New Practices #96: Stitch
The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy
Stitch, Clerkenwell, London
Founded: January 2012
Main people: Sally Lewis (founding director); Alastair Crockett (joins 28 January)
Where have you come from? I’ve been leading large regeneration bids and projects at HTA for the past four years, including the South Acton Masterplan.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? We have good relationships with a few developers and housing associations, and are working on a couple of strong leads. Collaboration is the foundation of what we do : we plan to team up with the best in the business, learn from them, and bring our ‘smarterplanning’ ideas to the table.
What are your ambitions? Too often our industry focuses only on the look and feel of buildings, but as Steve Jobs said, ‘Great design is also about how it works’. Stitch is focused on getting the story right, making sure the proposals work in the long term. We have big ambitions, but they are not about size. We are concerned with bringing all parties involved in a scheme together, creating a coherent story, and helping to make it happen.
How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? Everybody says the best time to start up is in a recession. Hopefully they’re not just being kind. The best advice I received was, ‘If you’re going to do it be brave and go for it, don’t do it in half measures’. My biggest fear is that quality in housing ceases to be valued at a time when it needs to be at the top of the design agenda.
How are you marketing yourselves? We have a healthy network of contacts and people seem interested in hearing more. We’ve invested in getting our brand right and our story clear. We’ll be targeting specific projects this year for competitive pitching.
Website address: www.stitch-studio.co.uk