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Designing with Time

A series of illustrations of architectural proposition
A series of illustrations of architectural proposition
The Tales of the Untamed, Morgane Sha'ban (BA Architecture)
Written by
Teleri Lloyd-Jones
Published date
13 September 2019

We talk to recent graduates exhibiting in Designing in Turbulent Times, currently on show at the Lethaby Gallery. Here, we consider how – from timelessness to transience – time can contribute to sustainable design.

A series of illustrations of architectural proposition
The Tales of the Untamed, Morgane Sha'ban (BA Architecture)

Tales of the Untamed, Morgane Sha'ban, BA Architecture

In this project, Sha’ban proposes a public space where living trees become permanent infrastructure while the built architecture is designed to perish and nurture the soil. This allows a cyclic maintenance of the environment in which the community can redesign and rebuild, adapting the space over time to their needs. This notion of time, permanence and transience is ingrained in the design through Sha’ban’s exploration of materials with a life cycle that starts and ends in the same place.  This project is a response to the high environmental impact of the HS2 development in the Euston area in London.

What inspired your collection?

"Within the urban space there is constant change and transformation. This is inevitable, however the HS2 (the largest rail project in the UK), currently under construction, is harming the environment enormously. As well as ancient woodlands being hugely affected, Euston’s urban trees have been felled causing dramatic loss of its tree canopy. In response this project envisions these threatened trees transplanted as a living permanent infrastructure.

I am fed up of seeing nature's needs, especially trees, coming second to human needs. I wanted this project to develop a balance between environmental needs and social needs.


Do you think of yourself as a sustainable designer?

"We have a duty to respond to the issues surrounding us as an opportunity for design. There is a critical urgency for us to act and this is something I will continue to be focusing on in my design practice."

What is the role of designers in society's collective push for a more sustainable way to live?

"Our society believes we are entitled, or superior, to natural systems. I would change everyone’s mentality towards our planet. I deeply wish that we could collectively care for our environment and the limits of our planet.

I believe architecture can allow us to re-imagine ourselves as part of these systems, where we need to evolve our methods of construction to aim for a more of sustainable process."

Forms that look like stools or benches
Desmond Lim - Poise Collection

Poise Collection, Desmond Lim, MA Design (Furniture)

Lim’s Poise Collection is an exploration of furniture design for longevity and durability – both physical and emotional. By considering the ageing of materials and using high-quality craftsmanship, the work aims to create long-term attachment between user and object. Incorporating a range of non-recyclable industrial waste materials, Lim’s collection promotes a move away from the use of increasingly precious resources.

How did your project begin?

"A lot of my research is around resources, some becoming increasingly precious and others considered waste that are increasingly abundant. I think there is a lot of potential in turning low-value or discarded materials into high-value pieces of furniture. My work joins together increasing precious wood with casted stone. I needed the weight of the stone to reinforce the objects’ stability so it made sense that I looked at waste aggregates from the construction industry as material to cast."

What is the role of designers in society's collective push for a more sustainable way to live?

"I think there are many ways a designer can contribute to sustainability. You can make a radical new material and revolutionise a new way of making something. But I think if you can make a beautiful, well-crafted and durable object that is cherished for a long time, then I think that also achieves a very powerful form of sustainability."

Designing in Turbulent Times is at the Lethaby Gallery, 14 September – 27 October.

More Information:

Jerry Florez
Chloe Duran Stone
Chloe Duran Stone