Design Studio 18 (DS18) is a postgraduate MArch Studio at the School of Architecture + Cities, University of Westminster,in London. The digital platform hosts the extraordinary creative student work undertaken with the main purpose to:

  1. to present and archive the programmes, research & creative student outputs each year;
  2. to position the work of DS18 within the broader intellectual, scientific and aesthetic fields; 
  3. to invite dialogue and debate for new organisational systems in the global state of ecological and climatic emergency; 
  4. to provide a reference for past and future iteration of the studio paths


Climate Change / Un-Sustainability

The context of our global climate and ecological emergency provides the foundation for all DS18 design research investigations. Alongside the sciences, we believe that the arts and architecture has a critical role in playing out and exploring future scenarios, testing the effects of changing environmental processes upon life and design, whilst using the project as a tool to communicate and represent these often intangible global threats to new audiences and in new ways.

Data / Computational Tools

We aim to ground projects through directed and appropriately rigorous levels of research. We gather and build datasets, employ cartographic methods and experimental diagrams to record, illustrate, and analyse these wide ranging conditions and complex relationships. We use computational design tools to process these, to simulate and explore them across ranging scales, and prepare or directly use their outputs to inform an evidenced based design process.

Design / Representation

We encourage individually led and original design projects, exploring multi-programme briefs and new typologies, driven by context and of appropriate project scale. Our objective is to deliver these through new and creative forms of representation - to celebrate complexity and communicate the vast assemblage and entanglement of project themes, relationships, scales, actors and material.

Studio Publications, Awards & Talks

Chada Elamami, KooZA/Rch Portoflio: Rad(iation/ical) Atheneum & The Transient Estate, 2023

Carl Fletcher, Scollar to the Norman Foster Foundation, Energy Workshop, Madrid, 2023

Chada Elamami, Justyna Lesny & Kirsten Davis, Radical Architecture Practice for Sustainability (RAPS) Confrence and Exhibition, Eindhoven Confrence, 2022

Georgios Malliaropoulos, Scollar to the Norman Foster Foundation, Sustainability Workshop Madrid, 2022

Kirsten Davies, KooZA/Rch Portoflio: Saline Landscapes, Dungeness UK, 2022

Daria Donovetsky, KooZA/Rch Portoflio: The Liquid Landscape, Dungeness UK, 2022

Justyna Lesny, KooZA/Rch Portoflio: The Lichen Incubator, Dungeness UK, 2022

Jamie Williams, exhibited at Imagine Glasgow 2021, COP26 edition, New Glasgow Society.

Jamie Williams, MIT’s Projection 16 – Visualising Cities Awards, 2021. Winner for Best Visualization Award: The Atlas of the Carbon Economy

Hannah Pinsent, Helen Windsor & Elizabeth Terry: Radical Architecture Practice for Sustainability (RAPS) Confrence and Exhibition, Bristol, 2021

Daria-Suzanne Donovetsky, Hannah Pinsent, Jamie Williams, Elizabeth Terry, Nikhil Berwal, Muhtasim Mojnu, Seni AgunpopoMIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Projections 16 | Measuring the City: The Power of Urban Metrics, Visualizing Cities, 2021

Elizabeth Terry, KooZA/Rch Interview: A Carbon Re-wilding: Decolonisation of Contentious Territories, 2021

Anthropocene Teaching Practices in Architecture, Territorial Matters and Interfaces Workshop, TU Berlin & Field Stations, 2021

Seni Agunpopo, KooZA/Rch Interview: Peat Observations, 2021

Seni Agunpopo, Dezeen, University of Westminster Feature, 2021

Helen WindsorShoaib Rawat Award, Third Place, UoW, 2021

Jamie Williams, KooZA/Rch Interview: The Didactic Kingdom Of Nowhere in Particular, 2021

Kate Hosking, KooZA/Rch Interview: Black Ice Form, 2021

100 Day Studio Talk, Architecture Foundation, studio and student presentations, 2020

Katie Dechow, Dezeen Virtual Design Festival, 2020

Rachel Wakelin, RIBA Silver Medal, Serjeant Winner 2019 - RIBA

Raymonde Bieler, One Symposium: Low Energy Architecture, panelist, 2019

Blueprint for the Future - Blueprint Magazine, 2019

Raymonde Bieler,  RIBA West London Architects Group Award for Best Student in MArch Year 1, 2019

Content Contribution, Studio Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life Resources, 2019

Pamphlet Architecture 36 Competition, 2016 - Honourable Mention for “Thinking Architecture from the Maldives”

Studio Book: Energy, Architecture, Matter, 2016

John Cook, RIBA President’s Medals Silver nominee - 2015

<a full studio bibliogrpahy 2013-2021 can be seen here>

Studio Leads

John Cook is an architect and a research associate at Monsoon Assemblages, using novel data and computational processes to explore and communicate the South Asian Monsoon across ranging mediums, spatial and temporal scales - with work exhibited at Broken Nature, XXII Milan Triennale Milan 2019 and Venice Biennale 2021.  Climate Cartographics coming soon...

Ben Pollock is an architect, researcher, and educator with experience at Hopkins, Fletcher Priest, and Jestico Whiles Architects where his work was primarily in the educational sector and large-scale commercial retrofits. In 2020, Ben co-founded 4D Island, a non-profit design research practice using computational design for spatial intelligences, material insights, and climate adaptation with frontline communities in the Maldives. Notable projects include COP26 and Weaving the Nakaiy, a Prince Claus Fund and Goethe-Institut’s funded climate art project. He is also a founding members of Climate Cartographics, a UKRI grant-funded design research studio specialising in climate, data, and cartographic visualisation.

Laura Nica is a prize-winning Architect, Digital Designer and Lecturer, with specialisms in computational design, material research, digital fabrication and simulation tools. Founder of Laura Nica Studio, the practice focuses on sustainable restorations, creative installations and regenerative masterplans. Her previous experience included working at Foster + Partners, dRMM, Giles Miller Studio and Fathom Architects. Currently, a PhD/Doctoral Researcher candidate, collaborating with the Zaha Hadid Foundation & the University of Westminster; with research interests in digital archival procedures, pre/post digital apparatuses, models, and architectural interfaces.  

Lindsay & Roberto, DS18 2013-2019

Lindsay Bremner is a research architect whose work focuses on human-more-than-human entanglements in oceanic worlds. She currently holds a European Research Council for Monsoon Assemblages (2016-2021), a project exploring these themes in three Bay of Bengal cities - Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon. She began her academic and professional life in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she published, lectured and exhibited widely on the transformation of Johannesburg after apartheid. She taught architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, at Temple University in Philadelphia, and at MIT as a Visiting Professor, before taking up her current post as Professor of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Bremner holds a B.Arch from the University of Cape Town and an M.Arch and DSc.Arch from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Roberto Botazzi is an architect, researcher, and educator based in London. He is currently the BPro Urban design programme director at The Bartlett School of Architecture and teaches in Research Cluster 14.

Between 2016 and 2019, DS18 was sponsored by Monsoon Assemblages, a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873). For more information, go here: http://monass.org/


In addition, the studio would be nothing without the efforts, criticality and intrigue of each year's student cohort <3

Affiliations & Collaborators

ARUP’s Advanced Digital Engineering Group
Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)
High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment (FRAM)

We support climate action
Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN)
Students Climate Action Network (StuCAN)



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