Practice is a new series of architecture documentaries by critic and curator Laura Mark and photographer and film maker Jim Stephenson, that focus on the process of architecture, rather than the buildings architects complete.
Episode 1 focuses on Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio. Describing this episode, Laura Mark, says: ‘Piers himself is already a public figure but we wanted to challenge this and look at what really drives him and his work. We follow Piers as he builds a small cabin in his woodland, we speak to his friends, his family and those that have worked with him over the years, and we hear from him as he moves between his house, his studio and the woods.’
The episode, coming in at around 20mins, is a visual treat as Mark and Stephenson’s camera follow the construction of a small cabin in the woods surrounding Taylors’ home.
We hear from Piers himself, as well as long time collaborators and friends Kate Darby and Charley Brentnall. We learn how Taylor left school with no qualifications and what drove him to architecture, and how his unique pursuit of a different way of working results in these homemade buildings that ‘straddle a fine line between something a farmer might have built, or something an architect might have done’. All the while, Simon James’ specially commissioned score weaves its way through the woods with us.
Speaking about the film, Stephenson, adds: ‘Practice is something that we develop slowly, with a real engagement with the architect. We spend time in their practice, on site and in their homes. The idea is to create something reflective, that has a slow and meditative feel.’
Further episodes planned in the series will take a look at a wide variety of architects including Sam Jacob, Mary Duggan, Feilden Fowles and O’Donnel Tuomey.
Laura and Jim have been working together for more than five years. To date, their most significant project is a documentary on the work of Zaha Hadid, which looked at four key projects and moments in her life through conversations with friends and close colleagues.
This film has had nearly 100,000 views on Youtube and has been shown at film festivals in Milan, New York and London. Other films and interviews they’ve completed together have looked at the work of many renowned architects including Herzog & de Meuron, Francis Kéré, Kengo Kuma, Eva Jiřičná, AHMM, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Caruso St John and many more.
Film and Photography by Laura Mark & Jim Stephenson