16 Interview with Lars Hesselgren, Director PLP Research

Lars Hesselgren and Benachir Medjdoub

PLP is a relatively new architectural practice formed by the five former London partners of Kohn Pedersen Fox in summer 2009. It currently has 70 employees and has jobs worldwide. PLP has a strong track record in computational design and has a group dedicated to computational and parametric design. It is determined to extend computational design beyond the sphere of geometry. Accordingly, the firm engages its sustainability experts to discover ways of using computation in the area of environmental design.

The interview

BENACHIR MEDJDOUB: Your role as head of research suggests that PLP is very keen to support applied research, which is quite rare in architectural practice. How would you define the role of a research group at PLP in the design project lifecycle?

LARS HESSELGREN: It depends very much on individual projects and the stages at which we enter a project. One big advantage of doing research within an architectural firm is that we have ready-made research material available all the time. However, practice is driven by different criteria from research, which means that often you have to deliver results very quickly; there are upsides and downsides to doing research in a practice setting.

BENACHIR MEDJDOUB: What is your research strategy?

LARS HESSELGREN: Our research strategy is to develop better tools that allow us to do better design. One of the primary things is that we have ...

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