In transition: 24 hours combating sensory deprivation in the Covid City
Our lifestyles are changing and people are working, resting and playing at different hours of the day and night. 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 and intelligent spaces.
A 24-hour cycle of activities can support our flexible lifestyles and we are familiar with the daytime economy, but the night-time economy is not just about pubs and clubs, it can and should extend far beyond this. The Mayor of London has set a plan for the future ‘A Vision for London as a 24-Hour City’: the night-time economy is a significant feature in this plan and the next London Plan of 2036.
In semester one we will focus on reconnecting us with our environments (home/campus/city) after the sensory deprivation brought on by the pandemic. This research will organise itself into three interconnecting strands: video/visual, touch/sensory and body/measurement. The complementary outcomes of these strands of research will provide each student with a powerful footing upon which to build their major project.
In semester two we will focus on the Whitechapel Gallery and locality, developing designs for adaptable space that transforms over a 24-hour narrative cycle of each students’ devising. We will pay attention to creating a more permeable – more humane, less austere connection between the building and the street, and in particular an underutilised exit to the rear of the building, connecting the site to Brick Lane.
Students will consider how we can devise innovative solutions to combat The Sensory Deprivation of the Covid City, enhance sensory experience and help the public re-engage with their city during the 24-hour cycle, boosting the economy and connecting communities.
The studio will consider the requirements of Whitechapel residents, investigate what makes a truly adaptable and flexible space, how that space might change focus and use over 24 hours, and how the space might react to the quickly changing rules of social distancing.
Interiors Year 2 Studio 01: Rise and Shine
Andrew Siddall, Iain Hales, Chiara Cola, Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros
In imagining a successful 24-hour city we will aim for a diverse night-time vision: a vibrant nightscape engaging communities, workers and visitors with culture, performance, celebration, places to socialise. Covid-19 has impeded our human instinct to connect. We are discouraged from touching our friends, families, shun strangers and fear the surfaces of our city, this has led to mass sensory deprivation. Can we build a 24-hour London whilst combating the Sensory Deprivation of the Covid City?
Interiors Year 2 Studio 02: London Calling
Kaye Newman, Janette Harris, Luigi Simione, Cristina Morbi
The studio is concerned with the notion of time, some people believe it’s a part of a greater collection of subconscious senses. We are interested in peoples use of time, their engagement with it and the environments they inhabit and how they make time relevant, active, meaningful and alive. The studio will explore the notion of time through the voice, the written hand and the materials for publishing through two projects using the spaces within the Whitechapel Gallery.
Interiors Year 2 Studio 03: Red Rose Haven
Cecilia Sjoholm, Laura Encinas-Ortega, Theodora Alfredsdóttir, Patricia Mato-Mora
Our site is Whitechapel Gallery, a public art gallery situated on Whitechapel High Street. As well as exhibiting the work of contemporary artists, the gallery organises activities that involve the local community. Studio 03 will operate in the interstice between East London’s artist communities and the neighbouring City, with its workers and commuters racing between the office and their suburban homes. Specifically, we will investigate what the future holds for this symbiotic relationship.