No place like home: temporary urban garden
Moreton, A. and WINGHAM, IVANA (2009) No place like home: temporary urban garden [Exhibition]
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Official URL: http://www.blueprintmagazine.co.uk/
Pioneered by Scott Brownrigg, and conceived in collaboration with Dr Ivana Wingham, senior lecturer at The University of Brighton, the No Place like Home series aims to explore the design of public space by using a series of week-long experimental research installation projects to engage the architectural community, academics and the public in a debate on what makes a public space. The installations are designed by several academics, architects and artists and focus on four European cities – Athens, London, Tallinn and Milan exploring how history, personal or public boundaries, narratives and cultural preconceptions might be used as design tools to transform a public space. In our times of a global economy, global networking and global architecture, the installations examined our specific, individual encounters with these global cities challenging the notion that ‘public space is leaving home’. Each installation was launched by public debate in which architects, academics and public responded to a given theme. These installations also transformed Scott Brownrigg’s minimally designed private reception space into an extension of the London street in Covent Garden and turned it into a temporary public gallery. The origin of the idea conceived by Dr Ivana Wingham and Alun Moreton, Scott Brownrigg associate was ‘a response to the simplistic and negative tone of the Prince Charles vs Richard Rogers debate over Chelsea Barracks, but also a dissatisfaction with the level of communication between architectural educational institutions and the general public’ as mentioned in the recent Blueprint article entitled ‘25 who will change architecture and design in 2010’ (January 2010). The article further emphasized the opportunities for change suggesting that ‘ the commercial architectural practice need not work at a distance from the theoretical, academic research’. The first installation in the ‘No Place Like Home’ series, Temporary Urban Garden by Dr Ivana Wingham and in collaboration with Dr Roderick Lumsden IT consultant (2-13 November 2009), brought many positive comments from visitors to Scott Brownrigg’s offices in Covent Garden. Temporary Urban Garden, an installation project that explored demarcations in public space in Athens focused on the city’s rooftops and it’s closely linked connection to the history of the city and mythical festivals. In this multi-media installation project clues from a Greek myth and the presence of female sexuality in Mediterranean images and smells of spices are transferred and translated into a critical proposal – a temporary urban garden. The project evoked boundaries of occupation in the past and the present city of Athens using visual animations, gentle physical topography and recreations of particular smell sensations. The second installation Public Space Privacy, a photographic project by Angus Leadley Brown (30 Nov – 11 Dec 2009) questioned the use of CCTV within our public spaces in general and in London in particular. Leadley Brown created a two-way dialogue with the cameras that increasingly watch our every move in public space - by photographing them and at the same time filming the scenes behind these photographs. In accordance with the Data Protection Act rules on storage of CCTV footage, the documentation shown in the installation was destroyed after 30 days. The third installation project Tallinn Shadow Memory was a public space media-art installation (11-15 January 2010) by Estonian fashion designer Reet Aus and Ville Hyvönen, a cross-disciplinary media-artist. Through a bold interactive exhibition that employs miniature LED video projectors, Shadow Memory addressed the potential of creating new public space in the historical context of Tallinn. Real-time projections generated ghostly moving images digitally reconstructed from historical images of the costume, people and places of medieval Tallinn. The fourth installation Territories of Misbehaviour in which Frank O’Sullivan presented the work of MA Interior Design students from University of Brighton (8-12 February 2010) addressed two paradoxes inherent in architectural and spatial design: The first is the tendency to base design development around predictions of the future use of yet to be constructed space. These predictions are made in the certain knowledge that the architect or designer has no power to determine who may do what in a space. The second issue concerns the apparently straightforward distinction between architecture and the design of interiors, even though there is no consensus as to where the interior space ends and something else, like the city, nature or public space, begins. The installation is based around the design and fabrication of a number of flexible constructions, named ‘Constructed Urban Interfaces’. These installations were focused in understanding the city as an archive and affect of history, perception, art and thought, in which these four contemporary cities provided a rich context how we may start to read and respond to specific public spaces. The No Place Like Home initiative conceptualized the critical outcomes of research through practice focusing on the potential for contributions of researchers and designers to publicness and public spaces in the context of today’s fragmented and dispersed city. Further information and detail on the projects could be found on: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/study/interior-architecture-urban-studies/news/scott-brownrigg-collaboration-project and http://www.scottbrownrigg.com/news/scott_brownrigg_launches_no_place_like_home/
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