was pushing materaility through scale coming face to face with a clay pit for the first time was breathtaking however the enormity of such a project soon became very clear. Large vast landscapes such as iceburgs volcano's were also referenced there was a rawness to all of these powerful forms and it was in these qualities the drawing and model making started to develop. It was important to keep every aspect of the research moving together in order to understand the process and begin to make decisions. Images taken from Earth song (left to right, top to bottom)
Dried clay Mojave Desert USA
Dried bed of the Swakop river Namibia
Malaspina Glacier USA
Salt Swamps North Tanzania
Malaspina Glacier USA
Mount Cotapaxi Ecuador
Perito Moreno Glacier Argentina
Boiling mud pool Indonesia
St Pauls Catacombe Rabat Malta photo by Andreas Neumann These drawings were an exercise in one fluid motion I was looking at how I could introduce the idea fluidity into a material that's often solid heavy and can often appear staid. These rapid marks were transfered into the clay models the images shown in the v&a residency were the first examples of these working models made quickly and instinctively there is a primal rawness to these pieces and a complete lack of preciousness during the making by gauging hollowing and essentially removing the core of the clay where a series of enclosed spaces began to emerge revealing a quietness entwined with these energetic marks. Large pieces of clay Taken directly from the packaging showed traces of the materials journey marks from handling marks from being thrown on to the table. information was being gathered at a considerable rate but needed extracting organising and reflective time.

light - dark
inside - outside
hidden - emerging
rough - smooth
reveal - conceal

were opposing themes i found myself considering
Garden research Sissinghurst, Lady Margaret Hall, St Catherines College Oxford, The Thames Pathway, The Wetlands Centre London

Here are a few examples of some of the garden spaces I visited during the summer break in 2010
It was at this point during the research the design work came to a halt. Designing and building an object on this scale I had decided that I wanted to embrace the entire process from concept to installation therefore project had to be site specific creating a synthesis between the object and a sense of place.
The context for this project had always been the garden but I wanted to explore different definitions of the garden
Would it be a public or private space?
How these objects would be used received or perceived?
Would it be an urban setting, a contemporary space or a softer garden setting?
There were many considerations formal or informal? The English garden or walled garden? I became interested in the arts and crafts garden with enclosed spaces known as garden rooms Hidcote and Sissinghurst are perfect examples of this particular style and period.
Vistas avenues how garden spaces create narratives.
Garden seating was something that became evident throughout every garden space I visited I began documenting this through photography looking at how seating had been designed and positioned within these spaces as well as finding how we use other objects to create seating.
How do we occupy space outside?
How do we spend time within gardens?
Would this be an object that integrated or intervened with the landscape?
All of these questions had to be investigated and resolved whilst working through model making options.
Examples of seating

Scott Burton stone seating
Stone seating outside Tate Britain London 2010 Extruded bench Thomas Heatherwick Stone seat Merton college Oxford Old tree trunk Christ Church Oxford Bench St Catherine's college Oxford Straw seating Chaumont France 2010 Ron Arad Barbican London Before deciding on the final design many different renditions were made in order to provide a number of options and to see why certain elements where working within the design and how they translated into human scale. This also included 1-1 scale mock up drawings of the form in order to begin to understand how the human body was going to fit within these these dimensions and how imposing the scale of the object felt. At this point i had a very clear idea of the form and approximate dimensions. A template for the secluded seating was made in the studio before work began in Ibstock. This had to be perfectly mapped out as it became the core of the piece. I looked at having this section CNC cut but I encountered problems with scale and time was also an issue. This may be an option for the next piece or future research. Therefore i had no choice but to hand carve this entire section along with the rest of the design. Working at this scale it's inevitable that the design will have to be altered at some point during the process because structural issues really only became evident at 1-1 this ultimately had to be resolved as i worked but also pushed myself to confront the problems and move forward without compromising the design.