Andrew Merritt and Paul Smyth are founders of the London based collective Something & Son. Their work reflects their varied backgrounds and shared passion in art, social enterprise, the environment and engineering, leading them to produce popular, provocative and witty work that tackles the big design and social/environmental challenges of our time.
Their work is an amalgamation of architecture, installations, sculpture and performance and as often as possible aim to build art projects with a legacy by producing business models to help ensure a lasting future. A keenness to collaborate has led them to work alongside swift experts, mushroom men, scrapyard merchants, farmers, scientists, manicurists and sociologists. Currently they are in the process of designing their first permenant building and a range of products for Ikea.
One of their most successful projects has been the FARM:shop in Hackney. FARM:shop began life as an art project experiment to see ‘How much food can be grown in a shop’ and now exists as a self sustaining business, urban food hub, cafe and arts venue. Over three floors and outdoor space FARM:shop contains mini ‘aquaponic’ fish farm, chicken coops, high tech indoor allotments and polytunnel alongside space for growing is there places for people including café, desk space hire, meeting rooms and event space.
Andrew and Paul have previously worked with the Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, local authorities, Manchester International Festival, Gwangju Design Biennale (South Korea), Milan Design Week, the British Council, London Festival of Architecture, Create Festival, Mayor of London and the Wellcome Collection. They have talked at, amongst others, the Serpentine Gallery, Liverpool Biennial, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (Zurich), Linz Kulture (Austria), Design Museum, Kunst-Werke (Berlin), Architecture Foundation and the V&A Museum.
Something & Son have gained both national and international press coverage for projects that are at their heart local but with global relevance. Recent achievements include projects being named in the New York Times Design Honour List for 2011 and chosen as one of nine Gifts of the Games along with, amongst others, the Olympic Park, Whitechapel Gallery’s new facade and the Velodrome.