Our design team has a track record of producing award-winning, contextually specific buildings based on regenerative design principles, for both public and private clients. Our work demonstrates bio-based materials can produce generous, robust and beautiful spaces, and we work with clients to support informed decision-making about the whole-life time impact of their project, working across the project stages from brief development through to overseeing construction.
Our not-for-profit Lab supports public, private and third sector research working towards a lower carbon construction industry in the UK, with a focus on regenerative material sourcing and circular economies. Our projects address the barriers to material reform from land-use and policy constraints to technical and material challenges in supply chains and on site. We deliver strategic planning, regenerative system design, material research and product development.
We work with developers and housebuilders to integrate regenerative construction principles and off-site methodologies into large scale housing projects. Drawing from our industry leading research and development projects we deliver whole building and systems designs. Our interdisciplinary team brings design, supply chain, manufacturing and material science expertise together to produce fully specified, regionally specific Building Information Models (BIM) available at digital twin resolution.
Our design team produce award-winning, contextually specific and ambitious buildings for both public and private clients. Our work is based on regenerative principles, using regionally sourced, low carbon materials to produce spaces that are high performance, spatially generous and often economic to build. We can provide support with brief development, masterplanning, design development and project management, taking an integrated approach to project delivery that ensures robust, functional and well detailed buildings.
Our highly location specific approach means both the spatial and material resolution of each project is developed in conversation with our clients, and in response the particular qualities of the site, including wider ecological context. We can work with our clients to indentify and develop an appropriate material pallet and construction approach, take a project through planning and permissions processes, manage collaborative design processes and oversee or undertake construction.
Summer Islam AADipl (hons) ARB is a founding Director of Material Cultures. Her work is focussed on the holistic integration of construction technologies and design. Summer co-runs 'Construction in Detail' in the Spatial Studies department at the University of the Arts London. Summer has taught at the Bartlett, University College London, the London Metropolitan University, the Architectural Association and the University of Cambridge. She was previously an associate at award-winning design practice 6a architects in London. Summer co-founded architecture and design practice Studio Abroad with George Massoud in 2014.
Paloma Gormley MA (Cantab) is a founding Director of Material Cultures. She is an internationally acclaimed designer responsible for a series celebrated architectural and urban projects. Her work is rooted in a creative pragmatism whilst drawing on new technologies and the integration of new materials. Paloma co-runs 'Construction in Detail' in the Spatial Studies department at the University of the Arts London and has previously taught at the Bartlett, University College London and the London Metropolitan University. She founded Practice Architecture with Lettice Drake in 2009, through which she has completed a number of critically acclaimed arts and cultural projects, including the theatre at the Yard, a performance space for Bold Tendencies. and The Peckham Hotel.
George Massoud AA Dipl ARB RIBA is a Director at Material Cultures. He is an architect, educator and cultural worker. In practice, George has extensive experience working on a range of arts projects, complex refurbishments and commercial developments. He is a founding director of Studio Abroad, which he established with Summer Islam in 2014. George is Unit Master at the Architectural Association, exploring how alternative social ecologies are shaped through material and spatial politics. He is also producer and founding member of POA, a feminist, queer community platform for reimagining value systems through mutual interdependence.
The new thatch architecture and sustainability culture
2021, Fourth Door Books
Radical Architecture of the Future,
This is Temporary:
How transient projects redefining architecture
Cate St Hill
2017, RIBA Publishing
New Architects 3, Britain’s Best Emerging Practices,
The Architecture Foundation
Restaurant Design and Food Experiences
R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, S. Moreno
Eleanor Young, The RIBA Journal
A new sustainability paradigm
Michael Pawlyn, Domus
Make low-tech our mantra and design clean and simple
Edmund Fowles, The RIBA Journal
In Practice: Material Cultures on decarbonising construction
The Architecture Review
The tyranny of concrete and its costly carbon footprint
Layli Foroudi, The Financial Times
Can design solve the housing Crisis?
Tracy Ingram, Frame Magazine
How can low-tech and natural materials help avert the climate emergency?
Pamela Buxton, The RIBA Journal
Prototype for a plant-based future
Icon Magazine, UK
Unit 7 Students At The London Metropolitan University, Polyvalent Studio
Brand New Heroes
From Farm to Form: Flat house by Practice Architecture
Architect’s Journal, UK
Brand New Heroes
Elle, United Kingdom
Flat House by Practice Architecture and Material Cultures
Flat House:A small building proposes a radical – and necessary – rethink of the construction industry
Architecture Today, UK
British Architects build a low-carbon home using hemp
New Atlas, UK
Zero-carbon home uses hemp fibre for innovative design
Hemp is used on the inside and out of Cambridgeshire’s Flat House
Rowan Moore’s Best Architecture of 2019
The Observer, UK
Home made of hemp that will blow your mind
The Observer, UK
Zero Carbon hemp house complete
Construction Management Magazine
Unit 15, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN