Cass Projects

Image credit: Channon King

Cass Projects (The Projects Office) provides a supportive, professional environment that allows students and staff to undertake consultancy commissions and research projects, as well as providing project management support to live projects carried out by students as part of their coursework.


About

Cass Projects

Cass Projects was founded in 2004 as ASD Projects and is now a School-based unit directed by Anne Markey. Its success has evolved through the development of an approach, a methodology and range of outputs that together frame a research project in its own right.

Cass Projects has made a significant contribution to the live projects dimension of the School’s research profile. It has established a specific approach to the collaboration between pedagogy and research, and the professional aspect of practice. Its portfolio engages with complex issues relating to health, education, sustainability and culture.

Cass Projects is a RIBA-registered practice. Inspired by the Architecture Research Unit (ARU) led by Professors Florian Beigel and Philip Christou (the first such embedded architecture practice at the University) and some of the working methods of Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources under Professor Maurice Mitchell, it has a particular remit. In order to foster collaborative and participatory projects, it is positioned between the European professor-led research studio and the American model of Design-Build.

Cass Projects does not run a single design studio or specialist MA programme, nor is it a conventional architecture office: it has developed a way of doing live projects, that is, in real time with actual players producing concrete results in a professional framework whilst fully engaging the creative potential of teaching and research. Cass Projects both initiates live projects and responds to demand, whether from individuals or groups within the School or from external bodies, clients or user groups.

Staff

Anne Markey – director
Jen Ng
Danielle Hewitt
Vanja Bazdulj
Ottavia Alieri

Links & Contacts

The Aldgate Project

Follow us on Twitter @CassProjects

For more information or to make an enquiry, contact Anne Markey.

Process

Writing the brief

What brings the three parts of the Cass Projects research method together is the process of brief-writing. Anne Markey formulates collaborative briefs that rework the conventional boundaries between expert and non-expert, insider and outsider, thus encouraging a more inclusive playing field and more empowered players. This has a bearing on the way problems, opportunities and initiatives are identified as well as how they are approached and resolved. This approach has similarities to the interactive brief writing techniques developed by Mark Brearley and the student-involving techniques developed in Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources' (ARCSR) work by Maurice Mitchell. It might be described as a model of sustained and embedded impact rather than approaching impact as a resultant.

Markey's approach shares a design-as-research orientation with Architecture Research Unit (ARU) but uses the professional structure of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) practice more explicitly and as an integral part of the method. A direct equivalence can be drawn between the discipline of research and the discipline of being professional in the case of live projects. For example, the discipline of professional status can be used to institute a working environment subject to contracts, ethical practice, performance criteria, health and safety and so forth. It creates the potential to build a critical bridge between pedagogy and practice. The disciplinary apparatus can thus work as equivalent to a conventional research environment, but one geared to embedding research within practice. A professionally enacted research project produces a different outcome to an outcome derived from applied research.

Example

With the National Schools Ideas Project, this approach facilitated a collaboration between a number of Schools of Architecture around a common theme in order to develop a diversity of outcomes. This model of a collaborative brief has also been used to deliver a number of other projects described here such as the International Architecture Student Festival where the “players” have been international Schools of Architecture and local authorities and communities the beneficiaries.

Download example Collaborative Research Brief

Cass Projects portfolio

This booklet documents the work that Architecture Studio 3 has done to explore the use of a shipping container to provide a shelter for canoeing club ‘The Sharks’ in Hayes.

Newsletters

People

Vanja Bazdulj

Projects Coordinator, Cass Projects

Teaching in 3D studio Harvest (Furniture and Product Design) with Peter Marigold and Christopher Emmett.

Zoë Berman

Zoë has been part of the teaching team for undergraduate-level architecture.

Zoë Berman is an architect who divides her time between practice, teaching and research.

Danielle Hewitt

Course leader of MA by Project and senior lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies

Anne Markey

Director of Cass Projects

Anne Markey has over twenty years experience of working as an architect at senior level.

Jen Ng

Projects Co-ordinator, Cass Projects

At the Projects Office Jen is working with Architecture, Design and Fine Art studios to curate, instigate and develop community art and architecture projects for the office.

Dr Bo Tang

Research Coordinator and Studio 7 Tutor

Bo Tang was awarded her PhD in January 2014, and is the first PhD Architecture student to complete her PhD at The Cass.

