. First Year : III .

For the final part of Unit X, we received our brief on March 23rd:

Building on your current knowledge and explorations in Manchester City Centre; through research, collaborative dialogue and testing – propose an ambitious urban intervention (interior or exterior) which references the concept of ‘Paper Towns’ (fake towns)

As a group you need to document your proposals through photography, film, mapping, drawing and 3D outcomes which will be exhibited at the Unit X Private View on 10th May.

To our existing group of interiors students, we added Kaitlin Brack and Jodie Drake as we felt their way of working very abstractly would balance with our existing methodical mindsets which would (hopefully) compliment each other. After receiving the brief we headed immediately to the nearest pub to gather ideas and to discuss how each of us had interpreted what was expected of us. With six of us in a group, this took quite some time as everyone had had initial ideas which were all far from each others. Mine, for example, was to explore the idea of a dystopian city in which the far right had taken over and the creatives, multi-cultured, and all round interesting and creative people had to create ‘safe havens’ for them to live and express themselves freely. I really felt connected to this idea of presenting something so relevant to today’s political situation globally.

After a few hours of mashing together ideas, we were settled on our (still very general) final idea. A story set in the 90’s, involving drugs, disappearances, and a building that no longer exists where all this took place; essentially fake news. We felt that creating a space from scratch gave us the freedom to bend it to our story and also would add to the mystery surrounding the story. We had one week to get the story to a presentable level for our exhibition pitch; we began to home in on all of our crazy ideas, constantly reminding ourselves of the kind of space we were designing for. I think with our initial ideas, we could have filled the entire exhibition venue.

One thing that was important to us was to create a feel for our goals by instilling a three word strategy; Absent, Insidious, and Residual. These words set the precedent for everything we designed from that point and helped us communicate our ideas during our pitch. Each of these words was also assigned precedent images to further this communication. The feedback we received from the pitch was positive and gave us further fuel to push our ideas. Immediately afterwards was the easter break which allowed us all to take some time out to relax, and also to reflect on the plan and come back with fresh ideas and a fighting spirit three weeks later.

cont. ‘First Year : IV’

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