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New Practices #84: Collaborative Design Studio

The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy

CDStudio, Cardiff

Founded: early 2010

Main people: Mhairi McVicar and Kevin Hong

Where have you come from? We both qualified and practised in Chicago. Kevin recently worked at DSDHA and Loyn & Co, and is a tutor at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA). Mhairi was at PTEa in London, and is a lecturer at the WSA.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? We’ve have varying projects on the go - from ‘New Endings’, a project looking at dead end street spaces in Cardiff partnering with many community groups, to completing houses and a heritage centre in the Orkney Isles. Our projects vary in delivery methods: from self initiated with funding sources, to a design and construct residence, and more typical client driven projects. We like searching for more effective ways to practice architecture which can result in pleasureable places.

What are your ambitions?
We like to think of the studio as a family. It’s possible to have a big or small family. In terms of our ambitions, ‘making places’, ‘durability’ and ‘beauty’ are important words for us, whether it’s given through a building, a piece of pavement, or a park.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
We like the current times in architecture. It has brought about awareness of the impact of architecture and has allowed socially engaged approaches to re-emerge. We just hope to do it by putting a bit of bread (and wine) on the table.

How are you marketing yourselves? We have mainly been chatting through our friends and contacts. But we do need to be more proactive in spreading the good word. Invitations to an event hung from pink balloons in dead end streets helped spread the word for ‘New Endings’.

Website address:

CD Studio - heritage centre (Orkney)

CD Studio - heritage centre (Orkney)


Website address:

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