Recent news from The Cass

Impulse/Impulses

Simone ten Hompel features in new book celebrating thirty years of innovative artist-in-residence programme.

Discover: Works Inspired By Found Objects

MA By Project student's work feature in online exhibition by Garland Magazine.

MASS at Cass: Cabin Fever with Hello Wood

Monday 23 April 2018, 5pm - 6.30pm

MASS welcomes Hello Wood, an award winning Hungarian practice, who are hosting their ninth annual summer school “Cabin Fever”.

The sky’s the limit

Two students have made a short film to celebrate the opening of the new roof garden which is based at Calcutta House.

EXHIBITION: Fine Art Year 1 Pop-Up series

Various dates and locations

A series of pop-up exhibitions curated by first year Fine Art students.

Ikebana, performativity and contemporary art

Thursday 19 April 2018, 2.00pm

A talk with guest artist Takaya Fujii about Ikebana, performativity and contemporary art.

Hammering out a poem

Thursday 3 May 2018, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Peter Clossick will speak about the philosophy and ideas behind his figurative paintings from the 1980's to today.

Tractus Triumphant

Work by Cass Textile design student is manufactured in India and exhibited in Germany and New York following competition success.

EVENT: Concrete Soldiers

24 April at 6.30pm

Screening of documentary exploring social cleansing in council housing, accompanied by Q and A with director Nikita Woolfe.

The Cass students share their work with Artistic Director

Theatre students performed extracts of their student projects to Adrian Berry, Artistic Director of Jackson’s Lane Theatre.

EVENT: Weird Garden

3rd May

First Thursday evening of experimental sound and vision curated by Fine Art student Raisa Watkiss returns to The Cass.

EVENT: It’s Going to be Good

19 April 2018

Cass to host International event for young change makers to coincide with Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – and you can help.

EXHIBITION: Everything out the door

Exhibition at The Cass reveals results of CAMPO research project exploring the idea of ‘Dream Beds’

Cass designers selected to exhibit for Aram Gallery’s Fifteenth Birthday

Cass graduate selected to exhibit alongside his tutor at prestigious exhibition to celebrate 15 years of The Aram Gallery

Cass Projects Portfolio

Huguenot Projects work from across the School was exhibited at the French Protestant Church on Soho Square as part of Soho Create Festival 2015.

The Cass ‘Made in Hayes’ cross school projects started in 2012/13, and Studios across the Schools of Art, Architecture and Design have continued to build on their work in the Hayes area since then.

Following the success of last year’s Huguenot projects shown at the Soho Create festival, The Cass has been invited back to show in 2016 with a new brief: ‘The Spirit of Soho’.

7 Architectural Units at The Cass were invited by Robert Mull and the Director of Sir John Soane's Museum to respond to the theme of the Primitive Hut.

Inspired by the rich history of the Huguenots, many of whom settled in and around East London.

Students of architecture at The Cass, London Metropolitan University studying their Part II and Part III were invited to submit concept drawings for a new hall that responds to the needs of the church, the community and the area.

Following the series of workshops and events on the High Street and around the Austin Estate in 2013, the new cohort of Architecture Studio 3 students received funding from Hillingdon Community Trust to host more events at the Austin Estate.

EMI records archives

A cross-disciplinary project, with 20 different groups of students engaging in products based in and developed in response to the area of Aldgate in East London.

The School of Design launches its inaugural Project ‘DESIGN/shift’. A time for evolution/ r-evolution through design research & professional practice activities & events to critique & re-imagine the contemporary Design School.

The School of Architecture continues to co-ordinate the Brazil Study Programme to explore transformative outcomes for a new approach to urbanism and professional collaboration.

Conversation Pieces were chosen for the Olympic Dressing Initiative by the GLA to be deployed in the City of London, Whitechapel and Spitalfields during the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012.

An on-going live project focused on water, waste and sanitation in the settlement of Kachhpura in Agra, India. Projects have received continued support and funding from the Water Trust.

Two quarry classrooms for children’s bridge classes were constructed by students, researchers and local communities at Baban Seth quarry (March 2010) and Tata Press quarry.

Members of the Projects Office and students from the Architecture school at the Cass have been collaborating with Freetown and the Sierra Leonian NGO Community Empowerment Support Organisation (CESO)

Providence Row is a charitable organisation located on Wentworth Street in East London.

