The Urban Interactive

The Urban Interactive is a collective/collaboration between Imogen Humpris and myself.

We are interested in bringing together our different back grounds and skills across art and architecture, to push the boundaries with in our shared passion for working with people and public space, through the creation of projects which facilitate learning and empowerment regarding the interaction between people and their environment…  

For our first public venture we entered a competition with OPEN CITY, Architecture and received Arts council funding to create and run a workshop for part of a festival for young people called OPEN UP, with in the London City festival in June 2012.

More details can be found below or on our blog; http://www.theurbaninteractive.wordpress.com

Space Makers Workshop

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.

Following the excitement and enthusiasm of the event in London, we negotiated a repeat of the workshop in a rural setting or the tiny village of Eastend in Oxfordshire for their first every community and art event. A drive way became a colourful hub of creativity in this quiet community. We were interested in the context of our workshop here, considering the village has no formal spaces for people to meet, no shop, no pub and for many of the neighbours this event was the first time they met one another…

(click on image to enlarge)

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

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