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New practices: SWOT[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

SWOT[studio], Birmingham

Main people: Holly Rose Doron, Matt Vaughan and Matt Warren

Founded: May 2013

Where have you come from?
We are postgraduates from Birmingham School of Architecture and the University of Nottingham and work four days a week each at Glenn Howells Architects, APEC and Bryant Priest Newman.

What work do you have?
We are embarking on our first commissioned project – S[q]WOT – a hybrid academic and practice space that will squat inside Birmingham City University’s Associated Architects-designed campus. Designed and built with students, it is a space for entrepreneurialism, resourcefulness and collaborative working.

What are your ambitions?
As a research practice we want to erode the disparity between education and practice. We are using S[q]WOT to test an education-practice model that is better suited to the next generation of architects. If it works: great. If not: we will move onto the next experiment in search of the hybrid studio of the future.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
We’ve been overwhelmed by interest and support from all directions. We won the Deutsche Bank 2013 Award for Creative and Cultural Practice with seed funding to establish SWOT[studio] in parallel to our day jobs. The enthusiasm of Birmingham City University and our employers’ open-mindedness has enabled this venture to happen.


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