Ben Merry

Graduates 2017: Ben Merry

“My final year project looks to revive the almost lost concept of the family business within Newhaven Town. Although not in the traditional sense, instead reinventing each of them as a series of portable ‘shops’ individually designed using nostalgia.”

Can you tell us about the work you’re showing in the Graduate Show?

“Through much of the 20th century, Newhaven was filled with local family businesses all working together to help shape and build the town that currently stands. However today, with the loss of these businesses, it has become somewhat of a ghost town. I hope that by reintroducing these local family businesses into the town it can help revive the lively nature and close knit communities that made the town great. With my proposal, the Newhaven community will be able to found, build and run their own portable town.


Ben Merry


The architecture within the project was inspired and designed by looking back at Newhaven’s history. Analysing the individual shops, both historic and present, allowed me to distill down what the town is made of (materials, forms, ornamentation etc) and then using these distilled ‘components of architecture’ I could then incorporate them into the proposed design. Using these components creates nostalgia within the new architecture, subtly bringing back the past while still keeping it within the present setting.”

Can you explain a little bit about your process?

“Much of what I draw and create stems from model making. The world works in 3D and as much as I can I try to incorporate that into my work. Each drawing starts with a concept or plan and from there I can build up the components needed to fully visualise it in 3D. Sometimes that can be as small as a backdrop or collaging materials all the way up to full large scale proposals. From here I am then able to photograph, draw over and add to each of them. Whether this be a pen and ink drawing, collage or other medium completely depends on the drawing/project but I feel that by working in 3D, myself and others can much more naturally understand it. ”

How did you find the course?
“I have absolutely loved my time on the course and thinking back over the last three years, I have learnt so much more than I could ever have imagined. Other than the direct teaching, because each brief is different, it means that each project becomes its own new experience. Although I had an art style when I first came to uni, through speaking to the tutors and other students I have been able to push this so much further than I ever thought. By sharing the studios between all of the years, as well as shared workshops with other architecture courses, it means that there is always something new and exciting to try or learn. Much of what I do is inspired by other models, processes and drawings that I have seen around the studios with my flare added to it.”
Ben Merry
What are you plans after graduating?
“I am hoping that I can get a job from one of either: the architecture degree show or Free Range Exhibition in Brick Lane. One day I would love to come back to university and help tutor or teach within the course and help the new students using my knowledge of the course and what I did to really push the new work and projects. But that’s a long time from now, who knows what could happen between now and then.”
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Graduates 2017: Ben Merry

  1. Ben, a ‘Degree’ of genius this reinventing reblending OLD to NEWhaven portable shop & family business project initiative.
    “Proper Blog” Model Student !
    Employers recruit this young genius fast for his & your. …
    Success & future fortune !
    Dad 🙂

  2. Ben is a very determined, creative and hard working individual. His talent is fantastic and I have employed Ben during his summer breaks to help with projects in my business and he has always gone over and above. He is the talent of the future and any company would be lucky to have him. Angela James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *