Smout Allen: 2011 Projects for Landscape Futures
Summary NoteSmout and Allen architectural projects "propose a positive and responsive interaction between the built and natural environments." Projects for Landscape Futures consists of a book that documents and archives working materials from projects leading up to the Landscape Futures exhibition in 2011.
Mark Smout and Laura Allen are Senior Lecturers at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Their work takes two routes: architectural competitions, where the competition brief, site and program provide the basis for new investigations: and, conceptual design projects which test the agenda and methodology of their design research practice. Their work explores a design-based approach to architecture, landscape and climate change via political, technological and artistic disciplines.
Scope and Content
The book "Smout Allen 2011" was compiled by the architects to document and archive working materials from projects leading up to the Landscape Futures exhibition held at the Nevada Museum of Art, August 31, 2011 through February 19, 2012. It contains the following sections: Neo-Nature: Envirogrammic Prototypes for Lanarote (Current Accumulator, River Reversed, Ground Cloud, Prototype Model: Meniscus); Techno Nature: Envirogrammic Prototypes for the River Severn (The Severn Lesser Bore Maker, Instant Islands; Envirographic Instruments for the River Severn: Air, Envirographic Instruments for the River Severn: Water); River Severn Field Studies; Surface Tension (Wave Platforms, Counter Balance Marble Regulators, Wave Sequencer); Hydro Infrastructure: Buffering Scarcity and Abundunce; Anthropogenic Landscapes and Techno-Natures.
The early projects are theoretical drawings and models about specific sites, while the later projects are composed of drawings and plans for models of a more generalized or fictional nature, and include photographs of components being designed and built for the exhibition. Landscape Futures consisted of "an architectural landscape suspended above the 'wave platforms.' This is a representation of an 'architectural oasis' sited in a near future suburban or peri-urban location in an imagined extended metropolitan area running along the Thames." The exhibition represented the hydrological cycle in a variety of modalities
river, cloud, rain and associated optical phenomena such as rainbows
all of which appear as facets of the projects in the book.
As Smout and Allen state, their projects "are designed to challenge assumptions of architecture as an inert body and instead propose a positive and responsive interaction between the built and natural environments. We intend our demonstrations to provide a heuristic context for the understanding and advancement of architecture as an ecological system that can function through apposite principles of sustainability for the future of urban and rural landscapes." In terms of the work done for Landscape Futures, a statement from the Smout Allen website summarizes their practice: "Our work proposes that the built environment can develop a reading of and synergy with its changing surroundings, informed by understanding the complex interaction of living and artificial systems."
Quantity / Extent
Related Archive Collections
Mark Smout, Mark, and Laura Allen. Augmented Landscapes. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.
CAE Box 117
- Folder 1 Landscape Futures Book, 2011