Jonas Lencer was made Director in 2015 following a 15-year progression from architectural intern through to Studio Director. His role within dRMM has consistently been tied to the studio’s material research and development, with a particular focus on material innovation via the process of making and – increasingly – through the strength of digital design.
Together with his fellow directors, Jonas champions dRMM’s international strategy, marrying his passion for process-driven architecture with an ambition to grow dRMM’s portfolio across the globe. Jonas believes passionately in the power of process-driven architecture as an agent for narrowing the gap between design and manufacture. He is particularly interested in the potential of prefabricated materials, materials with a propensity for modularity, and materials that promote circularity. His design with fellow director Alex de Rijke for the 2013 London Design Festival project, Endless Stair, celebrated engineered timber and modular design. The installation was conceived as a flexible configuration of identical components designed to to adapt to different contexts, including its feature in the 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile event as Scale Infinite. Endless Stair also saw the collaboration with Arup engineers to develop the first hardwood CLT material, which was later used in dRMM’s award-winning design for a Maggie’s centre in Oldham. In 2016, Jonas brought his long-standing timber expertise to the Malaysian Wood Awards as a member on its judging panel.
Jonas brings his material and making expertise to the wider industry discourse in the form of consistent public speaking, writing and panel expertise – he was invited to sit on the London Borough of Harringay’s Design Review Panel in 2017. He has written and lectured on the subject of the ‘Architecture of Circumstance’, which outlines his proposition for a design future reliant on resource availability, flexibility, and radical logic as opposed to predisposed stylistic solutions. As such, Jonas’ focus as Director lies with the studio’s overarching architectural strategy and the strengthening of its process-driven design ethos.
Jonas is vocal in his support of emerging practitioners as ambassadors for sustainable change within the industry. He has written about the importance of listening to young voices within the profession – specifically the role of environmental architect-activists – and is a mentor to dRMM’s internal Sustainability Focus group. Jonas is keenly invested in discourse as a tool for learning within practice. Aside from regular guest lecturing, he became an assessor for RIBA Part III at the University of Brighton in 2017.
Before joining dRMM he worked alongside Prof. Mirko Baum at the Institute for Structural Architecture, RWTH-Aachen, as well as in Cologne and Moscow as an assistant to the artist Prof. Igor Sacharow-Ross. Jonas moved to the UK in 2004 and was born and educated in Germany.