Carl Turner

Related Project:
Jack Spade Store

Carl Turner

A love of the process of collage as a working method springs from our background as teachers. In architecture school it is a technique that prevents preconception as part of the design process. In practice, where it is very easy to begin repeating solutions and stop thinking creatively, collage allows up to speculate from a very wide starting point. Collage is not appropriate for every instance, but where we have time to speculate it is a fantastic way to think around a subject, explore scale and experiment.

Our proposal for Jack Spade in London began as a series of collages, suggesting how architectural fragments from New York could be exported to London. We hesitatingly showed the collages to the client as a way of presenting our thinking (without an actual solution) and they got it. We took a more physical collage approach with our MUDE project, dissecting and extracting five key components from a typical British home and slotting them together like a three-dimensional puzzle.

A must read book for us would be Collage City by Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, who recognise collage as a useful technique for understanding cities’ fragmented and random nature. At that scale we prefer to look for solutions that can be woven into and around existing conditions–as evidence in our (A)Dressing The Street project.

“Amongst the arsenal of thinking methods, the process of collage making, though pervasive, occupies a disruptive position by using trash and deadness to form beauty. Collage permits a silent rapport between the collagist and those objects whose purpose is often too difficult to comprehend. Collage making allows anyone to hold a view on any subject.” Extract from Appliance House by Ben Nicholson, Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism