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Sam Jacob


Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design, a practice whose work ranges from urban design through architecture, design, art to curation.
Sam is interested in how architecture and design makes ideas real socially, formally and materially. From nightclubs to social housing, from community centres to exhibitions, his projects are striking yet also are full of familiar references, creating places and spaces with character and surprising beauty. Inspired by context, his projects try to embody stories, sensations and feelings in space, form and materials.
His work has been shown at institutions including the Art Institute Chicago, the MAK Vienna, the V&A, and the Venice Biennale where he was co-curator of the British Pavilion in 2016. He has worked with museums including Design Museum, the Science Museum, Tate and MK Gallery, and has contributed to events including the London Design Festival, the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Lisbon Triennale. Previously, Sam was a director of FAT Architecture.
Recent projects include a new mixed use building in Hoxton, offices for Art Review, exhibition designs for Somerset House and the refurbishment of the V&A’s Cromwell Road entrance. Current projects include the Science Museum’s Collection Centre, public spaces in Belgravia and Covent Garden and light industrial buildings in Lovelands, Colorado.
Alongside the studio’s main work, Sam has made t-shirts and scarves that act as manifestos, designed an opera in a cow shed and interviewed Lou Reed, all in the name of expanding the possibilities of architectural production.


2014 –                    Principal, Sam Jacob Studio

1995 – 2015             Director, FAT Architecture

Selected Built Projects

2022  Yinka Ilori Studio, workspace, London

2022 Transformation of V&A Cromwell Road Entrance,

2022 Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2022 NCC Welcome Building

2022 The Horror Show, Somerset House, London

2021    Building ONE, Science Museum Collections Centre, UK

2021 In Search of Sharawadgi, Exhibition design, curation and art direction, Heerlen,NL

2021 Beano, Art of Breaking the Rules, Exhibition Design, Somerset House, London, UK

2020  Pavilions within the historic landscape of Stowe, UK

2020 The Electric Nemeton, installation, London, UK

2020 Offices for Art Review, London

2020 Kingly Court Phase 2, Carnaby Street, London

2020 Public WC and Public realm improvements, Carnaby Street, London

2019 DKUK 2, Gallery & Hair Salon, London

2019 Lie of the Land, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

2019 Cartoon Museum, London

2019 An Office of Stacked Things, London

2018 Dido & Aeneas, Staging Design, Shatwell Opera, Somerset

2018 Ideas Depot, Exhibition Design, Tate Liverpool

2018 The Sun, Living With Our Star, Exhibition Design, Science Museum, London

2017  V&A Shekou, Exhibition Design, Shenzhen, China

2017 The Stack for Mini Living, London Design Festival Landmark Project

2017 DKUK, Gallery & Salon, London

2016 Illuminated River, Shortlisted, International Design Competition

2016 Surrey Street Market, Urban Design, London

2016 Fear And Love, Exhibition Design, Design Museum, London

2016 One Thing After Another, Installation, Sto Werkstatt, London

2016 Dar Abu Said, Installation, Venice Architecture Biennale

2015 MK Menhir, Public Art, Milton Keynes

2015 Shortlisted team, VPAC Arts Complex, Chicago

2015 Architecture Curator, ArDe, London

2015 V&A East, Brief & Concept Development, London

2015 Cambourne Pavilion, South Cambs

2015 MK Menhier, Public Art Commission, Milton Keynes

2015 A House For Essex. Living Architecture, Essex


2014                      Biomimicry, Exhibition Design, Roca London Gallery

2012                      Roath Basin Studios, BBC TV Studios, Cardiff

2011                      Middlehaven: 84 unit residential building, Middlesborough

2009                      Selfridges: Design of 3rd floor retail space, London

2008                      Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet: Park and cultural centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2007                      St Lucas Art Academy, Boxtel, The Netherlands

2006                      Islington Square, affordable housing development, Manchester

2006                      Museum of Croydon:  Museum within listed building

2002                      Ten:  Offices for advertising agency in Antwerp, Belgium

2001                      The New Civic:  Three public art installations, King’s Cross, London

1998                       Kessels Kramer: Design of offices for advertising agency , Amsterdam

Selected Exhibitions


2019                      Empire of Ice Cream, Betts Project, London

2018                      The Lie of The Land, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, curator

Disappear Here, Architecture Gallery, RIBA, London

2015                      A Clockwork Jerusalem, AA Gallery, London

2014                      A Clockwork Jerusalem, Curator, British Pavilion, 14th Venice Architecture Biennale British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Italy

