INSIDE/OUT: STEVE JENSEN, ANARCHITEC

The Inside/Out Lecture Series is a series of talks about the built environment. 

The Interior Design programme of The RCA School of Architecture organised a presentation by Steve Jensen of the architectural practice Anarchitec. 

Steve Jensen is an architect with 25 years experience. He calls himself and his firm "an archive of chaos". Steve came from the analogue to the digital age and saw an opportunity for this presentation to digitize and assemble all his analogue-age projects. He has this obsession to make things, to translate his ideas into reality. “I’m a maker. The way I work is about buildability.” It’s really difficult to understand the world and keep it simple he also added. It’s not all about purity.  

Steve talked about the reality within the world of design. We use other people’s money to create something. Each move is crucial. There are always things that set you back and problems you bump into. It’s finding a balance between financial pressure and creative response. 

He also said model making is the core of designing, it’s not just the plan and sections and mood models that are important. Also the technical drawings, the way things work. Contractors need detailed plans where they can zoom in and out. It’s all about bringing the reality to your conceptual thinking. If you don’t draw it, somebody else will design it for you. You need to think about everything. 

Big, Bigger, Biggest was the name of his presentation in which he showed the nuts and bolts of the design process from initial creative response to constructed reality in three of his (all built) projects. 

“Bigger is not always the best. When it’s little you have more control over it, keeping a hold over it.”  

Big 
Elemental

Shopping centre Leeds 
Bar/Nightclub 
Grade I listed building 
2000 – 2001 
85K 

Bigger 
Wilson Barb Residence 
Bethnal Green London 
Residential Conversion 
Victorian Conservation area 
2004 – 2006  
200K 

Biggest 
Vivienne Westwood Design Studio 
Elcho Street Battersea, London 
Design Studio & Offices 
2007 – 2012 
1,6m