“In the ‘90s, I brought computer-modelled and rendered images to uni and my lecturer said, ‘How did you get that image? Did you paint that?’”
“I’m a total nerd with computers and it’s my role to use technology in the design process. I use 3D modelling software to work on the brainstorm stage of a design. I’m interested in how humans interact with the computer, how it augments the design process. 3D modelling is a feedback process—it gives you options, it makes things faster when you’re trying to distil abstract ideas into a building.
A lot of ARM’s ideas aren’t architectural, they’re about society or history. So trying to bring those ideas and make them into a form is challenging and the result can’t be so abstract that you can’t see it. You use the computer to explore ideas. You choose your own adventure because you choose paths and make decisions along the way.
I got into computer games really young. But I wasn’t playing them, I was collecting them and looking at them and trying to work out how they were made. I went on a journey when colour computers and 3D software were invented, sticking with it along the way and looking for applications for it. I was also into architecture and at some point the two realms collided. It was quite a profound moment.
Other people were only using computers as a 2D documentation tool, not to experiment or explore design in 3D. By second-year uni, in the early ‘90s, I’d had a whole year of learning how to do perspective set-up drawing and then I thought, hang on, I have a computer at home that can do this. I brought computer-modelled and rendered images to uni and my lecturer said, ‘How did you get that image? Did you paint that?’
At ARM it’s about exploration. Often the directors don’t want the first design—it’s a bit boring. The journey is what’s interesting, and what you’ve learned along the way, and it’s this process that most often provides the best outcome.”