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Power of persuasion

Maria Smith

What’s the truth behind the mission statement?

Awl Knyte Architects is an award winning practice working across a range of scales and sectors to deliver good design to clients. We at AKA are passionate about creating a high quality built environment. Our practice is uniquely placed to work collaboratively with clients to develop delightful spaces that are enjoyable and inspirational for all. Our client-oriented, design-led, research-backed, academically-inclined, non-hierarchical team is dedicated to working with enlightened, intelligent, ethical, curious, affluent clients to achieve innovative, cutting-edge, sustainable architecture. We at AKA believe that great architecture comes from striking an elegant balance between a project’s context and the flavour of innovation our culture is comfortable with at any given moment. We seek to create timeless design by taking inspiration from the latest technology. We push the boundaries of aesthetic sensibilities by drawing on our wealth of experience of tried and tested methodologies. We create iconic background buildings that receive notable press attention through their humility. A robust, pragmatic commitment to technical execution characterises all our projects from start to finish and beyond.

Led by limelight-grabbing partners, supported by a tight-knit team of ineffectively ambitious associates, the vast majority of our abortive work is done by a young, dynamic, emerging, diverse, hardworking, chaotic team of haphazardly part-qualified architectural assistants. These up-and-coming architects-of-the-future are empowered to work industriously and autonomously in a variety of illegally downloaded software packages that ensure our proposals look efficient, co-ordinated, and in line with the prevailing zeitgeist. This powerhouse of production frees up our experienced architects to dedicate their time to writing fee proposals and bemoaning the existence of clients. We at AKA listen to our clients with rare cow-eyed attentiveness and prioritise making the client feel heard over relaying the clients’ needs to the undirected casserole of subordinates.  

This matchless commitment to translucent communication is also evident in our devotion to community and stakeholder ­engagement. Reflective of our belief in participation over consultation, we exclusively design accessible, lowest common denominator schemes that disenfranchise occupants and users alike. We have long contended that local people know more about their homes than we know about places we have never been to. We therefore seek to begin every project with an in-depth half-hour wander around the site and a couple of chats with people that don’t look too different from us. We have extensive experience making pie charts and word clouds from statistically insignificant samples and of teasing out sound bites from unrepresentative focus groups. We have an unparalleled track record in evidencing voices in support of regeneration that convincingly contest arguments against gentrification, the exponential rise in inequality, and blindness towards cultural bias.

Our partners are considered thought leaders in the argument for the perpetuation of the conflation of zero carbon and carbon neutral.

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We have a dedicated team in the office that ensures expertise on this subject is consistently unintegrated throughout our portfolio. This expert eco-squad can write about use of 100% recyclable materials and compare the carbon footprints of apples and oranges with an extraordinary efficiency that only comes with replication disguised as experience. This siloing of knowledge and reliance on post-rationalisation enables cutting-edge design to flourish unhampered by misdirected politics. We take a holistic approach to sustainability that challenges the perception of green washing with a dogmatic attitude towards the specification of infinite resources. Our partners are considered thought leaders in the argument for the perpetuation of the conflation of zero carbon and carbon neutral. 

Unlike our competitors, AKA is committed to designs substantiated by the self-referential, incestuous provenance of architectural theory but at the same time legible to the everyman and buildable within the delusion that is our present economic and social context. To achieve this, we work tirelessly to iterate proposals in line with culturally arbitrary systems of justification, and exploit our colleagues in the construction industry at an early stage. We respect that our understanding of builders’ lack of understanding places us at the pinnacle of cerebral achievement. We understand that architects are as much a part of the construction industry as man is part of nature. We understand that weathering is a smite that happens to the designs of bad people. We understand that gravity is an insurance scam. We at AKA have mighty powers to facetiously refute any law of nature or of civilisation. Our reactionary faux-self-loathing knows no bounds in service to the whims of our clients whom we hate with the vivacity of transference. We long for nothing more than to present ourselves at your mercy, to manipulate you into an emotional cartoon of Newton’s third law that amounts to a self-flagellation, to author a bespoke simulation of Stockholm syndrome, to paint ourselves into your corner. 



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