Studio Moffitt is run by Lisa Moffitt, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. My practice was initiated in 2008 with a commission to complete a design-build, off-grid house in rural Ontario, the House on Limekiln Line, following several years working at PLANT Architect, Inc. in Toronto, Canada. In 2010, I became a full-time academic at the University of Edinburgh, where my work has shifted to speculative projects, written research, and teaching. My practice now often involves collaboration with students through ESALA Projects, a university initiative that I co-founded to support academic/student design consultancy.
All of my work is prompted by a deep compulsion to make things... paintings, photographs, buildings, models, drawings, material studies, techniques, installations...that question how architecture materially alters, impacts, and constructs new environments. These makings, whether they are site installations or speculative design projects or instruments that register environmental conditions, are often paired with teaching or written research, enabling productive exchanges between the two.
My design research takes two primary forms: first, the development of instruments such as wind tunnels, water tables, and filling tanks, which materialise environmental processes for use as forensic tools to explore modes of architectural environmental mediation; second, design of speculative and built work that instrumentalise existing material and environmental conditions to design “thick” contextual projects.
My written research places contemporary sustainable design concerns within a broader historic context, often by reflecting on the makings of others. For example, Etienne-Jules Marey’s wind tunnels, Victor and Aladar Olgyay’s thermoheliodon, and David Boswell Reid’s convection experiments, have acted as prompts for reflection on contemporary concerns related to building climate control and methods of environmental simulation and visualisation. Much of this research incorporates original design work.
I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate design studios that align techniques of making with modes of understanding scientific and technical principles of building environmental performance. Most recently, I taught a one year Master of Architecture studio in which students designed environmental instruments as a means to design environmentally-responsive ‘post-carbon’ buildings in two sites of thermal asymmetry: the Blue Lagoon, Iceland and Bath, UK.
A final role that consumes me requires deep creativity of an entirely different sort. I am a mother of two young, active, vibrant children (4 and 2 years); this role substantially impacts how I work and what I give value to. I try to defend time to do two things every day: make something and think seriously about how to meaningfully address serious environmental concerns.
If you share any of these interests or ways of working, please contact me: lisa.moffitt@ ed.ac.uk.
For more information about my research, see my University of Edinburgh profile.