The illusive and uncertain world of translating ideas into matter is a negotiation between the ideal and the real and a central preoccupation of architectural production. By invading the toolbox of digital fabrication, design has transgressed into protocols of manufacturing previously the domain of other disciplines and skills sets. Craft, assembly and installation, once the realm of trades, are qualities that are now dependent upon design information and its status as an instruction to make. The ensuing loop between the physical and tactile, the imaginary and speculative, has defined a new expectation in making architecture as a construct that is part real, part ideal.
With contributions from Lebbeus Woods, Evan Douglis, Theo Jansen, Shin Egashira and many more, Protoarchitecture presents an explicitly diverse collection of works from leading and emerging practitioners, educators, researchers and visionaries from all corners of this innovative field.
Bob Sheil is an architect and a senior lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He has worked as a designer and maker in architecture, furniture, exhibition and web design. Following 10 years in practice, his teaching career began in the Bartlett workshop in 1995 where his key interest in, and curiosity about, the relationship between architecture and making evolved from practice to research. He is a founder member of the workshop–based practice sixteen∗(makers) with Nick Callicott, Phil Ayres and Chris Leung. Since 2004 he has been programme director of the Bartlett s Graduate Diploma in Architecture, and in 2005 he guest–edited AD Design through Making.