House Block

House Block asks what could our environment look like if our homes were not static structures, but could evolve over time? What if there was no set design, but an ecology of elements that constantly reorganise through automation? Could we even dare to think of a future that democratises access to building systems – one that alleviates the housing crisis and supports labour practices threatened by ever increasing automation?

House Block is designed and built using a discrete housing system what we can consider to be a kit of parts, known as Block Type A. Each block is milled from a single sheet of plywood using CNC machines and assembled by hand, then post-tensioned and joined together using rods. These are considered to be ‘discrete’ because the blocks are not fixed, instead offering the opportunity to be assembled, dismantled, reconfigured and reassembled over and over again.

The prototype demonstrates what could be achieved if we were to think about participatory approaches to housing where local communities make use of digital modes of production. Our four takeovers, hosted by The Building Centre (19-25 April), The Good Thing and Gonzalo Herrero (26 April – 2 May), Neil McDonald  (3-9 May) and L U C I N E (10-16 May) provide live demonstrations of this potential, as the blocks morph over time into configurations that support different needs, provocations and conversations.

House Block is delivered in partnership with Hackney Council as a part of an exploration of digital approaches to community-led developments.

House Block is supported by UCL Trellis: Community Partnership Building Events, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Follow-On Funding, UCL East Community Engagement Seed Fund, UCL Innovation & Enterprise HEIF Funding, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. House Block has also received significant in kind support from New City College, Hackney Council and The Building Centre.

Engineering for House Block is by YIP Engineering.

 
Public Programme

You are able to get involved by joining our taster sessions or attending events as a part of our public programme.

The public programme will run in collaboration with our project partners from 19 April 16 May 2021. The events cover talks, tours, performances and installations bringing new perspectives to issues around local housing needs, applications of technology and governance that move between near-future solutions and more speculative visions.

 

Week 1

Future Creatives present: Sustainable Automation
  • Thursday 22nd of April / 13:00 - 15:00
  • Waltham Forest Future Creatives
  • House Block

Future Creatives present: Sustainable Automation

In this two hour workshop, graduates of the Waltham Forest Future Creatives Programme alongside one of the AUAR designers will explore with you design possibilities for sustainable, modular solutions using scale models of the Block Type A building system developed by AUAR, and share with you their own radical ideas about the future of sustainable automation.

House Block Opening Night
  • Thursday 22nd of April / 18:00 - 21:00
  • AUAR
  • House Block

House Block Opening Night

Come join us for the opening of House Block, our temporary housing prototype in Clapton.
A local DJ will be playing from 19:00 to 21:00.
BYOB only.

'Kit' architecture and the democratisation of placemaking
  • Friday 23rd of April / 13:00 - 13:45
  • The Building Centre
  • Online Event

'Kit' architecture and the democratisation of placemaking

What if you could build your own home and community spaces from a kit of parts and a phone app? Why should you want to and how does it matter?
In this online lunch talk Mollie Claypool of Automated Architecture (AUAR) Labs and Nick Newman of Studio Bark bring light to the social and environmental significance of self-build architecture. The event will be chaired by Vanessa Norwood, Creative Director at the Building Centre.

Week 2

De-Alienating the Home

De-Alienating the Home

What is the meaning of home today and how does it shape us? Join us for a panel discussion examining the connection between domesticity, well-being and ecology with Claire McAndrew, psychologist and Co-Director at Automated Architecture (AUAR) Labs, Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, architect and curator, Pati Santos, founder of The Good Thing, and Rosa Rogina, Head of Programming at the London Festival of Architecture.

Week 3

Robotic Performances: The Making Of Tour
  • Monday 3rd of May / 16:30 - 17:00
  • Valentina Soana
  • House Block

Robotic Performances: The Making Of Tour

Join researcher Valentina Soana and her team on site as they finalise their installation “Robotic Performances: human-material-machine choreographies in domestic space” to get an introduction to lightweight elastic robotic structures and experience first hand how they are set up and operated.

Robotic Performances: Up Close with Architectural Robots
  • Tuesday 4th of May / 16:30 & 17:00
  • Valentina Soana
  • House Block

Robotic Performances: Up Close with Architectural Robots

Join researcher Valentina Soana and her team on site for a tour of their installation “Robotic Performances: human-material-machine choreographies in domestic space” that explores the intersection between architecture and engineering through lightweight elastic robotic structures.

Building the Commons
  • Thursday 6th of May / 15:30 - 17:30
  • Neil McDonald
  • House Block

Building the Commons

Join designer & maker Neil McDonald on site for a two hour workshop that investigates the potentials of House Block’s building system using model scale blocks, alongside a conversation on the importance of opportunities to change and adapt our spaces in the wider context of the Commons.

