Studio Moffitt is run by Lisa Moffitt, Associate Professor of architeture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. 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. I have been a full-time academic since 2010; from 2010-2020, I was based at the University of Edinburgh, where I also completed a PhD Architecture by Design.
My work is prompted by a deep compulsion to make things... paintings, photographs, buildings, models, drawings, material studies, prototypes, exhibitions...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 or models of material systems are often paired with teaching or written research, enabling productive exchanges between the two.
In the widest sense, my research focuses on models—understood as both scale physical artefacts and mental ideals—of environmental processes impacting the buildings and landscapes. I design, prototype, and photograph models of environmental processes including airflow, sedimentation, soil compaction, fire spread, and freeze/thaw cycles. The models, which incorporate materials including as water, ice, soil, air, and fire, make processes otherwise difficult to comprehend (due to expansiveness, duration, or invisibility) legible.
My written research analyses overlooked case study models in the history of technology, situating contemporary design concerns in relation to the climate crisis within a broader historic context. My book, Architecture’s Model Environments (UCL Press, 2023) features chapters on Etienne-Jules Marey’s wind tunnels, Victor and Aladar Olgyay’s thermoheliodon, and David Boswell Reid’s convection experiments. Each case study acts as a prompt for considering contemporary flow visualisation strategies, building climate control strategies, and models of thermal comfort respectively.
My teaching aligns material investigation with qualitative analysis of building environmental performance. Environmental models are used as tools of environmental verification, as tectonic artefacts that focus detailing on environmental exchange, and as material assemblies that strategically alter their sonic, luminous, aerial, and thermal environments across scales.