Ben: One of the things that we like to do is to take a material that’s used for maybe a floor or a ceiling and then give it a different language. So we use floor tiles and make them into seats, for example. We try to explore different materials and translate them in a different way – which can be great fun.
Kaja: I worked on the University of Manchester scheme, where we used a lot of extraordinary materials. We refurbished an exhibition space, which showed the history of the telescope at Jodrell Bank. When the old dish was taken down, we used the panels of the dish for the exhibition space itself, so all the projections were placed onto the panels.
Neil: This might sound a bit odd in this new age of biophilia, but the strangest material I’ve used (certainly at the time) was grass. This was probably 15 years ago when, back then, you had your plant suppliers who would supply and maintain within the commercial sector. So we tried to integrate this grass into the scheme and considered irrigation, the right lighting – and we actually used it as benchmarking before the project was completed, to see it if it would work. Surprise, surprise, it didn’t work! It’s interesting to move forward 15 years and see how biophilia is so integral to what we all do today.