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More with Less

We are committed to delivering bold statements of sustainability. To this end, we are a key member of More with Less: Reimagining Architecture for a Changing World, the inaugural exhibition at the Farrell Centre, Newcastle. This installation proposes positive outcomes to reducing our consumption, and a joyful architecture that could enable this.

Within the exhibition, Office S&M argue that to make comfortable buildings we need to embrace uncomfortable architecture. To illustrate this, our installation re-imagines five fundamental elements that make up a room: wall, window, ceiling, door and floor. Each of these elements requires adaptation to improve the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock. The question for us is how this can be done in ways that are not just about practicality, but that inspire wonder and curiosity?

More with Less aims to demonstrates how sustainability is not just a question of materials, of swapping a carbon-intensive material for a better one, but something that requires fundamentally new ways of thinking about architecture. We are delighted to present this first inaugural show which offers creative new ways of engaging with architecture whilst reaffirming its central importance to our lives as individuals, society, and our planet.”

Owen Hopkins, Director of The Farrell Centre

Our exhibition, which comprises five discrete but related interventions, provides some ideas: a furry wall acoustically insulates the room while introducing colour and tactility; a dichroic film applied to the windows regulates heat entering the space while bathing the interior in a rich, coloured light; a pendant light in the form of a column glows with circadian light; a foil door, complete with ‘cat flaps’, addresses the need for airtightness and practical ventilation; and a reappropriated modernist chair, set within a grid repeating across the floor, is augmented with rough insulation foam.

Together, the five interventions illustrate Office S&M’s idea that architecture can be reimagined as a kind of ‘veneer’, which might be applied to existing buildings, utilising the potential of cheap, everyday materials to deliver luxurious – as well as energy efficient – experiences.


Location: The Farrell Centre, Newcastle
Project: More with Less Exhibition
Client: The Farrell Centre
Photography: Jill Tate and Simon Veit-Wilson


Office S&M
Dress for the Weather
McCloy + Muchemwa
The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE)