Architectural Association Workshop with Academy Graduates

Hooke Park 5 Hooke Park, just outside Beaminster, was home to John Makepeace’s internationally renowned college of furniture making and design, Parnham House.  It is now the Architectural Association‘s Dorset site, specialising in the development of rural architectures and sustainable technologies.  Hooke Park students visit the Boat Building Academy, Academy 12 week Woodworking Skills students visit Hooke Park.  The visits are inspirational for both schools.  When possible the Academy also sources some of its timber from Hooke.

Hooke Park 3The Architectural Association at Hooke is engaged in a building programme including accommodation, workshops and seminar rooms.  Each new building is designed and built by student architects as part of a 16 month Masters course.  The buildings, in particular the first accommodation units (bedrooms and kitchen), need interior fitting and furniture made that is in keeping with the architectural style of the building.  Academy graduates were offered the opportunity to engage in the design and making of the interior furniture.  Over a four week period starting on 27 May 2014 they participated in a workshop that started with  a design intensive and prototyping week (working with a designer) followed by three weeks of making.  They designed, learned some basic digital design and used Hooke Park’s extensive workshops, including the CNC facility.

Hooke Park 6The opportunity was advertised on our Graduates’ Network (a closed Facebook group) as it was only open to Academy-trained people.  The group of six consisted of boat builders Matt Cotterill, Jack Livesey and Rob Murphy and woodworkers Hector Kennard, Josh Rose and James Vooght.  All took unpaid leave from their usual employment because the experience of designing and making furniture for live buildings, the chance to add to their portfolio of work and the opportunity to touch upon digital design and fabrication while working on and living in the unique buildings at Hooke Park was unmissable.

The 12 week ‘Woodworking Skills’ group visited Hooke during the life of the workshop, as did members of Academy staff.  It was something special and will be an annual event.

(Photographs above are courtesy of Architectural Association and photographs below are by James Vooght.)