An Evening at Aardman Animations

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On the evening of the 23rd of November, guests joined Low Carbon South West, Aardman and Arup for a fascinating event at the fantastic Aardman Studios in Bristol to explore the innovative eco-building design and energy saving production lights.

The evening started with lively networking between guests, along with nibbles and wine. Matthew Tudge, general manager of Low Carbon South West, kicked off the evening’s talks with a warm welcome. He went on to talk about the great work Go Green has done over the past year and hinted at the interesting events coming up in the new year.

Next, Tony Prescott from Aardman Studio gave an brief introduction to the studio, exploring the fantastic productions they have delivered over the past 40 years. He introduced the exceptional and award winning building loaded with eco-features, which has been home to the studios for 8 years now.

Tony played a show reel of some of the amazing 40 years’ worth of work from Aardman, with faces synonymous with Bristol that we all know and love like Wallace, Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

Nathan Sale – Aardman Studios

Next to speak was Nathan Sale,  Studio Manager for Aardman, exploring their energy savings, efficiency in studio productions and LED lighting in production. Nathan talked about the history of lighting, how LED combatted some of the issues – like the burnout of gels and colour temperature shift – and how Aardman tackled some issues of LEDs. Nathan also demonstrated the benefits of some of their new studio lights which, although weighing more, drew around one sixth the power of their older lights, requiring less infrastructure on shoots and minimising the need for air conditioning, which was always there for the plasticine and not the comfort of the animators!

Fabien LeDem – Arup

Last to speak was Fabien LeDem, Senior Designer for lighting at Arup, who are an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services. He delivered an interesting talk on the design of the fantastic sustainable building of Aardman.

Fabien explored the transformation of what used to be a car park into a fully operational flexible office and digital creativity studio from inception to it’s current use. The key aspect of the sustainable building services strategy is to minimise energy consumption by using numerous passive and efficient active solutions.

Fabien talked about how a holistic approach to the design enabled details the amount of daylight into the building to be precise via the orientation, fenestration and shading of building design.

Lastly, he explored the fantastic open office design of the building which offers an effective and flexible working environment, along with a vibrant cafe which opens onto a terrace, allowing staff to take a break from the office and explore their ideas within nature.

To see Fabien’s slides, click here.

After the talks, networking between guests continued and delicious canapés were served. We all left feeling impressed and inspired from the evening, discussing how Aardman are leading the way for sustainable office and studio space that all businesses should aspire for.