it E Architecture Exhibition 2010 at Oxford Brookes University

Unit E Architecture Design tutors

Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui  / Justin C.K Lau

Luxurious, Luxuriance, and Loss 

3rd year students / Andrey Mitov, Diana Elia, George Guest, James Simcock, John Barham, Kate Jones, Michael Bell, Michelle Evans, Mital Patel, Pavel Stankov, Rachel Shotliff, Simon Kent, Saeid, Thomas Pniewski, Viral Shah


2nd year students / Abigail Reid, Abigail Whitelow, Anna Beer, Ayiannis Christo, Bharat Pankhania, Edmund Drury, Ergit Bedalli, James Booth, Jonathan Gillett, Joshua Evans, Kah Shuen Lee, Sebastian Andraos


The experimentation of the unit studio is driven by the research topics through the academic organizations of Horhizon and Horhizon-Paris. The polemic of the works focuses primarily on a ‘digital green’ design methodology that is intrinsically associated with a sense of formal, structural and spatialcomplexity as seen in the nature of plants, while borrowing from the baroque thinking along with the morphing with classical architectural semantics into playful theatrical tectonics and typologies. The creative technological methodology pursues a synthetic model for design- where organically embodied flesh encompasses new ornamental, sensual and bodily qualities in architecture.


The Agave, often called the Century Plant, can live up to 60 years, but it only blossoms once in its lifetime. When it blooms, it is unexpected, and takes less than 4 weeks for the ornamental plant to grow a thick stem that enable spiraling branches and beautiful fl owers to reach for the sky, up to 12-15 metres. The main plant then dies after its once-in-a-life-time moment. Nonetheless, the after life of the plant provides a wide range of useful resources for human beings. For hundreds of years, humans have used various parts of the Century Plant to produce rope, clothing, pins, needles, food, tequila, and many more. Hence, the blossoming period is a spectacle would attract unprecedented attentions and public interests on an architectural scale, generating a small temporary economy. (e.g. local news, school and children visits, talks, research, education activities, exhibitions, tourist attractions, production of consumer goods, etc) The long and short-term narratives of the Century Plant will be used to initiate a wide range of design themes. Throughout the year, students will be asked to respond to the unit’s agenda, by investigating the spatial enquiries of ‘luxurious, luxuriant, and loss’, and incorporate such qualities into their designs.