Research + Activism

Swimming with the Shoal

Our role as architects involves working with others and the image of the shoal recalls the act of swimming with others, whoever they might be, perhaps clients, community groups, individuals, builders or consultants. As Brady Mallalieu Architects we have worked with many people over the years, tailoring projects to closely meet their needs. The result of this process is generally a building, a physical entity that, we hope, will serve the people we have worked with . More recently, we have begun to understand the shoal in another way. Rather than swimming amongst the shoal to help tailor a building, we instead swim with others to establish a shoal of activities and processes. Collectively they form the larger project, evolving in time as new opportunities emerge and others dissolve, new individuals and groups enter the frame and others leave. This loose, fluid collective is a shoal of both people and actions. 

Our essay ‘Swimming with the Shoal: Working with people and processes, fixed objects and fluid action plans’ explores two projects, Brickworks  and Green Skibbereen, and reflects on collaborative design processes and a shift beyond the design of finished objects to architects as instigators of patterns of ongoing actions and processes.

Time in Architecture

The uses of time in architecture is the subject of ongoing design-based research by Andrew Carr. A snapshot of the research is summarised in recent peer-reviewed paper published in Architectural Research QuarterlyDesign propositions are used to examine different temporal structure and phenomena, such as; the weather, inhabitation, circadian rhythms, entropy and open-endedness. Ideas from this research have been used to inform many Brady Mallalieu projects, such as Brickworks, pictured here at Chinese New Year when the main space in the centre of the building hosts a festival – a good example of an inhabited lobby – an approach we have adopted in other projects. Andrew has also published research on the work of time in others; including a review David Leatherbarrow’s book Building Time and a study of the work of fellow Anglo-Irish practitioner Níall McLaughlin.

Royal Institute of British Architects

Angela Brady served as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 2011-2013. During this time she initiated work on procurement reform and successfully promoted the work of architects in the London Olympics 2012. A poll in the Architects Journal voted her the most effective RIBA president of the last 28 years.

Ballydehob 2020 Vision Report

Brady Mallalieu Architects have been collaborating with the community of Ballydehob in West Cork, Ireland to address the changing nature of rural life and the future prospects of the village and the West Cork region. The village is facing unprecedented change brought about by the digital revolution we are living through such as the changing nature of the High Street, issues of depopulation, rural isolation and marginalisation, decarbonisation and the climate emergency all of which put the future of the village in question. The report Ballydehob 2020 Vision puts these issues in perspective and records the community initiatives and proposals that have come forward to address these issues and shape the future trajectory of the village. The report presents a coordinated document, drawing together disparate ideas and aspirations in a way that can be debated and a common consensus reached on future direction and emphasis. The report is a  flexible and ever changing document that can respond as funding opportunities arise and sets the context within which planning applications and other planning challenges can be assessed.

The British Papers

The British Papers is a collection of invited essays and opinions from architectural and urban design leaders, as a snapshot of current thinking and approaches to sustainable city-making.

This series of essays, compiled and edited by Angela Brady, brings together the thoughts of leading figures in the industry – such as Richard Rogers, Sir Terry Farrell, and Judit Kimpian to name but a few – to share their particular viewpoints about latest design thinking. This wide ranging collection of essays covers everything from Historic England (English Heritage) Carol Pyrah, promoting regeneration via constructive conservation to the Academy of Urbanism Steven Bee, discussing how our history, culture and identity anchor us in place and time. Our top universities – the LSE, Manchester and Birmingham among others – are key to shaping our city-design thinking and creative architects and engineers pave the way with their innovative ideas and projects – and this collection of essays is a testament to their hard work, creativity and ingenuity.

The mistakes of the western world in recent decades are continuously being repeated in many developing countries – soulless, rootless, gas-guzzling buildings have been built without reference to their cultural context or suitable to local climate conditions. However, in Britain we have a wealth of experts and professionals – some of whom have been brought together in these essays – who can offer a clear message about how we can learn together to build better cities to help prepare our world for a low-carbon future.

The Cork Papers

The Cork Papers – Sustainable City in the Making is a collection of 20 invited essays intended to act as a critical analysis of the city from the perspective of selected from individuals with advice and experience to share

The book was published by Cork City Council in time for the Academy of Urbanism Congress in June 2018. It is intended as a catalyst for change to help Cork realise its great potential as a European sustainable city. This advice applies to many cities in Ireland and around Europe

A complete digital edition of The Cork Papers is now available free online.

Inhabited lobbies: The social life of space in the work of Brady Mallalieu Architects

The inhabited lobby is a recurring architectural device present in the work of Brady Mallalieu Architects. Peer-reviewed research on this approach to social spaces developed in our work was published in Architectural Research Quarterly. Characterised by a central space in a building it connects different activities physically, visually, acoustically and socially. Notionally a circulation space, it assumes an expanded role, becoming an inhabitable entity in itself and the social focus of a building.

Angela Brady with Sir Terry Farrell and Sumita Sinha at the launch of DiverseCity exhibition in 2003 at the RIBA promoting diversity of people in architecture. This exhibition travelled to 34 cities worldwide over 6 years.

Women in Architecture and DiverseCity

Architects for Change was founded in 2000 and Angela chaired Women in Architecture 2000 – 2005. The group campaigned to promote the role of women in architecture and BAME architects through events, talks, awareness raising and advocacy.  “DiverseCity” exhibition  curated by Angela, collected multiple under represented voices in architecture to a new platform. This rolling exhibition called

“The Global Snowball”  launched in London and was invited to 34 cities around the world. The exhibition expanded to collect new people from a growing range of cultures and backgrounds. 

Brady Mallalieu have also supported other work, such as the ‘Opencity Accelerate! Programme’, and ‘Adopt a School’ and Angela made the video “Designers of our future” based on workshops she gave in secondary schools.

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Andrew Carr and Angela Brady serve as guest reviewers to Design Studio 22 at the University of Westminster run by Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif. They have both taught and examined at many other universities including the Macintosh, Welsh School of Architecture, Newcastle University and London School of Architecture.

Housing Models

Brady Mallalieu Architects have designed numerous housing schemes for a range of different clients and users. They demonstrate a diversity of handling tenure, site selection and client ethos including local authorities, developers, housing associations and emerging new forms. Our ongoing research in this area, at a time of housing crisis, was discussed in Five Housing Models, a paper given to the West London Business Forum. Another paper on ‘Delivering Social Housing’ was published in Architecture Ireland, November 2015.

Design Review

We are active amongst a range of local authorities serving on design panels. Currently Angela Brady chairs the Croydon Place Review Panel while Robin Mallalieu reviews for the Hackney Society. We have also been appointed as a Design Champion by Islington Council to unlock a stalled project which has now received planning permission and is under construction.

When President of RIBA Angela recorded many videos “In conversation with….”  several famous architects;-