This year Studio 14 will be investigating ‘the place of art’. At a time when artists are increasingly looking toward architecture for inspiration and settings for their work, how might we learn from art practice, and in particular processes of performance, installation and public engagement? This is also a time when the conventional architecture of the gallery is questioned. How might we learn from artists and curators that seek to work with alternatives to the gallery, in spaces and places that challenge and inspire?

Initially we will be collaborating with the ONCA Gallery in Brighton. ONCA’s mission is ‘to cultivate environmental and social well-being through the arts, to inspire creativity and positive action in the face of environmental change. The relationship between architecture, art and nature will therefore form an underlying theme to our work.

Our work, in the first term, will be developed from ONCA’s project requirements. These are to enhance and develop the possibilities of their listed 18th century building in London Road; and to develop installation proposals for the green fronting St Peter’s Church. The project is ‘live’ in that our proposals will be displayed within the gallery, reviewed, and may form the basis of applications for funding, and construction.

Aspects of the first term’s work may optionally be developed in the second and third terms towards actual construction and installation. Alternatively the first term’s work may lead to ways of rethinking the St Peter’s and St Bartholomew’s area, with the initial premise of designing a new venue for contemporary, performance and environmental arts in Brighton. Yet there is great potential for the development of individual projects in many diverse ways with inclusion of broader public concerns relevant to the location.

Studio 14 aspires to develop relevant thought provoking approaches to architecture. Focused on sensory encounter and experience, we are particularly interested in the ways that architecture might promote thinking, delight, well-being, and happiness. In our work we look for the possibilities of collaboration; asking, how architecture might be more inclusive, both its making and its use.

As a studio we do not have a set style or fixed method, yet we tend however to adopt nonlinear, often nomadic, abstract image, and conceptually based methods of investigation. This is a positive approach leads students towards intuitive responses, and in turn discovery of individual interests and directions for their work.

This year we propose to follow a more process driven approach through which we will gather understandings of image, sound, material, transference, installation and display. We will be using a wide range of media: image, sound, film, drawing, models, castings and constructions. We value carefully considered work, in particular fine crafted drawings and models, but as representations of thoughtful design.

We will be traveling to directly experience architecture. In addition to local visits, and there will be excursions to London, to galleries, performance spaces, and installations. In particular we will be visit the Serpentine gallery summer pavilions, and new exhibitions: ‘Thick Time’ by William Kentridge, and ‘The Infinite Mix: Contemporary Sound and Image’. We also plan provisionally to undertake a study visit to Berlin; where would particularly hope learn from interdisciplinary thinkers, artists, makers: Studio Olafur Eliasson, and FELD.

Our aim is to involve students in a process of creative discovery that empowers independent thinking, yet with critical relevance. We would hope to develop an open collaborative studio in which students fully participate in determining the ambition of the work.

Studio 14 is led by Stephen Ryan and Jack Wates.