SIBLING fuses architecture, urbanism, cultural analysis and graphic communication to produce an inspired collaborative workspace.
June 10th, 2014
It may at first seem a tad over crowded, but in the case of SIBLING, eight heads are much better than one. It’s a collective that wears many hats, allowing its unique group of individuals to intersect architecture, urbanism, cultural analysis and graphic communication to produce spatial outcomes that are new – and sometimes unexpected.
While architecture is the main focus for each and every individual within the collective, social engagement in relation to space has emerged as their main concern. “We’re interested in social sustainability, how people interact with space, and we encourage users to be part of that process,” says director Nicholas Braun.
Each SIBLING is distinct in their practice and area of specialty, yet they work in a sociable and harmonious tandem, drawing on one another’s skills when needed. “We’re all so comfortable together it became natural that we would all collaborate on each other’s projects, and ask each other’s opinions and advice,” says Braun.
The inception of a project involves a negotiation of eight different opinions – “from there we’re able to distil the important parts of the project, form a vision”, and then one or two project leaders carry the work to fruition.
It’s a flexible working environment, with at least one SIBLING overseas at any given time. Usually four to five SIBLINGs can be found in-studio, developing various projects – whether that be architectural, research, education or exhibition. “We have a really strong emphasis on initiating our own projects,” adds director Timothy Moore.
The last 12-18 months has seen SIBLING work with major institutions to stage spatial investigations that are highly interactive in nature. ON/OFF, held at Wunderlich@757 Gallery with the University of Melbourne (September 2013), was a “cold spot” spatial experiment that instantly went viral. Engaging with the idea of disconnection, ON/OFF explored how rising technology is changing the way we interact through the internet but also within a physical sense.
The resulting spatial structure – a veritable Faraday Cage – blocked all electromagnetic signals. “We were interested in seeing how blocking this out would change the way people would inhabit the space in physical ways,” says Moore.
The enquiring minds of the SIBLING collective are kept highly active through teaching and tutoring architecture students. “When we were going through university we had great teachers, but there was always a tendency for our learnings to be design brief led,” says Braun. As a result, “we engage with students on their design processes. It’s about facilitating those ideas and approaches.” Students and research keep the SIBLINGs’ minds fresh, focused away from virtual realities, engaging with up and coming generations and through this, cultivating new spatial intelligence.
Initially classmates and then fast friends, each SIBLING spent time, post-graduation, pursuing their own personal career tangents. However the converging of their respective paths has been a coming home of sorts. As colleagues, “we knew we could do great stuff together,” says Moore. “And we have fun every single day.”
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