Lawrence Lek

Experimental Architecture - Shortlisted 2019

Lawrence Lek is a multimedia artist and filmmaker based in London, working in fields of virtual reality and simulation. He creates site-specific virtual worlds and speculative films using gaming software, 3D animation, installation and performance. By rendering real places within fictional scenarios, his digital environments reflect the impact of the virtual world on our perception of reality.

Inspired by the writing of Juhani Pallasmaa and Dalibor Veseley, Lek is interested by ideas around the experience of space, and not just its physical construction. He often draws on the work of ‘paper’ architects, who recognised that the imaginary potential of architecture extended beyond the material world. Lek’s evolution of this idea manifests in his pursuit of immersive virtual experiences of space, without the need for physical structures.

Lek’s work ranges from video essays about the language of architecture (Pyramid Schemes, 2018), to imaginary buildings for the construction of civic identity (QE3, 2016), and cinematic installations that explore the creative awakening of artificial intelligence (Geomancer, 2017; 2065, 2018). He studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, the Architectural Association, London, The Cooper Union, New York, and is currently a PhD candidate at the RCA in machine learning for automated cinematography and virtual worlds.

Recent projects include: 'Nøtel', Stroom Den Haag, NL (2018); '2065', K11 art space, Hong Kong (2018); 'Hyperpavilion', Venice Biennale (2017); 'The New Normal', UCCA, Beijing (2017); Glasgow International, Tramway, Glasgow (2016); SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2016); 'Missed Connections', Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf (2016); 'Secret Surface', KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016).