I was recently commissioned to photograph Assemble, a collaborative practice of artists, designers and ‘makers of architecture’ (I guess they aren’t allowed to call themselves architects just yet) at their studio in Stratford, East London. The results were published in a profile piece in Building Design back in November. The photos featured 15 of the practice’s 17 members, making the shoot somewhat akin to co-ordinating those big family groups in weddings (but without the hats or drunken relatives).
Assemble have worked on some really interesting projects over the last couple of years, such as the Folly for a Flyover tucked between flyovers under the A12. Most recently they improved a square in Croydon, planting trees, installing a timber stage and improving pedestrian access.
Many studied at Cambridge and are extremely confident, not to mention media savvy, creating something of a debate in the magazine following publication of the profile as to whether they are ‘just a bunch of rich kids being indulged’ or ‘pioneering an imaginative mode of collaborative practice’. What is certain is that despite being formed, fresh from uni, just four years ago, Assemble has already succeeded in getting things built. In such economically-challenged times, this is quite an achievement.