Q / When developing a project, do you prefer to develop the work in the medium of models or drawings?
.5 / We work through the design process typically from a point of investigation, usually regarding a material or idea of social experience. We begin with rough sketches of material composition, how they will work at different scales and spatially. We usually then move to a rough scale model to identify space and proportion with the instinct of what material dimension we have identified previously. After the first model a series of precise 2 dimensional drawings are made to support the spatial composition, possibly working in parallel to the creation of a new model benefiting from a more resolved composure of details.
Q / In your opinion, what is it about your medium of representation that helps you to convey your projects?
.5 / On the most part we curate the representation of our projects to deliver them to non-architects. We have proposed projects to a real spectrum of clients and as a practice operating in the composition of space we are required to show them in 3 dimensions. The ability of the model to convey an idea almost immediately and instinctively also aids its purpose in client meetings that are often short in duration.
Q / Do you consider the amount of projects undertaken to be more important than the successfulness of just one project?
.5 / As Pointfive was established to emerge within 12 months, the time scale has encouraged focus to engage on a singular but relatively complex project. The importance of this project is not in monologue but more so an opportunity to take certain ideas to fruition, the current project remains the most important, but all the proposals converse around similar ideologies or ambitions.
Q / In each of your projects submitted to various competitions, do you try to build on your last submission, allowing your personal approaches and theories to be developed as a series of iterations, or do you prefer to treat each competition purely for what it is in a separate context, disconnected from your other work? Do you try to do both?
.5 / It is inevitable that each context provokes new ideas but we believe this provocation should still connect to our own histories and experiences. In each of our projects there is difference or newness but their ambitions wether they be technical or social remain somewhat connected in a more general idiom of development.
Q / In the future, how do see your design practice evolving? Will you remain focused on experimental architectural/interactive projects or move onto larger scale commercial projects?
.5 / The practice will remain acute, flexible and possibly interwoven back into education. The next conversation will be with Kingston University as we move the practice to London to make new connections with staff and students in order to have parallel the experience of practice and the ‘student’. The scale of the projects and the clients we work with have intentionally remained at a size that we could control the entire outcome. The inexorable constraints of time, ability and experience in our foreseeable situation will retain this scale and focus on the coherence of a small project rather than the contribution to something out of our immediate control.
Q / What is your practice’s approach to sustainability?
.5 / As a practice we are ultimately educated in current material technologies and ideologies of certain thinkers but do not consolidate the notion of sustainability to any prescribed mode of operation. The most important aspect of our practice is to provide spaces and structures that have longevity in both experience and physicality. We make the upmost effort to source our materials and manufacturing to local businesses, as with the kiosk, all the materials and manufacturing have been sourced within 30 miles. This was not to fulfill a subscribed limit but rather a persistence to use the capacity of the locality.
Q / Do you have a set routine day by day, 9-5 or do you have a flexible attitude working more when needed?
.5 / We typically work 9.30 - 6, either in the studio or out talking to clients or manufacturers. On the occasion of project deadlines or enthusiasm we will stay later or arrive earlier. There are always the times where evenings turn into mornings but fortunately it has been rare.
Q / What position do you take with your clients?
.5 / The clients we have worked for so far have all been in someway involved in the arts industry and fortunately forgiving of our demands or eccentricities. A usual conversation would be a update on design developments, from construction details to the color of the chairs. This occasionally includes drawings, models, photographs.
Q / How does your practice promote itself?
.5 / There was an important stage at the inception of the practice to establish a presence online so if anyone was interested in contacting us there would be a basis to find that information. Apart from designing and feeding the website we have remained relatively quiet as we aim to concentrate our publicity onto our finalised and executed projects. As designers our capabilities should be judged on our outcome first and development/ research second. We focus intensely on having the Tatton Park Biennial Kiosk speak for and of the practice more than any sketch or formulaic theory. Once the Kiosk is built in context this will become our moment to publicize through the vehicle of the Biennial or as Pointfive through web based magazines and printed publications.
Q / Your practice is involved with experimental artist projects. Is this an area you intend to pursue and do you think that not enough practices’ engage in this area of design? Why is it that you engage in such projects?
.5 / We engage with these projects primarily because of their scale and flexibility. The clients and participants also engage at a level that can influence and stimulate a project beyond its inherent value. The reason the larger practices rarely engage is the time demanded for a project of this type and the lack of financial backing would make it unviable.
Q / What do you consider to be the fundamental values of the architecture and experimental artworks you create?
.5 / The value is held in the experience of the individual. This is not something we can quantify or even qualify yet but is the inherent motivation behind our work.
Q / Is there a practice in existence that you wish your practice to aspire to?
.5 / It is very difficult to aspire to be someone else or something different other than your own response to the context in which you work. There are many practices that we certainly admire and can emotively find connections but they represent an entirely different situation to the one we possess and therefore develop and design in different manners.
Q / Is there a movement in architecture that you consider your practice to be a part of?
.5 / Pointfive is more interested in the continuity of history than subscribing to an idea lodged in a foreign context. We find the history of architecture and building far more interesting than attempting to find rhetoric in the comfort of being new.
Conducted the morning of 19th March 2012. In Pointfive Studio, Liverpool.