Week 4

Taster Sessions

Taster Sessions

Taster sessions will provide an opportunity to meet the designers and a chance to get hands-on with Block Type A as we construct the takeovers. These sessions will be held between 10.00am - 1.00pm.
Participants will be paid for their time, @ £50 per session (capped at 3 people per session).

Taster Sessions

Taster Sessions

Taster sessions will provide an opportunity to meet the designers and a chance to get hands-on with Block Type A as we construct the takeovers. These sessions will be held between 10.00am - 1.00pm.
Participants will be paid for their time, @ £50 per session (capped at 3 people per session).

Communities & Housing Policies - A Conversation with Hackney Council
  • Tuesday 11th of May / 14:00 - 15:00
  • AUAR
  • Online Stream

Communities & Housing Policies - A Conversation with Hackney Council

Join us live on Youtube for a conversation with local residents of Clapton and Hackney Council about what the future of housing in the borough could look like - from new housing strategies and regeneration measures, to self-building and its implications for housing policies.

Blood+Water - Podcast Relaunch
  • Tuesday 11th of May / 16:00 - 17:00
  • L U C I N E
  • House Block

Blood+Water - Podcast Relaunch

Join the takeover contributor of the week, artist L U C I N E, on site at House Block to become the live audience for the recording of the relaunch episode of their podcast Blood+Water.
Blood + Water was initially supported by East London Dance and it was first produced as part of The Fi.ELD Festival "MESA", created by members of The Fi.ELD 2020 and presented by East London Dance.

Blood+Water Tours
  • Tuesday 11th of May / 17:30 - 18:00
  • L U C I N E
  • House Block

Blood+Water Tours

Join the takeover contributor of the week, artist L U C I N E, on site at House Block for a tour of their takeover structure and its accompanying installation, Blood + Water, which investigates the notion of family, and the different meanings it can have for different people.
Blood + Water was initially supported by East London Dance and it was first produced as part of The Fi.ELD Festival "MESA", created by members of The Fi.ELD 2020 and presented by East London Dance.

Home/Body
  • Wednesday 12th of May/ 10:00 - 11:30
  • Studio Wayne McGregor
  • House Block

Home/Body

Studio Wayne McGregor will lead a workshop exploring movement practice in relation to architecture and exploring themes of the home and the body in space. No previous dance or movement experience is necessary. Participants should wear clothes and shoes they can move in and bring a notebook and pen.

Having a Home - Meanings of ‘Domesticity’
  • Friday 14th of May / 13:00 - 14:00
  • AUAR
  • Online Stream

Having a Home - Meanings of ‘Domesticity’

Join us live on Youtube for this Lunchtime Talk between AUAR, artist L U C I N E, Jasmine Wilson (Studio Wayne McGregor) and Mark E Breeze & Katie Kasabalis (Experimental 17, AA School); the discussion will revolve around meanings of domesticity & family. Three 2-minute video excerpts from L U C I N E’s performance at House Block will set the scene and provide a backdrop for the conversation.

Blood+Water Tours
  • Friday 14th of May / 16:00 & 16:30
  • L U C I N E
  • House Block

Blood+Water Tours

Join the takeover contributor of the week, artist L U C I N E, on site at House Block for a tour of their takeover structure and its accompanying installation, Blood + Water, which investigates the notion of family, and the different meanings it can have for different people.
Blood + Water was initially supported by East London Dance and it was first produced as part of The Fi.ELD Festival "MESA", created by members of The Fi.ELD 2020 and presented by East London Dance.

Visitor Information



House Block is located in the playground of the old Harrington Hill Primary School, in Clapton. (London, UK).


VIEW ON MAP >

House Block is accessible through the public transport network.


By Overground:

Clapton Station - 10 minutes walking.


By Train:

Lea Bridge Station - 22 minutes walking.


By Bus:

393: Mount Pleasant Lane Stop - 3 minutes walking.


If you use public transport, please follow the current national guidance on Covid restrictions for safe travelling.

If you feel unwell, please stay at home and contact us to reschedule your visit, if possible.

Please note that attendance at taster sessions and public programme events will be capped, to ensure we are compliant with national guidance on covid restrictions, allowing up to 6 people from different households to mix in an outdoor setting.

Please wear a face covering when accessing the site, unless you are exempt. 

 

We are able to accommodate small educational tours for primary and secondary schools alongside community groups in Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham, please email us for more information: projects@automatedarchitecture.io

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