The House of Feathers: a design practice observed, documented and represented by Matthew Bird

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This invitational PhD by Project is an exploration and examination of the way in which I practice and how this informs what I know about my atelier, Studiobird. The invitation was an opportunity to enquire after my practice methodologies through the observation, documentation and representation of the projects conceived and developed within my atelier.

As an invited candidate I have produced this document as a comprehensive account of how my practice has mastered a particular way of doing and thinking and how this thinking and doing could be framed and focused by the contemplative lens availed by the undertaking of a PhD. This document illustrates my projects, practice associations and practice methodologies from the position of a ‘practitioner’.

Through this PhD undertaking I have exposed my architectural practice by way of presenting my liminal research findings as a ritualistic assemblage termed as ‘The House of Feathers’. The liminal research encompassed the extremes of conventional and non-conventional architecture.

This assemblage is the embodiment of my practice knowledge, practice methodologies and by way of this PhD, practice revelations. The House of Feathers is further mediated by The House of Feathers Interactive Platform, constructed as a digital tool with which to navigate the principles of composition that designate the surfacing of my practice.

This PhD accounts for the ways in which my thinking and doing constitute the conditions by which I define my practice. I offer both analytical and situated methods of enquiry in the form of a documentation of my practice outcomes and the Interactive Platform as both artefact of the enactment of this practice as ways by which I demonstrate the originality of my practice. This PhD, The House of Feathers addresses the explicit and complex entanglement of thinking and doing that manifest themselves within a design practice and how this approach may be tailored to envisage the future of such practices.

Year: 2012
Examiners: Bill Fox, Stephen Neille, Claus Peder Pedersen  Supervisors: Professor Leon van Schaik, Dr Michael Spooner


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