ARCHITECT@WORK 2018 attracts record number of visitors

ARCHITECT@WORK, the annual curated two-day event, had its sixth successful showing at Olympia National Hall on 24th and 25th January. The show attracted a record number of visitors, with a total of 1,998 architects, specifiers and designers attending.

Following the success of this year’s event, the seventh edition has been scheduled for the 23rd and 24th of January 2019 at Olympia National Hall.

Over 100 leading European architectural suppliers showed their innovative new products and offered up the latest innovations in surface solutions, lighting technology as well as interior and exterior fixtures and fittings. All exhibitors went through a rigorous selection process, with an external judging panel overseeing the product selection, to ensure that this is one of the UK’s most highly respected trade shows of its kind.

One of the most popular elements of the show was the seminar programme, which saw hundreds of people attend to see big names discuss everything from practical applications to more artistic endeavours related to light. To complement the talks programme ARCHITECT@WORK commissioned UK-based Tack Press to produce a series of filmed interviews with some of the speakers. The @Work film series is available to view here.

Living with Light was chaired by journalist Dominic Lutyens, and involved Christina Seilern, Studio Seilern Architects; Tatiana von Preussen, vPPR; Jon Miller, Architects’ Republic; and Nic Howett,

Jonathan Tuckey Design. The panel discussed the effect light can have in our homes, from artificial lighting to buildings shaped to let the sunlight in and create mood, atmosphere and space.
In Frozen light, Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects, architectural photographer Paul Raftery and Sam Jacob of Sam Jacob Studios explored photography and architecture’s long and complex history. They discussed how the proliferation of smart phones and an obsession with social media is changing how buildings and spaces are being communicated to a global audience. The panel was chaired by Francesca Perry, Assistant Editor of Blueprint.

Lighting London saw the panel discuss how the city comes alive at night and how lighting takes on a new role to shape our experiences of the urban landscape. The panel included Sarah Gaventa, Illuminated River; Helen Marriage, Artichoke; Simon Keeling, In Situ; Joy Nazzari, dn&co; and was chaired by journalist David Michon.

In Leading lights in workplace wellness, Ceri Davies, AHMM; Catherine van der Heide, HASSELL Studio; Inessa Demidova, Arup; and Linda Morey-Burrows, MoreySmith questioned why we are so far behind with the design of artificial and natural lighting in the workspace when employees understand the importance of health at work. Journalist Clare Dowdy chaired.

Mat Waring, editor of arc, interviewed Paul Nulty of award-winning lighting consultancy Nulty in What architects should know about lighting. Paul discussed the role of the lighting designer in contemporary architecture, paying attention to common mistakes and the innovative solutions that his team employ to create indoor and exterior spaces which are well lit and inspiring.

The art of light and art saw journalist David Michon chair the panel involving Anne Fehrenbach, Stanton Williams; Alice Dietsch, Amanda Levete Architects; John McElgunn, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; and Arfon Davies, Arup. They discussed how cultural venues often lead the charge in terms of high-end design, with huge technical challenges brought about by the requirements for sensitive and beautiful works of art.

To honour the show’s theme of light, the SCIN Gallery presented LIGHT FANTASTIC, an exhibition that explored how light reveals itself and affects our interaction with materials. The material exhibition highlighted surfaces that reflect light using fine glass granules, materials that transmit light using fibre optics or filters, what happens when light is absorbed into absolute darkness and how certain materials can transform light into energy. Exciting materials that play with light to create interactive spaces, such as translucent ceramics and glow in the dark bricks, were also exhibited.

Another talking point at this year’s show was Kinetech Design’s two folded aluminium sculptures. Endless Column, positioned near the show’s entrance, was a sculptural form inspired by Brancusi’s sculpture of the same title. Inspired by Japanese origami, the reciprocating forms were assembled into a column of geometric complexity and light. The second sculpture, Super Nova, was suspended over the main bar area. This sculpture resembled star formations as well as organic crystal and flower forms. The dish-like structures levitated and subtly radiated light over the area below as if they were spaceships about to land. The piece shed light on the universal connection between our macro and micro worlds.

This year’s RIBA Pop Up Book Shop for Architects and Designers and exhibitions by DAPh and and were also tremendously popular with the crowd.

The next edition of ARCHITECT@WORK UK will be held in January 2019.