Interior Architecture///Home Futures
For most of us the idea of home is something that we hold within us as a metaphor for safety and security – a private and familiar space that we inhabit both physically and emotionally. Home is not a static place, rather a nomadic concept – for those recently arrived in London, home is probably the place that you have left behind and the space that contains your family and possessions.
The cost of housing in London has reached extraordinary levels, with the majority of the city’s large population struggling to cover the cost of their mortgage or rent. Affordable housing is a key concern for local authorities, housing charities and political organisations – what is clear to all is that London’s existing housing stock is unable to adequately accomodate its citizens, not because there isn’t sufficient property, but because that property is not equally distributed.
Home Futures, starting from three different research strands - legacy, identity and the post-home - has produced three cluster of projects that are on the current exhibition at Interior Educators Show 2019.
CO-LIVING & CO-LEARNING//Educational and productive live-work spaces
The aim of these projects is to give the users the opportunity to live together and learn new skills. Here domestic activities overlap with spaces to work. Schemes include a silk production centre, a brewery, a distillery and educational spaces within which to learn new skills, produce items for sale and build new relationships within the community. Here HOME is a place where work is not simply a job anymore, but a shared activity through which people can learn together.
Lucinda Hekneby, Claire Robey, Anastasija Luciva
LIVING AND SHARING//Post home scenarios
The idea of HOME within these projects is explores scenarios of hybrid spaces where conventional idea of domesticity are deconstructed. Projects range from a bike commune to a cooking school, from a data centre to a library, establishing new situations in which to enact our daily lives. This involves not only the tenants of the building, but also the local community. Within these schemes HOME becomes a place where people of different ages and origins can meet, unconditionally, and spend time together.
Agatha Kho, Daniel Brown, Chanel Wu, Pishoi Philips, Bethany Williams, Savanna Nelson-Murray
RE-LIVING & RE-LEARNING//Mental/physical rehabilitation
The projects in this category are concerned with the rehabilitation of people with a range of physical and/or mental conditions. Here HOME is where the users can build new relationships and learn new skills to enable them to resume their lives. Schemes include a clothing workshop for homeless people, and ceramic activities for women. Home becomes a shared and hybrid place, a comfortable environment where re-learning is the key to the future.
Interior Design - Are we being served?
While the term Service Design might be considered corporate jargon, it does prompt us to think of the design of social interactions as something worth thinking about, something which could be special. Whatever the sector, [we have students working within retail, leisure, fitness, health, study and hospitality], how the potential customer interacts with products, staff and the built environment is key to the user experience and therefore the success of the interior created.
This year the students have focussed their work within the service industry sector. Service Industries are something which we all rely on from birth (healthcare) to death (funeral director) and many of the stages in-between.
Key to this theme, in terms of built environment, is the very notion of ‘service’, both by way of understanding the function of the building’s use, specific to it’s particular customer’s expectations and desires, but also in terms of how best to facilitate the human interactions which are central to the concept of service. To facilitate good service the designer must themselves fully understand the nature of the business they are designing for.
The question ‘Are we being served?’ is an attempt to provoke the cohort to really challenge the concept of what service can and should be. Who is serving who? What happens if established relationships are switched or altered? How can a stereo-typical building uses be re-imagined when these questions are asked?