Inspired by living architecture

Professor’s dream-like vision of constant metamorphosis brought to life in new film

By Carol Truemner Faculty of Engineering

A Waterloo School of Architecture professor is the co-creator of a new short film inspired by his living architecture creations.

Philip Beesley worked on the film entitled Cradle with Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, who are both based in London, England, and Salvador Breed, who is based in Amsterdam.

A media release on Cradle’s June 13 online premiere said that film evokes the birth of life on earth.

"Within an astral, Arh a child-like being emerges, reflecting the fundamental journey from death into new life," the media release said. 

Beesley provides the man’s voice in the film which was co-produced by Bianca Weeko Martin (BAS ’19, MArch ’22).

Devoted to opening traditional boundaries between nature and technology, Beesley’s work is widely cited in art and architecture for its pioneering contributions to the rapidly expanding field of responsive, interactive environments.

Last year, an extended, immersive version of Cradle accompanied Beesley’s installation called  Grove exhibited at the 2021 Biennale of Architecture in Venice.

Interpreted by The New York Times as "overcoming social and political polarization by replacing hard walls with open environments", Grove included a canopy of what looks like luminous, lace-like clouds embedded with liquid-filled glass vessels.

Beesley leads Philip Beesley Studio Inc. and the Living Architecture Systems Group, a University of Waterloo affiliated partnership of academics, artists, designers, and industry partners dedicated to researching and developing next-generation architectural environments.

Cradle was supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Embassy of Canada to Italy, HIP Developments, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the University of Waterloo.

The film can be seen on @philip.beesley  Instagram IGTV and  .

Main photo is a screenshot from Cradle


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