2010                      Ornament is Crime, MAK, Vienna

2009                      Duplicate Array, Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Lausanne

2006                      In a Lonely Place: Florence Hall, RIBA, London

2006                      All You Can Eat: Stroom, The Hague. NL

2000                      Kill the Modernist Within, Cube, Manchester


2022                       Hand and Machine, National Museum, Oslo

2021                      Namely Words, Betts Projects, London

2020                      Earth Drawings, Architectural Association, London

2019                      Silver Gala exhibition, Architectural Association, London

Pattern as Politics, Lisbon Architecture Triennale

Museum Show, DKUK, London

Draw, Saatchi Gallery, London

Alternative Histories, Cork Street Galleries. Architecture Foundation

Turn Me On, Side Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

2018                      UABB, Shenzhen Biennale

2017                      Spaces Without Drama, Graham Foundation, Chicago

Chicago Architecture Biennial, USA

2016                      Fragments, Soon Museum, London

XYZ, Etage Projects, Copenhagen

2015                      All Of This Belongs to You, V&A, London

2013                      Book of Copies, AA Gallery, London

2012                      Museum of Copying, 13th Venice Architecture Biennale

Image for a Title: Placebo Effects in the Cultural Landscape, London

2008                      From Now to Eternity, Biscuit Building, London

2006                      Gritty Brits, Carnegie Museum of Arts, Pittsburgh

2005                      Intimate Space: MOT Gallery, London

2004                      Extreme Houses: Munich and Liepzig, Germany

2003                      Home Time: British Council Exhibition of British Design in China

International Architecture Bienalle: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sign as Surface, Artists Space, New York

Architecture Biennale: Rotterdam, NL

2002                      Trespassing – Shaping Spatial Practices, Secession, Vienna

2001                      Space Invaders: Lisbon/ Pasadena/Tokyo

2000                      Manifesta 3, Ljubljana FAT, FOA, MUF: arc en reve, Bordeaux

Selected Visiting Lectures and Conferences

2022                      Index of Modern Architecture, International IGmA Symposium

Stuttgart,, Germany

Symposium “300 YEARS ENTWURFF” at TU Wien

1:1, Lecture, European Architecture Students Assembly, Romania

2021                      Webinar seminar, Städelschule, Frankfurt, Germany

Korrekturen, Tu Graz, Austria

2020                      Mies as Teacher, University of Genoa

How will we live together, panel discussion, Agora magazine, Italy

In conversation, New York Review of Architecture

Architecture Foundation 100 days, inaugural talk (online during lockdown)

Imaging The Earth, panel discussion, AA

California College of the Arts, Keynote lecture and workshop

Keynote talk and workshop,Independent School for the City, Rotterdam

2019                      University of Cincinnati, Keynote Lecture

2019                       San Rocco Plays the Potemkin Theatre, panel discussion, Architecture Foundation

Complexity and Contradiction at 50, panelist, MoMA, New York

2019                       Frieze Academy, London

2018                      Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen

2016                      One Thing After Another, Taubman College, University of Michigan

2016                      Exquisite Corpse, Berlage / TU Delft

2015                      Relevance, Rice School of Architecture, Houston

2015                      University of Southern California

2015                      Taste, RIBA, London

2015                      Post Craft Symposium, ICA, London

2015                       ‘Lloyds of London’ ETH Zurich

2014                      The Difficult Double, EPFL, Lausanne

2014                      Theorie Salon, Vienna

2013                      The Rest Is Noise, Southbank Centre, London

2013                      In Pursuit of Architecture, Log / MoMA, NYC

2012                      ‘So Lonely’, AA, London

2011                      ‘Magic Format’, AA , London

2011                      ‘Copy Culture’, Berlin Design Week, Berlin

2010                      ‘Wrong Thing, Right Place”, MAK, Vienna

2010                      ‘Copies, Fakes, Replicas’ HEAD, Geneva

2010                      ‘Extra/Ordinary’ Sydney, Australia

2008                      On Pop, the Everyday, and Escapology. Architectural Association London

2008                      Off Shoring Audacity, Chicago Humanites Festiival

2008                      New Ways to Inhabit the City, UIC, Chicago

2008                      2008 Lubetikin Lecture, London

2008                      Architects Journal Define Your City, Southwark Catherdral, London

2007                      Clip / Stamp / Fold, Architectural Association, London

2007                      Chalmers, Gotenberg

2007                      Cambridge School of Architecture

2007                      University of Illinois in Chicago

2007                      Ohio State University

2007                      Petcha Kutcha, Purcell Rooms, London

2006                      Royal College of Art, London

2006                      L’Accademia di -Architettura di Mendrisio, Switzerland

2005                      Myriam Bellazoug Lecture,  Yale School of Architecture

2005                      Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow

2004                      Fabrica, Benetton communication research centre,Treviso

2002                      Sci Arc, Los Angeles Selected Writing / Criticism

Magazines / Journals

2013 –                     Columnist, Dezeen

2009 –                     Columnist, Art Review

2008 –                     Contributing Editor, Icon

2007 – 2009            Columnist, Architects Journal

2005 – 2010            Architecture Editor, Contemporary Magazine

2003 –                              Contributions to magazines including:

