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10X10: IF_DO

Sarah Castle, Al Scott & Thomas Bryans © Simon Webb

© Simon Webb

Sarah Castle, Al Scott & Thomas Bryans
Dulwich Pavilion © Joakim Boren

© Joakim Boren

Dulwich Pavilion
Dulwich Pavilion © Joakim Boren

© Joakim Boren

Dulwich Pavilion
Joseph Walsh Studio © Forbes Massie

© Forbes Massie

Joseph Walsh Studio
Lower Marsh © Mariell Lind Hansen

© Mariell Lind Hansen

Lower Marsh
St Teresas Sixth Form Centre © Forbes Massie

© Forbes Massie

St Teresas Sixth Form Centre

12 September 2017

Design Connections 10x10 will return this year on Tuesday 19 September, showcasing a selection of the best emerging design talent in the UK. We caught up with speakers IF_DO to find out more about their practice. 

Hello all, tell us about your practice . . .

IF_DO was founded in 2014 by Al Scott, Sarah Castle, and Thomas Bryans. It was established with the intent to create projects with a positive impact on users, the environment, and the surrounding community. 

We met and studied together at the University of Edinburgh, and had instilled in us a like-minded design sensitivity which heavily influences our approach today. Our work is always developed with a deep analysis of context, informing an architecture that is responsive and appropriate to its place, but also innovative and aspirational.

What are you working on at the moment?

The practice is currently working on a wide variety of projects across a range of typologies and scales. These include a number of new-build one-off houses, a new Sixth Form Centre for an independent girls’ school in Surrey, a series of workshops and studios for an internationally-renowned furniture designer and maker in Ireland, and a significant piece of cultural infrastructure for a landmark central London building. We have also recently been appointed for the design of a significant exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

What impact do you hope to see through your work? 

Ultimately, we want our work to improve peoples’ lives, to benefit communities and the environment, and to create buildings that are loved. The act of construction inherently involves a significant amount of destruction, and we want our work to give back more than it takes away, whether that be social, ecological or economic. We see this as a fundamental responsibility of design.

Tell us about something you’ve worked on that’s made you feel proud.

Our most recent completed project and one that we are particularly proud of is the inaugural summer pavilion at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. It is located immediately adjacent to the Sir John Soane building and responds both to its context—the formality and tectonics of the Gallery, and the informality and openness its gardens—as well as the idea of ‘memory’ (the theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture). We won the competition in January and had to deliver it by the end of May, so it required intense collaboration with both the structural engineers and fabricators. The pavilion was built to celebrate the Gallery’s bicentenary, in partnership with the LFA. Unfortunately, it’s only a temporary structure though, so it will be coming down at the beginning of October, but we are hoping to find a longer-term home for it for it.

To hear more about IF_DO, join us at 7pm on the 19 September on Facebook as we livestream the whole of Design Connections 10x10 from Second Home.