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Interview with Richard Scott, Surface Architects

Research ProjectThe next interview for my research into Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries was with Richard Scott, founding Director of Surface Architects. Surface was formed by Richard in 1996, in collaboration with philosopher Jeremy Weate and architect Kristen Whittle. Their first project ‘Soft-space’ won first prize in the Shinkenchiku-Sha Residential Design Award in Japan and ‘Aquaphilia’ was one of the ‘Ideal Rooms’ exhibited at the RIBA in 1997. At this time Richard worked for Will Alsop and taught History & Theory at the Bartlett and the AA with Jeremy Weate.

Richard Scott

From 1999, Richard concentrated on Surface, winning a competition for the headquarters for new media company Razorfish. Surface’s next project was to be their largest to date. The £6M South Eastern European University in Macedonia was designed and constructed in 10 months, using pre-fabrication.

Queen Mary's College Graduate Facility
Queen Mary’s College Graduate facility [click for larger image]

Andy MacFee, who was the project architect for Will Alsop’s Peckham Library, joined Surface in 2001 as director. Richard and Andy’s work together aims at the emergence or ‘surfacing’ of new experimental possibilities, promoting an architecture of rich experience.

Surface were the highest placed British practice (third) in the Building Design/Corus Young Architect of the Year Award 2004 and were third again in 2005. Significant built projects for Queen Mary, University of London have brought the practice critical recognition.

The Ambiguous Object construction at Queen Mary's, referred to in the interview
‘Ambiguous Object’ Queen Mary’s College [click for larger image]

Richard gave a fascinating interview, vividly illustrating the ‘continuity between organisation and aesthetics’ in the connections between his conversational style of management and the experimental creative process at Surface.

To showcase Surface’s distinctive architectural style, I’ve included larger images in this blog post – click on the images above to see the large versions. The second image is the ‘ambiguous object’ we discuss during the interview.

Look out for more interviews in this series in the next few weeks.

Click the ‘AUDIO MP3’ icon below to hear the interview.

Table of contents for Research: Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries

  1. Take Part in My Research – ‘Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries’
  2. Research Project: Definition of ‘Coaching’ for this Project
  3. Research Project: Definition of ‘Creative Industries’
  4. Questionnaire for Managers in the UK Creative Industries
  5. Questionnaire for Employees in the UK Creative Industries
  6. Online questions for UK Creative Industry Staff
  7. Interview with Mick Rigby, Managing Director, Monkey Communications
  8. Research Project Featured on ‘Better Business Blogging’
  9. Interview with Ruth Kenley-Letts, Film Producer
  10. Interview with Chris Arnold, Executive Creative Director, BLAC
  11. Interview with Russell Davies, Advertising Planning Maestro
  12. Interview with Chris Hirst, Managing Director, Grey London
  13. Interview with David Roberts, Senior Project Manager, Creative Launchpad
  14. Interview with Neil Youngson, Technical Director, Cabinet UK Ltd
  15. Interview with Greg Orme, Chief Executive, Centre for Creative Business
  16. Interview with Chris Grant, Consultant, 14A Conversations
  17. Interview with Antonio Gould, Consultant, and Sara Harris, Screen Media Lab
  18. Interview with Richard Scott, Surface Architects
  19. Interview with Ben Demiri, Brand Manager, SIX Showroom
  20. Interview with Sian Prime, NESTA Creative Pioneer Programme
  21. Interview with Jill Fear, CPD Manager, The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
  22. Interview with Terry Childs, Creative Director, Silver Chair
  23. Interview with Matt Taylor, Director, Fat Beehive
  24. Interview with Mark Earls, Advertising Contrarian
  25. Interview with David Amor, Creative Director, Relentless Software