Icon, Art Review, San Rocco, Modern Painters, Volume, Metropolis, Log, Domus, The Guardian etc …

Selected Books / Catalogues 

2022                      Butterfly, Introduction essay for Fala Atelier, pub Libria

Essay, Blank: Speculations on CLT, ed Jennifer Bonner, pub ORO Editions

Essay, Hand and Machine, Catalogue essay, pub National Museum, Oslo

Essay, A Section of Now: Norms and Rituals as Sites for Architectural Intervention, ed. Giovanna Borasi, pub CCA

Essay, 6A Architects A+U Magazine

2021                      Rocky, Introduction essay, pub West County Modern

2020                      Rewriting Architecture: 10+1 Actions – Tabula Scripta, Chapter contribution, Academy of Architecture Amsterdam & Valiz

2020                      Italian Collage, Introduction essay, pub Lettera Ventidue Edizioni

2020                      Hall and Oats, Introduction, pub West County Modern

2019                      Home Futures, chapter contribution, pub Design Museum Publishing

2019                      Complexity and Contradiction at 50, Chapter contribution, pub MoMA

2015                      Chapter, The World of Charles and Ray Eames Catalogue, ed Catherine Ince, pub Thames and Hudson

2015                      Perspecta 48: Amnesia (MIT press)

2015                      Radical Pedagogies : Architectural Education and the British Tradition, eds.Daisy Froud & Harriet Harriss, RIBA Publishing

2015                      Catalogue text, Formal Economies, Marte Eknæs, Dolon Books

2015                      Introduction, The Politics of Flatness, Jimenez Lai

2014                      A Clockwork Jerusalem, British Council / Vinyl Factory

2013                      Landscape Futures, ACTAR / Nevada Museum of Art

2012                      Make it Real: Architecture of Enactment, Strelka Press

2011                      Radical Post Modernism. Editor (with Charles Jencks), AD

2010                      Malfe, Bedford Press

2008                      L.A.W.U.N Project 19: The Disreputable Projects of David Greene (ed. S. Hardingham, AA Publications)

Perspecta 41: Grand Tour (MIT press)

2006                      5 Codes: Architecture, Paranoia and Risk in Times of Terror (ed. S. Trubey, Birkhauser)

2006                      Perspecta 38: Architecture After All (MIT press)

2006                      Making the Impossible Possible: The Dream of Flying. The Dream of Paradise (ed. Claudia Weber, Gerlinde Schuller, Map One)

2006                      Perspecta 37: Famous (MIT press)

2002                       This is Not Architecture (ed. Kester Rattenbury, Routledge)

Selected Awards and Competitions

2022                      Royal Fine Art Commission, Shortlisted Building Beautiful Award

2021                      Design Week Awards, Shortlisted

Miller Prize recipient

2019                      Dezeen Awards, Shortlisted

2014                       AR Future Project Award, UIC VPAC proposal

2014                       Shortlisted, FX Awards Exhibition Design

2014                      Graham Foundation Grantee

2012                      Shortlisted Housing Architect of the Year

2009                      RIBA European Award: Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet

2008                      World Architecture Festival: Heerlijkheid Hoogvliet shortlisted

2007                      RIBA European Award for St Lucas Art Academy

2007                      FX Best Museum: Museum of Croydon

2006                      Architecture Foundation Next Generation Award

2006                      AR Future Project Award for Masterplanned Communities: New Islington

2006                      Best Public Housing Project: Brick Development Association Awards

2006                      Regeneration Awards: Regeneration Partnership of the Year- Great Places, Urban Splash, FAT and Cardroom Estate

2005                      40 Under 40, Architects Journal

2003                      Second Prize: Young Architect of the Year


2011 –                     Clinical Professor of Architecture, UIC, USA

2022                      Visiting Professor, TU Wein

2020                      Desktop Design Academy, online design initiative during lockdown

Visiting Professor, ABK Stuttgart

2019                      Visiting Professor, Hong Kong University

2018                      Visiting Professor, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany

2017                      Bartlett School of Architecture, Masters BPro

2016                      Visiting Professor, Yale University

2014                      Visiting Professor, Yale University

2012 -2016              Director, Night School, Architectural Association, London

2014                       Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor, Yale University, USA

2009 – 2012             Unit Master, Architectural Association, London

2010                      Bishop Professor of Architecture, Yale University, USA

2007                      Louis I Kahn Professor of Architecture, Yale University, USA

2000 – 2004             Diploma Unit Master, University of Westminster

1996 – 2000             Degree Unit Master, University of Greenwich

Other Appointments

2019 –                     Council Member, Architectural Association, London

2018-                     Jury member, Architects Journal Architecture Awards.

2017-                     Jury Member, Retrofit Awards

2018                      Jury Member Dezeen Awards

2013-                      External Examiner, KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, Sweden

2003 –                    Fellow, Royal Society of the Arts


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