Crispin Osborne, who died on 23 December, had something of a head start in hisprofession - his father was an architect and his mother a town planner. Graduating from the Regent's Street Polytechnic, he worked with Patrick Hodgkinson and Peter Moro before joining James Stirling and Partners in the 1970s.
While still at Stirling's, Crispin began teaching with David Greene at the aa, becoming unit master of an intermediate unit, where he influenced many students who went on to famous achievements. In autumn 1983, John Pawson enrolled in Crispin's unit. In April of that year, he asked Crispin to help him with the Waddington gallery, and thus began a collaboration which culminated in the firm posa with John Andrews and Claudio Silvestrin.
Never one to put all his eggs in one basket, Crispin also found time during the 1980s to be an associate at Munkenbeck and Marshall, where he detailed the Yohji Yamamoto shop during the day and helped Doris Saatchi finish her elegant Hays Mews flat in the evenings.
Crispin's passion was exploring the tectonic side of architecture. He developed a theory which would connect a visual result with a method of construction and was making notes for a book. Fascinated by the patient process of putting materials together on site, Crispin had tremendous empathy with the contractor's role. He was able to make the conceptual leap between an abstract idea and the builder's work process, and vice- versa. This made him an exciting and much-loved teacher.
There will be a memorial exhibition and drinks to remember Crispin at the aa on 9 February at 18.30. Alfred Munkenbeck