The studio explored two main themes, a 24hr London and the sensory deprivation of the Covid city. How can we, as interior designers, devise innovative solutions to transform, reveal and invigorate the day-scape and nightscape of the city on a 24-hour cycle and enhance sensory experience to re-engage the public with their city? Rigid, formal ways of living were already on their way out – the current pandemic has only accelerated an inevitable move toward more flexible / blended forms of being in the city – these societal shifts call for adaptable, flexible, transformable, intelligent spaces.
Our initial briefs focused on reconnecting us with our environments (home/campus/city) after the sensory deprivation brought on by the pandemic. This research was organized into three interconnecting strands: video/visual, touch/sensory and body/measurement. The complementary outcomes of these strands of research offered students a powerful footing upon which to build their Major Project.
Our site is the Whitechapel Gallery and locality, our aim is to develop designs for adaptable space that transforms over a 24-hour narrative cycle of each students’ devising. We paid particular attention to creating a more permeable – more humane – connection between the building and the street, and appropriated a disused area to the rear of the gallery to create a courtyard extension, connecting the interior to the exterior, and creating a direct access link to Osborn Street and Brick Lane. We challenged students to increase connectivity: to the myriad of local communities, to the surrounding streets, to exhibiting artists in the rest of the gallery, to local history, or to global time zones via digital means. The transformable spaces created had to consider adaptability and storage facilities – whatever the concept, all elements had to stay within the space.
Showcase of student work
We also offer our BAs With Preparatory Semester for students wishing to prepare for degree-level study.