With Loop.pH and Shin Kong Life we helped design, fabricate and construct a dynamic light installation to communicate real time air quality data whilst promoting cycling in Taipei, Taiwan.
This timber structure provides a sheltered space in the gardens of a Sussex farm house. The buildings form is based on the deconstructed geometry of nearby barns and was constructed by mule from locally sourced oak.
This installation in Nottingham City Centre aims to explore the experience of fragile space through a construct of over 10,000 clothes pegs. The pegs form a double curved arch through which the public can walk, producing a sense of imminent collapse.
In collaboration with Ramboll UK a design for an inflatable canopy for the grade 1 listed Lloyd's of London building.
In collaboration with Cinimod Studio we developed a design for a recording studio and hideaway. Crystalline interior surfaces recreate an anechoic chamber whilst a single light source highlights the cracks between the faceted exterior faces.
We are designing and building a garden studio space for sculptor and prop-maker Charlotte Austen.
Harri Lewis was the project engineer for this innovative timber pavilion whilst at Ramboll UK. He led structural testing which allowed the first ever structural use of Kebony - an environmentally friendly alternative to hardwood. He also led the analysis of the complex form and advised on robotic 5-axis fabrication.
The project won the IStructE award for excellence in the structural engineering design of a project under £2 million.
Harri Lewis was the project engineer in collaboration with the Timber Research and Development Agency (TRADA) whilst at Ramboll UK. A form was generated to respond perfectly to the self weight of the structure. This complex form was then discretised into flat panels to allow both fast and cheap fabrication. The structure is fully demountable and it has traveled to various trade shows to promote the innovative use of timber.
The structure is currently being studied to understand its structural performance at the University of Nottingham.
We believe engineering should be a creative and exciting pastime. We also believe learning to program is a liberating but intimidating experience for today's engineers.
To this end we created a software library with Foster + Partners to help engineers generate complex structural models through simple scripts. It gives engineers more time to daydream new structural forms rather than carrying out tedious data entry.
In collaboration with Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) and Ramboll UK this design applied our volume filling research to the "democratic periscope" centrepiece structure and walkway. A generative spaceframe fitting within a complex volume.
We developed a course to help engineers and technicians seize the creative and time-saving opportunities that arise from delving into how software works.
With support from Oasys and attendees from some of the worlds best engineering firms we continue to develop the course and run it several times a year. For more information and to book onto the next available course - firstname.lastname@example.org
Aston is the first ever UK designed and manufactured microphone brand, launching with the Origin and Spirit large diaphragm condenser microphones. Built entirely from stainless steel in a variety of finishes, from barrel tumbled to heat tempered multi-wave heads, they will age flawlessly even under intense use.
More at www.astonmics.com
The Halo is the 3rd product in the debut range from Aston Microphones. The twin foam-filled shell construction, combined with its spherical form, gives outstanding isolation from all directions in difficult recording conditions. The Halo is made entirely from heat formed recycled PET felt and foam, with turned stainless steel hardware.
Eggs For Soldiers is a long standing fund raising initiative for the charity Help For Heroes. For the feature piece of this years March Fourth event, mule and Charlotte Austen created a full scale sculpture of a Mark I Spitfire covered with Eggs For Soldiers egg boxes, which was exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.
The sculpture was 12m long, 13m wide and used 6500 egg boxes.
The Egg 100 and 150 nearfield monitors for MunroSonic use their form to achieve unparalleled performance. Their curved enclosure eliminates diffraction and resonant effects that distort the original sound, resulting in a stunning clarity that brings the smallest details into focus. Consistently reviewed as the leaders in their class, the Egg systems have become a staple for leading producers and musicians globally, from Rik Simpson (Coldplay / Jay Z / Kasabian) to Stevie Wonder.
More at www.munrosonic.com
The constantly varying internal volume of this advanced acoustic absorption panel enables it to operate of a wide range of frequencies rather than a specific fragment of the spectrum. The geometry of the panel is based on the repose patterns formed by draining sand.