ASD Projects was approached by Kingsmead Primary School in Hackney London and invited to design a new reception classroom, outdoor learning space and parents’ waiting area.

The project was initiated by Studio 3 for a set of informal cultural organisations in Kronberg, Germany, started in June 2009.

London Met and ASD have entered negotiations with the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education and the Universities of Sancti Spíritus and Santa Clara in Cuba to establish a new architecture faculty and an international research centre in Sancti Spiritus.

A Schools Design Capacity Building programme to share ideas to help improve the quality of school design and innovation for the DCSF’s school investment programmes including Primary Capital Projects and Building Schools for the Future over a three- year period.

This booklet documents the work that Architecture Studio 3 has done to explore the use of a shipping container to provide a shelter for canoeing club The Sharks in Hayes.

This year, as part of the cross-school project, BA Interiors and BA Creative Writing are working with the writer Rachel Lichtenstein and Sandy’s Row, the oldest Ashkanazi synagogue in London. Interiors students are making proposals for a heritage centre in the basement, and Creative Writing are working with Sandy’s Row archive material at the Bishopsgate Institute.

Huguenot Projects work from across the School was exhibited at the French Protestant Church on Soho Square as part of Soho Create Festival 2015.

The Cass ‘Made in Hayes’ cross school projects started in 2012/13, and Studios across the Schools of Art, Architecture and Design have continued to build on their work in the Hayes area since then.

Following the success of last year’s Huguenot projects shown at the Soho Create festival, The Cass has been invited back to show in 2016 with a new brief: ‘The Spirit of Soho’.

7 Architectural Units at The Cass were invited by Robert Mull and the Director of Sir John Soane's Museum to respond to the theme of the Primitive Hut.

Inspired by the rich history of the Huguenots, many of whom settled in and around East London.

Students of architecture at The Cass, London Metropolitan University studying their Part II and Part III were invited to submit concept drawings for a new hall that responds to the needs of the church, the community and the area.

Following the series of workshops and events on the High Street and around the Austin Estate in 2013, the new cohort of Architecture Studio 3 students received funding from Hillingdon Community Trust to host more events at the Austin Estate.

EMI records archives

A cross-disciplinary project, with 20 different groups of students engaging in products based in and developed in response to the area of Aldgate in East London.

The School of Design launches its inaugural Project ‘DESIGN/shift’. A time for evolution/ r-evolution through design research & professional practice activities & events to critique & re-imagine the contemporary Design School.

The School of Architecture continues to co-ordinate the Brazil Study Programme to explore transformative outcomes for a new approach to urbanism and professional collaboration.

Conversation Pieces were chosen for the Olympic Dressing Initiative by the GLA to be deployed in the City of London, Whitechapel and Spitalfields during the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012.

An on-going live project focused on water, waste and sanitation in the settlement of Kachhpura in Agra, India. Projects have received continued support and funding from the Water Trust.

Two quarry classrooms for children’s bridge classes were constructed by students, researchers and local communities at Baban Seth quarry (March 2010) and Tata Press quarry.

Members of the Projects Office and students from the Architecture school at the Cass have been collaborating with Freetown and the Sierra Leonian NGO Community Empowerment Support Organisation (CESO)

Providence Row is a charitable organisation located on Wentworth Street in East London.

ASD Projects was approached by Kingsmead Primary School in Hackney London and invited to design a new reception classroom, outdoor learning space and parents’ waiting area.

The project was initiated by Studio 3 for a set of informal cultural organisations in Kronberg, Germany, started in June 2009.

London Met and ASD have entered negotiations with the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education and the Universities of Sancti Spíritus and Santa Clara in Cuba to establish a new architecture faculty and an international research centre in Sancti Spiritus.

A Schools Design Capacity Building programme to share ideas to help improve the quality of school design and innovation for the DCSF’s school investment programmes including Primary Capital Projects and Building Schools for the Future over a three- year period.

This booklet documents the work that Architecture Studio 3 has done to explore the use of a shipping container to provide a shelter for canoeing club The Sharks in Hayes.

This year, as part of the cross-school project, BA Interiors and BA Creative Writing are working with the writer Rachel Lichtenstein and Sandy’s Row, the oldest Ashkanazi synagogue in London. Interiors students are making proposals for a heritage centre in the basement, and Creative Writing are working with Sandy’s Row archive material at the Bishopsgate Institute.