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New practices: Office S&M

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

Office S&M, Manor House, London

Main people: Catrina Stewart and Hugh McEwen

Founded: January 2013

Where have you come from?
We completed our diplomas at the Bartlett in 2011. Stewart previously worked at CRAB and Quay2C. McEwen works for PTEa and was at Nissen Adams. We have run workshops for Tate and taught at UCL and Brighton.

What work do you have and what kind are you looking for?
We have been very lucky with local authority competition wins and the Mayor’s Outer London Fund has been a great boost for small practices. We are currently working on two shop renovations and a stand for a flower store on Barkingside high street (pictured) as part of DK-CM’s civic square regeneration.

What are your ambitions?
We started small but are looking to expand the time we spend working for Office S&M. We are founding members of a London-based collective of architects and designers, Ada, which allows us to tackle larger projects and working relationships.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
There is a great group of young practices with experience of how hard it is setting up on your own, such as Jan Kattein Architects, DK-CM and Studio Weave. They have been amazingly supportive of new practices by giving them opportunities to work on small, independent projects.

How do you market yourselves?
By going out of our way to meet people, whether in real life or via social media.

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