This timber structure provides a sheltered space in the gardens of a Sussex farm house. The buildings form is based on the deconstructed geometry of nearby barns and was constructed by mule from locally sourced oak.
This installation in Nottingham City Centre aims to explore the experience of fragile space through a construct of over 10,000 clothes pegs. The pegs form a double curved arch through which the public can walk, producing a sense of imminent collapse.
In collaboration with Cinimod Studio we developed a design for a recording studio and hideaway. Crystalline interior surfaces recreate an anechoic chamber whilst a single light source highlights the cracks between the faceted exterior faces.
Sanguis Et Pulvis proposes the large scale solidification of migrating sand dunes in Egypt using a new architectural material: animal blood. Waste blood from halal abattoirs is used to create a natural binding agent, which is subsequently poured over the crests of dunes in order to form a structural shell. These new desert structures house blood brick production facilities as well as solar concentration electricity generation systems to provide a stable economic base for rural Egyptian communities.
Sanguis Et Pulvis won the 2012 Rawat Award, was nominated for the 2012 RIBA Silver Medal, and was published globally in both academic and popular press.
We are designing and building a garden studio space for sculptor and prop-maker Charlotte Austen.
Afrikaya commissioned mule and Yashin Kemal to design an 1800 m2 nursery school for the village. The building uses compressed earth bricks made by the local community as its primary material, with an innovative double layer ventilated thatched roof to maintain a cool internal environment.
The project is currently on site.
We are collaborating with Ramboll UK on the design of a inflatable canopy for the grade 1 listed Lloyd's of London building.
Time Dune is a pavilion proposal for the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert. The proposal is the culmination of research into the use of salt as a structural binding agent. The natural salt found in the dusty soil is used to solidify sand, forming a constantly evolving space that slowly drains over the course of the festival.
In collaboration with Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) and Ramboll UK this design applied our volume filling research to the "democratic periscope" centrepiece structure and walkway. A generative spaceframe fits within a complex volume.
Images coming soon...
Harri Lewis (mule co-founder) was the project engineer for this innovative timber pavilion. He led structural testing which allowed the first ever structural use of Kebony - an environmentally friendly alternative to hardwood. He also led the analysis of the complex form and advised on robotic 5-axis fabrication.
The project won the IStructE award for excellence in the structural engineering design of a project under £2 million.
Harri Lewis (mule co-founder) was the project engineer in collaboration with the Timber Research and Development Agency (TRADA). A form was generated to respond perfectly to the self weight of the structure. This complex form was then discretised into flat panels to allow both fast and cheap fabrication. The structure is fully demountable and it has traveled to various trade shows to promote the innovative use of timber.
The structure is currently being studied to understand its structural performance at the University of Nottingham.
Eggs For Soldiers is a long standing fund raising initiative for the charity Help For Heroes. For the feature piece of this years March Fourth event, mule and Charlotte Austen created a full scale sculpture of a Mark I Spitfire covered with Eggs For Soldiers egg boxes, which was exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.
The sculpture was 12m long, 13m wide and used 6500 egg boxes.
In collaboration with Hellicar & Lewis and Becky Stewart a responsive LED light installation in the form of a hypercube was created to accompany the band LV for a series of live events.
Images coming soon...
Designed with renowned acoustician Andy Munro for MunroSonic, The Egg 100 is a natural development of the revolutionary, curved, infinite baffle design concept of its big brother, the Egg150, housed in a smaller chassis with a four-inch (100mm) driver. This new system has been designed for greatest accuracy in near-field conditions, taking into account the fact that it will be used on consoles or flat surfaces. The frequency response is continuously adjustable to allow for the bass loading that can add up to 6dB to the sound level. The bass port is angled and placed as low as possible to take advantage of this effect without phase error. An innovative rotationally moulded one piece monocoque provides the stiffest enclosure possible with totally neutral resonance.
Images coming soon...
