Prof Bob Sheil

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Bob Sheil is an Architect, Professor in Architecture and Design through Production, and Director of Technology at The Bartlett School of Architecture, where he also runs MArch Unit 23 with Emmanuel Vercruysse and Kate Davies. 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. As Director of Technology he has been responsible for the Schools significant acceleration of investment in digital technologies, which led to the establishment of the Digital Manufacturing Centre (2009) and more recently, the Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange (B-MADE).

He 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 .

He has 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.

Research Summary

I was appointed Director of Technology and Computing at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL in 2009, with an overarching remit to cultivate the schools teaching, research and development in these fields. My research is focused on experiments in the production of architecture where questions are developed through integrated acts of design, making and writing, most often in collaboration with my colleagues in sixteen*(makers), a multidisciplinary practice in which I am a co-founder. In essence, my work explores the complex relationship between design and making, and in particular how this relationship affects and determines the architectural product.  Most recently I have posed these questions to an international audience as co-chair of the highly successful peer reviewed conference FABRICATE, alongside my colleague Ruairi Glynn with whom I also co-edited an extensive conference publication.
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 and both the role and skillset of the designer has been presented with an unprecedented opportunity to expand and diversify. Sixteen*(makers) was established in 1995 to engage with and influence these developments as they evolved. The vehicles for my work are a series of speculative projects (such as STAC, Blusher, Assembling Adaptations, 55/02, and Perform) that develop and evolve across realms of design, making and writing as an iterative and cross-disciplinary practice involving both digital and analogue approaches, I define this field as 'Protoarchitecture', a vital and critical branch of speculative architectural production that seeks to create and hypothesise alternative and simultaneous approaches to making architecture, involving varied methodologies of design, and varied methodologies of making.

Research outputs

Between Simulation and Fabrication: 3D Scanning in Architectural Design 2014 Sheil R,Shaw M,Trossell W
High Definition: Negotiating Zero Tolerance 2014 Sheil R
De-Fabricating ProtoArchitecture 2013 Sheil R
FABRICATE, Making Digital Architecture 2013 -
Perform 2013 Sheil R,Shaw M
De-Fabricating Protoarchitecture 2013 Sheil R
PerFORM/The Scan: Experimental studies in 3D Scanning and Theatrical Performance 2013 Sheil R
De-Fabricating Protoarchitecture 2013 Sheil R
Introduction: Digital tools and machines for fabrication 2012 Dunn N
Ways of Seeing, Ways of Doing 2012 Sheil R
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Research activities

No information for the moment