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New practices: Invisible 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

Invisible Studio, no fixed abode

Founded:  2012

Main people: Piers Taylor

Where have you come from? Previously founding director, Mitchell Taylor Workshop . 

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? Invisible Studio is conceived of as a vehicle forcollaboration and reinvention - while I have a studio, the practice is very much project based - with a different team each project, and a different identity for each project. I’m doing a gridshell in the Midlands with carpenter Charley Brentnall, a primary school project with a Japanese architect who used to work for Sanaa, some artists studios in Brighton, three houses for a developer in Northampton, a large shearing shed in rural NSW and I’ve got a prototypical low cost house on site in Dorset.  I’m still working with Mitchell Taylor Workshop on several projects - including a health clinic and martial arts dojo in Bath which is nearly complete. Work comes at me from strange directions - I’ve rather stupidly never actively sought any work - it just comes along…

What are your ambitions? I quit what I was doing to do less better, rather than more - and I’m excited about keeping the practice as embryonic as possible for as long as possible. I’m interested in working on anything that is challenging and has real joy. I’m not interested in anything run of the mill… I don’t want to employ anyone though on a PAYE basis as I did at Mitchell Taylor, so all of the projects are collaborations where we’re splitting the fees. Longer term, who knows? I’d hope the practice will develop a life of its own and I’ll be agile enough just to guide it… As soon as it gets stale, or predictable, I’ll need to change it… I’m very keen not to get sucked into doing domestic work, specifically luxury, high end, bespoke, boutique projects for private clients. I don not want to be known for being precious, predictable, controlling, anal or corporate.  

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? Very optimistic. It’s a much more interesting climate in which to be working than pre-recession with easy come easy go developers. Now, everyone who wants to do something is keen to make it interesting for its own sake, and not as a speculator.

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