Designed with renowned acoustician Andy Munro for MunroSonic, The Egg 100 is a fully ‘Active Integrated Monitoring System’ that incorporates a fundamental rethink of the loudspeaker engineering process. The traditional wooden box has been replaced by a scientifically proven, curved enclosure that virtually eliminates diffraction and resonant effects that distort and smear the original sound. The result is a stunning clarity that brings the smallest details into focus and yet delivers the entire mix as a coherent whole. An innovative rotationally moulded one piece monocoque provides the stiffest enclosure possible with totally neutral resonance.
Images coming soon...
The constantly varying internal volume of this advanced acoustic absorption panel enables it to operate of a wide range of frequencies rather than a specific fragment of the spectrum. The geometry of the panel is based on the repose patterns formed by draining sand.
The panels are currently in prototype testing and will be available September 2015.
mule were commissioned by Lloyd's of London to create an outdoor lighting design to reinvigorate the terraces outside their bar - One Under Lime.
In a continuation of our research into solidifying sand, crest pouring was developed as a method for creating a structural skeleton rather than a uniform shell. Liquid binding agent, in this case a super saturation of sodium thiosulphate, is poured over the crest of a sand dune and is allowed to cascade down its sides. As it does so, the binding agent seeps down into the sand, creating deep structural arms of solidified sand. The liquid can either be allowed to find its own path, forming random structural paths. Or it can be guided, either by making indented channels or by using wires which the liquid naturally flows along. In this way, a more optimised network can be created.
This technique formed the basis of the Time Dune proposal for the Burning Man festival.
Animal blood was for a long time the main source of natural glue before the advent of synthetic glues. This research project explores the possibility of creating a new architectural material by using waste animal blood as a binding agent to solidify sand.
Mixed granular materials display a unique ability to self sort when poured freely. This is due to differing angles of repose possessed by the range of grains. These experiments explore the nature of this self sorting ability using a variety of different base aggregates.
The angle of repose is the angle at which sand becomes stable due to the friction between grains. These experiments explore the interference patterns created by draining sand from multiple points, such that the repose patterns intersect each other.
We started by designing exactly what we wanted on paper, free from constraints and preconceptions.
A number of web designers recommended we went down a more tried and tested route and use a template design.
Instead, we taught ourselves how to build websites from scratch and we love the result. We hope you agree but even if you don't - you won't find another like it.
It highlights our approach to design - throw yourself at the problem, relish opportunities to learn and don't compromise.
Established by designer Jack Munro and engineer Harri Lewis in 2013, mule is an interdisciplinary design studio working in the fields of architecture, engineering, product, technology and research.
The studio is formed of a small and focused in-house team from widely varied backgrounds but with a shared dedication to experimentation and invention. Much of our design work is based on our digital and physical investigations which allows us to pursue new ideas without constraint. We are then able to feed the resulting pool of discoveries back into our project work, ensuring that we are always pushing the boundaries of design.
Working on such an extraordinary range of projects requires an extraordinarily flexible way of working, and to provide this we form specific specialist collaborations for each project we take on. Working with highly specialised individuals (from clockmakers to biochemists) ensures that the team we create for each project is perfectly tailored to its needs. We believe that fantastic, unexpected ideas come out of the cross-breeding of different skills, approaches and philosophies. And this allows us to find highly innovative design solutions for our clients.
Jack Munro, BArch (Hons) MArch RIBA II - Co-founder
Jack studied undergraduate architecture at the University of Nottingham, before attending the University of Westminster to complete his Part II Architecture Masters. Jack’s 5th year project, Sanguis et Pulvis, won the 2012 Rawat Award for Best Graduate Design Project, was nominated for the 2012 RIBA Silver Medal, and received world wide publication in both academic and popular press. He has worked for B-A-N-D, YRM Architects, Carmenzind Evolution (Zurich) and Ordinary Ltd, before establishing mule with long time collaborator Harri Lewis.
Harri Lewis, CEng MEng MPhil - Co-founder
Harri studied Structural Engineering at the University of Warwick before joining Ramboll UK in 2008. Specialising in the analysis of complex structures he helped found Ramboll Computational Design (RCD). Completing his MPhil in Digital Architectonics at the University of Bath in 2011 he returned to RCD to manage and design a wide range of innovative projects, winning the IStructE award for best project under £2million. He has lectured at engineering and architecture schools including the Architectural Association, University of Nottingham and the University of Westminster.
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