Two aspects that guide my life are the process of making and collaboration. Furniture, sculpture, set design, architecture – these are the areas that I have spent most of my time exploring. The act of collaboration is the second equally important aspect of my practice, the artists, creatives and community that I work with are an integral part of the practice I would like to build in the future.
This project is made up of a series of actions that constitute a method of working, that has been driven by a conversation with Marie Bak Mortensen From Create London as well as regular contact with the Wards Corner Latin Village community.
The method I’m using is not new. However, this project has taught me a number of things, such as: The importance of gaining trust from a community as an outsider and an understanding that this requires a considerable amount of time and commitment.
As well as this, the research portion isn’t simply research but is a significant aspect of the project. It shouldn’t only be considered research, it should be considered an integral part of the design.
We also need to re-think our approach to practising architecture by changing how we value engaging with the communities that we design for. This is because long-term benefits of working like this, out way the short-term effort. Especially considering that practices currently pay for community engagement reports.
As Richard Sennet says
“On the highway, you are making a journey, but you are not learning much about others during the course of your journey. You are moving through space rather than experiencing place”
I believe that this method of immersing ourselves within the communities we design for will lead architects to design place rather than simply designing space.