Matthew Crabbe

Matt is an idealist and thinks that group skills are underpriced in architecture school, often in favour of a competitive attitude to design, that has its endgame in an intractable and environmentally unfriendly building sector. At NBL he values the chance to collaborate with a huge variety of like-minded and inspirational people on projects which present a more hopeful vision for our shared built environment. His big wish is to inspire and empower NBL’ers to realise these visions in their own critical and collective spatial practice. Originally from the UK, Matt has been based in Berlin since 2011 and joined Natural Building Lab as a teaching and research associate in April 2018.

Matt studied Architecture at TU Berlin and the University of Newcastle upon-Tyne in the UK. Between 2011-19 he worked with Berlin-based ZRS Architekten Ingenieure in various capacities, where he was engaged in a wide variety of projects and competitions with a focus on the use and potential of natural building materials. Through a series of projects involving the sensitive conservation of historic buildings in the middle east, he was able to gather extensive hands-on experience collaborating with large intercultural teams on complex projects.

During his time with ZRS Architekten Matt developed an interest in the “agile organisation” as a mechanism to allow organisations to better cope with change. Since joining Natural Building Lab, he has had the chance to apply these ideas in both teaching and practice contexts through projects such as the Infozentrale auf dem Vollgut and Taller Tropical Moravia. His doctoral thesis “Agile Collaborations in Spatial Practice: Applications for an Agile Approach in the Changing Practice of Architecture” aims to formulate an agile approach relevant for a new generation of architects, whose practice will be defined by their ability to succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment.

Matt has a strong interest in communication, interpretation and graphic design also working as a freelance architectural photographer. Matt can also regularly be found engaged in cargo bike logistics and advanced tension-belt handling.