Plant rich diets & agroforestry are methods to reverse global warming from Drawdown. This project returns Plant Trade heritage to Docklands through Wardian Terrariums, self-sustaining microclimates that aid plant growth from all hemispheres. Fruit, veg & herbs are home grown within high-rise greenspaces. Inspired by the photosynthetic properties of coral, the buildings plants grow symbiotically with controlled levels of sunlight, energy, temperature & moisture.


Rotherhithe has been selected as the site for brief 1, with Beckton as the site for brief 2. Both sites are located in Docklands.

Rotherhithe, South west London, is currently under planning with proposals to build a multi-use housing development around the gasometer. In 2019, the Rotherhithe Gas Holder company opened a temporary Hub to receive resident feedback for the planned development. Lots of feedback was in relation to the heritage of Rotherhithe, with residents requesting the history of the site is maintained and celebrated.

The name ‘Rotherhithe’ derived from the Latin translation of ‘Landing place’, as it was part of the Docklands trade, with raw materials and goods being imported to the site via ships from around the world. The proposed artefact re-creates native climates from all hemispheres for native & imported plants that grow herbs, fruits, spices and botanicals.

Rotherhithe Warehouse, 1960


Taking inspiration from the death of a coral skeleton after bleaching, the artefact is based on a replicated ‘mesh’ aspect of strong and resilliant branching coral.


Taking the resillience of a coral mesh, I have experimented on Grasshopper with different methods of creating the initial design concepts of my artefact. The mesh will act as a supportive shell, with plants integrated throughout.


The Grasshopper experiments are transformed into various containers based on the concept of Wardian Cases, providing various moisture, light and temperature conditions for each individual plant.

Brief 2:


Reviving the Docklands Plant Trade heritage through Wardian Cases

This project celebrates our scientific movements away from the industrial era through our ability to re-create self-sustaining climates for plants.
The discovery of the Wardian Case- the original terrarium, demonstrates a simple yet powerful ability to re-create its own self-sustaining climate, allowing biodiversity to grow & thrive. Docklands was the largest importer of raw materials including plants, herbs, fruits, veg & many more in the world.

‘Bio’, with the latin meaning ‘organic life’, is becoming increasingly considered through trends such as biophilia, biomimicry and biomorphism. The Biosphere (Earth), must have such trends prioritised at the forefront of design in order to help keep our planet inhabitable. Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, is an intricately researched document on our top 100 most effective methods of reducing and reversing the climate crisis The document covers all issues concerning global warming from family planning/population control to refridgeration, plant-based diets, and organic material usage. Some of the most effective topics have been applied to my proposal are:

• Regenerative farming
• Plant rich diets
• Educating girls
• Solar energy
• Mass organic food production

The fully self-sustaining multi-functional arcological hyper building incorprates public spaces such as horticultural education, plant nurseries & labs that breed native & endangered plants, & informative public exhibitions, along with residential sectors that offer organic food farming inspired by the Wardian Case Terrariums.

Drawdown summarises ways to help reverse global warming. Regenerative farming, plant rich diets, biodiversity & permacultire are some Drawdown methods that I have incorprated into my project. Below is a full list of the methods I have included, and individual summaries of why these methods have been incorprated into my residential biodiverse tower.

Brief 2020-2021

“Now is our chance to recover better, by building more resilient, inclusive & sustainable cities.” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

We are very excited to be back for a new year. This year our brief is focused on Arcology, a term coined by Paolo Soleri which is the combination of Architecture and Ecology. Below is a few links describing the year ahead:

The DS10 A4 brief
The DS10 Diploma Studio Presentation

Sustainability first! DS10 looks for novel solutions to sustainability issues in all its forms. We are interested in realistic and efficient buildings that contribute to a more sustainable society. We value digital exploration on the threshold between structure and biophilic ornament, coupled with thorough material testing DS10 believe that architecture should be joyful and that architects should think like makers and act like entrepreneurs. We like physical experiments tested with digital tools, for analysis, formal generation and fabrication.

Our past students have raised funds on Dragons Den and won StartUp Awards
Our Reading List
We will be studying pioneers of eco-design
Eliza Hague’s Shellac Coated Inflatable Origami Greenhouse
By ecology we understand the total science of the connections of the organism to the surrounding external world. -Ernst Haeckel
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.” ― John Ruskin
Through dedicated digital classes in Grasshopper we will be exploring structural ornamentation techniques such as floral and vegetal motifs through the ages, filigree ironwork, spiralling and curving volutes, stone scrollwork, and replicating, evolving and reappropriating them digitally and physically.

Arcology is a combination of architecture + ecology creating an ever evolving large scale, dense and highly compacted building.
Abanoub Reyad and Yvonne Onah
Urna Uranga
Jessmine Bath
This year’s site
Biosphere 2

Brief 2017-2018

Woodchip Barn, Hooke Park. and Wooden Waves, BuroHappold.

