The SpaceMakers workshop was the result of an ongoing collaboration with artist Hannah Brackston. As a result of winning a competition hosted by Open City, we were awarded Arts Council funding to create and run a workshop as part of Archikids festival and the London Festival of Architecture 2012.
A site specific workshop designed for the festival, to engage children (roughly 9-12 yrs) with a fun and creative challenge of building real scale public spaces in central London. With the use of a carefully constructed kit consisting of 3 large hand-built bamboo frames, a variety of exciting colourful fabrics, imaginative floor surfaces representing everything from wood to water, not to mention 90 cardboard cube boxes.
Rolling a giant toddler sized dice, determines in the aim of the game, one of 6 important themes;
A space to PLAY
A space to EAT
A space to MEET A FRIEND
A space to HIDE
A space to PERFORM
A BEAUTIFUL space
After putting their heads together and recording initial ideas on a blackboard, the group are awarded a pocketful of bamboo currency, with which they excitedly exchange for their favourite coloured fabrics and arm fulls of boxes, to build their own space with their imaginative interpretations of their determined theme. Huge theatre sets (including unique performance of jack and the beanstalk), a cardboard cafe selling air, a banquet table complete with pre feasting spa, and a never exhausted possibility of playful public spaces came to life.
Spacemakers enables not only the crucial facilitation of spatial creativity but also aims to instill the belief and confidence that, as kids, as people, we all have a powerful capacity to impact our cities too, creating future ambassadors for co-creation in the built environment. Shaping the places in which we live is not just a right reserved for highly educated architects and planners in glossy office blocks, it can reside in the hands of us all.
For further information about Open City, Junior Open House Festival see; www.open-city.org.uk
Guardian mention in press release; http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/jun/22/week-london-festival-architecture-olympics