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Mike Fairbrass - The Open College of the Arts

Mike Fairbrass

Hello, I’m Mike Fairbrass and I’ve been lucky enough to work across architecture, interiors, exhibition and photography for over twenty five years.

After my B.A.hons Creative Arts at Nottingham Trent, I was lured by London and worked as an architectural modelmaker for Richard Rogers practice. It was here I expanded my experience of varied materials and my appreciation of their uses, properties, combinations and connections.

I became fascinated with how people perceive and use space as I discovered the power of the model and of scale as a communicating tool, capturing and highlighting multiple issues of form, expression, spatial interrelationship or simply comprehension, often far less evident, or even invisible, in drawings.

I progressed to Head of 3D and Photography and was fortunate to work closely with Richard Rogers as I created, built and managed my own team at the heart of the design process on a host of high-profile international building projects. I also enjoyed playing a lead role in the design and installation of Richard’s touring exhibition in Europe and the Far East and his exhibition at the Royal Academy London.

I have enjoyed teaching at varied levels, I devised and hosted children’s educational workshops to promote design through making for the V&A, Design Museum and Royal Academy and for young adults through The Sorrell Foundation Masterclass series. I have also taught at BA hons degree level in Modelmaking at the Arts Institute Bournemouth, at Chelsea College of Art Interior Design and at MA level on Industrial Design/Engineering and on Interior Architecture at The Royal College of Art.

I judge for The Architects Journal on their AJ100 ranking of the largest UK architectural practices and I’m currently enjoying visiting and judging buildings and their interiors all over the UK for their AJ Building Awards in the category of Best Cultural Project.

I have recently combined my passion for scale as a wonderful tool to aid understanding with writing as my factual book entitled The Scale of Things was published by Quadrille last year. My next book hopes to combine the power of scale with environmental and sustainability issues. (Did you know that, assuming current trends in world production and population growth, it has been suggested that the materials requirements for the next decade and a half could equal all the materials used throughout history up to date?)

As well as teaching and writing, I continue to consult in architecture and interiors. I am currently working with Universal Design Studios on the design of their new multi-purpose makerspace as well as developing an interior focal point for a major London visitor experience and working with a restaurant developer on the interior design approach for a new café chain.

I’m loving the challenge of OCA distance learning in combination with hand’s on drawing and making for students to begin to explore the world of interior design at Foundation level through the course I’ve written.

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