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Bob Sheil is an Architect, Director of The Bartlett School of
Architecture, Professor in Architecture and Design through Production,
and the School’s Director of Technology. He is a founding partner of
sixteen*(makers), whose work in collaboration with Stahlbogen GmbH
‘55/02’ won a RIBA award for design in 2010, and also includes a ten
year catalogue of experimental projects both internationally published
and exhibited. He is an educator, critic, researcher, collaborator and
practitioner, as well as an experimental designer who is fascinated by
transgression between making, craft, and technology, in architectural
design practice. He has played a leading role in the Schools significant
acceleration of investment in digital technologies since he took over
as Director of Technology in 2007, including founding the Digital
Manufacturing Centre (2009) and later evolving it into the Bartlett
Manufacturing and Design Exchange (B-MADE), which merges all workshop
and laboratory resources of the School under one organization.
is the author of multiple book chapters, refereed papers, and articles
on design, making and technology. He has co-designed and built 6
significant artefacts/built works, and been internationally exhibited on
11 occasions. He has edited five books, including three issues of
Architectural Design; ‘Design through Making’ (2005),
‘Protoarchitecture’ (2008), and the forthcoming ‘High Definition :
Negotiating Zero Tolerance’ (2014), an AD Reader ‘Manufacturing the
Bespoke’ published in 2012, and ‘55/02: A sixteen*(makers) Monograph’
(also 2012). In 2011, he Co-Chaired the highly acclaimed international
conference 'FABRICATE' with Ruairi Glynn, for which he also co-edited
the substantial parallel publication. FABRICATE has now become an
internationally established conference brand, with the 2014 event hosted
by ETH Zurich. A number of his lectures on design and making can be
viewed online including his inaugural lecture “Design through
Production” which has registered over 1000 plays.
recently founded The Protoarchitecture Lab at UCL where he is currently
developing new strand of collaborative research between making,
performance and 3D scanning, in collaboration with the Royal Central
School of Speech and Drama, SHUNT, and ScanLAB projects.
In the post digital age, as new tools have dissolved boundaries between
the drawn and the made, how we design has become of equal importance to
what we design. Both the role and skillset of the designer has been
presented with an unprecedented opportunity to expand and diversify. His
research is focused on experiments in the production of architecture
where questions are developed through integrated acts of design, making
and writing. His work explores the complex relationship between design
and making, and in particular how this relationship affects and
determines the architectural outcome. He defines this field as
‘Protoarchitecture’, a speculative approach to architectural production
that seeks to create and hypothesize alternative and simultaneous
approaches to making architecture, involving varied methodologies of
design, and varied methodologies of making.
In collaboration with
sixteen*(makers) and Stahlbogen GmbH, he won a design award from the
RIBA in 2010 for the building ‘55/02’ in Kielder Northumberland. Since
2000, he has published multiple international papers on design research,
and edited three issues of Architectural Design; ‘Design through
Making’ (2005), and ‘Protoarchitecture’ (2008), and ‘High Definition’
(2014). In 2011 he Co-founded the triennial international conference
FABRICATE at UCL with Ruairi Glynn, and in 2012, he published
‘Manufacturing the Bespoke’ an AD Reader on prototyping and making
architecture in the digital age, and a monograph on 55/02.
R. (2014). High Definition: Zero Tolerance in Design and Production.
Architectural Design: London: John Wiley & Sons.
Callicott, N., Ayres, P., & Sharpe, P. (2012). 55/02 A
sixteen*(makers) Project Monograph. Toronto: Riverside Architectural
Sheil, R. (2012). Manufacturing the Bespoke. London and New York: : John Wiley & Sons.
Sheil, R., & Glynn, R. (2011) FABRICATE - Making Digital Architecture (1st ed.). Toronto: Riverside Architectural Press.
Sheil, R. (2008). Protoarchitecture: Analogue and Digital Hybrids. Architectural Design: London: John Wiley & Sons. Sheil, R. (2005). Design through Making. Architectural Design: London: John Wiley & Sons.