· Credit: Jim Stephenson

You have to love Studio Weave’s (and RIBAJ’s) Maria Smith. Admiring the practice’s craft installation ‘Smith’ at Clerkenwell Design Festival in May, I mentioned that very few buildings had a smell any more. ‘Hmm…let’s see,’ she said, sniffing the laser-cut Marley Equitone walls of Smith. ‘Nope,’ she noted scientifically, before running off to smell the brick walls of the nearby Order of St John. The installation, meanwhile, underwent its own empirical testing that afternoon by withstanding a deluge – its projecting gargoyle gutters easily channelling water away. It made me think that without asking and answering stupid questions, the charming pastoral-industrial aesthetic of ‘Smith’ would probably never have come about.