The panels are currently in prototype testing and will be available September 2015.
In collaboration with Hellicar & Lewis and Becky Stewart a responsive LED light installation in the form of a hypercube was created to accompany the band LV for a series of live events.
Animal blood was for a long time the main source of natural glue before the advent of synthetic glues. This research project explores the possibility of creating a new architectural material by using waste animal blood as a binding agent to solidify sand.
Sanguis Et Pulvis proposes the large scale solidification of migrating sand dunes in Egypt using a new architectural material: animal blood. Waste blood from halal abattoirs is used to create a natural binding agent, which is subsequently poured over the crests of dunes in order to form a structural shell. These new desert structures house blood brick production facilities as well as solar concentration electricity generation systems to provide a stable economic base for rural Egyptian communities.
Sanguis Et Pulvis won the 2012 Rawat Award, was nominated for the 2012 RIBA Silver Medal, and was published globally in both academic and popular press.
In a continuation of our research into solidifying sand, crest pouring was developed as a method for creating a structural skeleton rather than a uniform shell. Liquid binding agent, in this case a super saturation of sodium thiosulphate, is poured over the crest of a sand dune and is allowed to cascade down its sides. As it does so, the binding agent seeps down into the sand, creating deep structural arms of solidified sand. The liquid can either be allowed to find its own path, forming random structural paths. Or it can be guided, either by making indented channels or by using wires which the liquid naturally flows along. In this way, a more optimised network can be created.
This technique formed the basis of the Time Dune proposal for the Burning Man festival.
Mixed granular materials display a unique ability to self sort when poured freely. This is due to differing angles of repose possessed by the range of grains. These experiments explore the nature of this self sorting ability using a variety of different base aggregates.
The angle of repose is the angle at which sand becomes stable due to the friction between grains. These experiments explore the interference patterns created by draining sand from multiple points, such that the repose patterns intersect each other.
Time Dune is a pavilion proposal for the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert. The proposal is the culmination of research into the use of salt as a structural binding agent. The natural salt found in the dusty soil is used to solidify sand, forming a constantly evolving space that slowly drains over the course of the festival.
We started by designing exactly what we wanted on paper, free from constraints and preconceptions.
A number of web designers recommended we went down a more tried and tested route and use a template design.
Instead, we taught ourselves how to build websites from scratch and we love the result. We hope you agree but even if you don't - you won't find another like it.
It highlights our approach to design - throw yourself at the problem and relish opportunities to learn.
Established by designer Jack Munro and engineer Harri Lewis in 2013, mule is an interdisciplinary design studio working in the fields of architecture, engineering, industrial design and research.
Aside from our own projects we support some of the world's leading designers and builders. From architects Foster + Partners, engineering consultants Eckersley O'Callaghan, microphone company Aston to fabricators StructureCraft.
Jack Munro, BArch MArch RIBA II - Co-founder
Jack studied undergraduate architecture at the University of Nottingham, before attending the University of Westminster to complete his Part II Architecture Masters. Jack’s 5th year project, Sanguis et Pulvis, won the 2012 Rawat Award for Best Graduate Design Project, was nominated for the 2012 RIBA Silver Medal, and received world wide publication in both academic and popular press. He has worked for B-A-N-D, YRM Architects, Carmenzind Evolution (Zurich) and Ordinary Ltd, before establishing mule with long time collaborator Harri Lewis.
Harri Lewis, CEng MEng MPhil - Co-founder
Harri studied Structural Engineering at the University of Warwick before joining Ramboll UK in 2008. Specialising in the analysis of complex structures he helped found Ramboll Computational Design (RCD). Completing his MPhil in Digital Architectonics at the University of Bath in 2011 he returned to RCD to manage and design a wide range of innovative projects, winning the IStructE award for best project under £2million. He later joined the Specialist Modelling Group at Foster + Partners where he worked with architecture and engineering teams on a wide range of projects. He has lectured at engineering and architecture schools including the Architectural Association, University of Nottingham and the University of Westminster.
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