We are back after a year exploring Symbols & Systems, and an inspiring unit trip to South India, visiting the Hempi Valley and Auroville. This year our focus is on Fractals, not just as forms but as tools to understand how geometry can become infinite and how it can be built within the constraints of the physical reality. Fractals gives the opportunity to expand confined spaces, to let the mind fill the gap that reality had to stop. Therefore it also provides a great tool for the second brief, which is the Tiny Home movement, society’s need to create more compact, efficient homes to face the environmental and economical crisis. As per our previous briefs, we would like our students to build their projects, whether it is a giant fractal at a festival or an actual home within a space that would otherwise be left empty, we want students to raise funds and make, using digital fabrication tools combined with off-the-shelf material. Our goal is to continue training the entrepreneur-makers of tomorrow. Below is a breakdown of our briefs as they are being drafted:

Fractals in nature & structures

Unit trip to India studying the links between recursive structures, spirituality and aggregation

The Tiny Home Movement


Brief 2015 – 2016

We are back after building three projects in the desert!

This year we would like our students to become Entrepreneur Makers, looking for funding opportunities to build projects in the real world.

Have a look at our 2015-2016 briefs and presentations below:

Entrepreneur Makers Article in the last AD with Joe Leach's temple for Burning Man
Entrepreneur Makers Article in the last AD with Joe Leach’s temple for Burning Man

Reflection by Lorna Jackson - Picture by Andrew K. Green
Reflection by Lorna Jackson – Picture by Andrew K. Green

Bismuth Bivouac by Jon Leung - Picture by Toby Burgess
Bismuth Bivouac by Jon Leung – Picture by Toby Burgess

The Infinity Tree by Tobias Power - Picture by Arthur Mamou-Mani
The Infinity Tree by Tobias Power – Picture by Arthur Mamou-Mani

BRIEF 2014-2015

Hello Everyone, we are back for the academic year 2014-2015! This year we added a bit more depth to the brief by introducing a group study of Science-Fiction and visions of the future throughout history. We are also happy to announce a partnership with Buro Happold to build a live project at their headquarters on Newman Street. We will continue our collaboration with the Burning Man Festival and finally we will look at the future of cities. Here are below the documents that we have issues to DS10 students.

Space Elevator
Space Elevators

Total Recall, Philip K.Dick
Total Recall, Philip K.Dick

Toby and Arthur standing on Fractal Cult at the Burning Man Festival
Toby and Arthur standing on Fractal Cult at the Burning Man Festival

BRIEF 2013 – 2014

Hello everyone, we are happy to be back for the 2013-2014 academic year at the University of Westminster after couple weeks in the desert at the Burning Man festival! Similarly to previous years, we will place our studio briefs in the list below as we develop them throughout the year. We hope it will inspire you!

-04/12/13 BRIEF2B: REALISE


-24/09/13 BRIEF01 : SYSTEM

-24/09/13 Unit Presentation

-20/09/13 – A4 – Introduction to briefs

Near Unison 08
Near Unison – Dan Dodds (DS10 11-13) physical and digital experiments of harmonic oscillation.

Near Unison 09
Near Unison – Dan Dodds (DS10 11-13) physical and digital experiments of harmonic oscillation.

Near Unison 10
Near Unison – Dan Dodds (DS10 11-13) physical and digital experiments of harmonic oscillation.

We're back!
We’re back!

Brief 2012-2013

DS10 is happy to back for the 2012-2013 academic year!

Toby and I are very excited about the new brief. Below is a link to the A4 presentation that students receive before the presentation on Monday 24th September. If you have any feedback or questions on the brief please do not hesitate to comment below and we will answer asap.

Above: Queue in front of the Tokyo Apple store for the release of Iphone 5

Above: The WikiHouse by 00:/ Architect

Above: Anam Hasan, a ladder to the burning cloud (for Burning Man)

Michael Hansmeyer (CAAD ETH) – Platonic Solid Subdivision

Brief 2011-2013

Below are links to PDF pages explaining our 2011-2012 brief in chronological order:

18/01/2012: BRIEF03: REALISE

(Students will adapt and confront their Burning Man proposals to broader contemporary issues. They will look at the impact of the Internet on physical spaces and might choose to design a networked headquarters/manufacturing facility for a global company or charity)

01/11/2011: BRIEF02: BURN 

(Students will implement their digital and analogue studies on Frei Otto and Buckminster Fuller  in a building for the Burning Man Festival)

30/09/2011: BRIEF01: LEARN

26/09/2011: “Unit Presentation Slideshow”

(10 minutes power point presentation to student for unit selection)

20/09/2011 : “DS10 A4 Page”

(given to the students prior to the Unit Selection)

Above: Facebook’ s new Server Farm in Lulea, Sweden

 Above: IKONOS satellite image of the Burning Man festival

Richard Buckminster Fuller with the Dymaxion Car and the Fly Eyes Dome © Courtesy Buckminster Fuller Institute© Frei Otto, Apparatus for computing minimal path systems, Institute for Lightweight Structures (ILEK), Stuttgart, 1988