“Aside from the waterfalls, avatars and labyrinths, their space has its similarities to our studio…”
Hands up who wants to be an architect when they grow up…
Committee meetings are, as one American comedian put it, conferences made up of a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done. So with that in mind, we spent the majority of the week in committee meetings intent of proving this received wisdom to be wrong.
First it was the brief for the ‘Design for Life’ workshop that we are running at the V&A on the 26th April. Design for Life is a national initiative led by the V&A in partnership with five regional museums and galleries across the UK. It seeks to develop new ways of engaging young people in design by providing them with opportunities to work alongside professional designers and gain inspiration from museum collections.
Next, we had a meeting about a summer school that we will be running in August at the V&A for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Named after the murdered London teenager who had wanted to become an architect before he died, the trust pays tribute to Stephen by helping talented young children from disadvantaged areas gain access to a career in architecture and design.
The Public…with a capital ‘P’
The umbrella theme of school workshops and educational events continued at our open studio on Friday, where we met a delegation from the Public, the multi-use cultural centre housed in that pink and black box in the West Bromwich that Will Alsop must have designed with Mr. Blobby in mind.
Actually, the people we spoke to were on day release from the Public Gallery, an interactive art gallery inside the centre, which (in its own words): “is an entirely participatory art gallery, the only space of its kind in the world. Its interior features no vertical walls, and three floors interconnected by rolling promenades. There will be digital waterfalls, flying avatars, labyrinthine paths and sound tunnels. As visitors move through the gallery they have to interact with exhibits to bring the pieces alive. In turn, these pieces react differently to each user, depending on the information the visitor has given.”
Aside from the waterfalls, avatars and labyrinths, their space has its similarities to our studio at the V&A, and the Public Gallery also runs school groups as well, so we swapped stories about our experiences of secondary education and they whipped out an iPhone to show us some pictures of the stuff that they are doing.
Return to the House of Jonn
Feeling good about our work for Design for Life and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, two worthy causes indeed, we went back to the Hospital Club for a follow up meeting with the House of Jonn.
Sequestered in the ‘felt room’ – a meeting room inside the members’ club with felt-lined walls (of course) and a small private terrace to enjoy the sunshine – we came up with an idea for our proposed residency collaboration in a burst of creativity owed in no small part to the quick work the two Jonns have already made of their monthly bar tap allowance.