Designing an exhibition about scarcity and creativity in the built environment

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At the end of April I saw a tweet from Jeremy Till, now head of Central St Martins, that was essentially a cry for creative help. He needed a designer and curator for an exhibition about his SCIBE  (Scarcity and Creativity In The Built Environment) research project. The brief was challenging: the original curator had pulled out at the last minute due to ill health and suddenly there was only four weeks to produce a show about a three year research project. It sounded like just the kind of crazy job I like. Sensibly Jeremy decided this wasn’t a job for one person and riding to the rescue alongside me came the amazing Crystal Bennes, curator, writer, chef and wonder woman.

Crystal and I made quite a team and right from the start got on like the proverbial house on fire. Our first idea was that this exhibition, which was to be located in Bromley-by-Bow, should be a street festival involving the local Bangladeshi community that had been part of the SCIBE community engagement. However after spending two of the four weeks trying and failing to get permission from Tower Hamlets to put on this ‘Scarcity Festival’, we threw in the towel on that idea. In the end we plumped for the first choice venue, it being the only choice at this stage and made with the most of what we had, in the spirit of the assignment. Along the way we had great help from SCIBE team members Jon Goodbun, Deljana Iossifova and Dougald Hine, as well from Flora Bowden of the Seed Foundation.

The result was the Sightlines Exhibition in the Mayor’s Parlour in Bromley-by-Bow. You can see images of the exhibition read more about here on its design page.

 

Working on collaborative submission for King’s Cross Gasholder No. 8 Competition

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King’s Cross Gasholder 8, with its cultural heritage of Victorian engineering ingenuity, provides a fascinating setting for The Pulse. The gasholder, which once stored the gas that provided light and heat to London, is a powerful starting point. The contemporary absence of the gasholder leaves a void to be filled with a new energy, one that draws on the stories that fuel our past while looking to the sustainability of our future.