Our practice sits on the threshold between architecture, planning and creative practice; helping define a nuanced attitude towards dynamic planning and urban design that addresses complex situations and multiple requirements.
We see architecture being as much the provision of a service as the fabrication of a product. We see space as a consequence of multiple voices and demands and not the outcome of simply arranging a series of objects or aesthetic totums. We work with our clients, stakeholders and occupants to understand the issues, needs and ambitions of a project or a place and co-produce imaginative and inspirational responses.
We use research and evidence-based practice to make sense of complex situations and to establish a narrative approach to design articulating the objectives of a project in a persuasive form that can drive change and build ownership. Process and context led rather than form driven, our proposals are uniquely tuned for each situation creating strategies that reunite the spatial and urban with wider understandings of people, place, history and economy.
Big thinking leads to large scale plans, but we also work on small scale, interstitial and meanwhile urban projects that bring significant benefits in their own right while being important catalysts and iterative means of informing and testing long term strategies for larger scale change.
We have long considered that local people are experts for their area and can inform design propositions through first hand observations of the social, economic and cultural life of a neighbourhood. We have developed interactive, informative tools and techniques to actively engage this knowledge and energy in the design process and these have led to a number of highly acclaimed buildings, urban strategies and neighbourhood plans.
Clear representations of ideas help to make the design process accessible, inclusive and relevant. We use a range of techniques to story tell, map, visually generate and articulate information and ideas.
Fluid was built on strong academic links with the Architectural Association and London Metropolitan University where directors first tested and established principles of co-design and co-production through ‘Live Research Projects’. These principles have shaped our practice and this has been acknowledged as field-leading through invited conference papers, publications and master classes as well as by CABE and RTPI awards. Fluid directors retain their interest in academic and professional affairs trough external examination, membership of the Academy of Urbanism and RSA and through direct involvement in RIBA’s ‘Building Futures’ think tank.