Studio Int 02: State of Independence Live Project

Studio brief

The last few years has seen a significant growth of co-working spaces that operate in the adapted shells of buildings whose original purpose has become redundant. The premise of operating together with shared facilities seems to be a good economic model where different businesses can share the costs and in turn network, expanding business opportunities. Many of these co-worker spaces are owned and run by other corporate businesses which have used the opportunity to brand the interiors with their own corporate identity, which at a glance would seem business-like, friendly and fun. However, what of the individual company, what of their identity – how does this manifest itself as separate and distinct entity? One such business is the WIRE, a music and performance magazine that supports and reflects the work of grass-roots musicians and performance artists across the world. They describe themselves as "pathologically independent". It is essential that the WIRE occupy their own space in order to keep their original values and philosophies true as much through the space that they occupy as in the copy that they write. 

The WIRE have in the past considered sharing workspace with like-minded performance-interested companies, so does this ask the question whether sharing space with compatible, or other businesses attuned to your genre is a way forward? Or does the grass-roots approach suggest that independence is independent and that this provides the edge, the self-determination that allows unconventional behaviours and interactions, and opportunities to occur, where companies are open to outside approaches by having an absolutely zero allegiance to others? 

The building for our pathologically independent inhabitants is Stoke Newington Town Hall. Originally built in 1936, it was named the Civic Centre – the first time that this term had been used. 1936 was a period of renewed ideals of the future; the building followed the art and design precepts of the time by being in parts a solid example of Art Deco. It started with three main ideas to govern, educate and gather its community with the Council Chambers, the Library and the Assembly Hall.

Alarm clocks on long sticks


Course Interior Design BA (Hons) 
Tutor Kaye Newman
Janette Harris
Where Calcutta House
Studio 5, first floor CM1-13
When Tuesday and Friday


Interiors Studios


Cass Studios archive by year