“Design creates cultures. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters
1. The basic physical and organisational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. (The Oxford Dictionary)
The infrastructure of our city is the essential base for our needs as a society. Allowing for the possibilities of the future to unfold and generate through challenging the parameters of design and systemisation.
The conversation of infrastructures begins and ends with design, innovations, and foresight.
“A building on such a prominent site should be a source of inspiration and pride and effective high-level design can have all sorts of intangible benefits to the community and feel of the place.” – Rev David Britton
What is your definition of community?
I guess a basic definition of community is ‘a group of people who share something in common’. At St John’s I find myself relating to many ‘communities within a community’. For example, the obvious one is the geographical community which centers on the identification with the geographical area of Leytonstone.
In my role, I deal primarily with the church community. This community is made of people who have developed a connection with St John’s either through wanting to worship at their local church or they have been drawn to the church because of its worship style or a connection made in the past (e.g. got married here). The church community is less geographically defined and we have members who travel in from as far as Chingford. Also in Leytonstone, there are ‘communities within a community’. These are gathered around religion (e.g. Mosque) or other community organisations (e.g schools, British Legion, ex-serviceman’s, political party).
One’s creativity acts as their power and their currency.
Trading in creativity.
Constraints have the ability to act as a barrier but with constraints become the beauty of a project. When working within limitations and constraints, there allows for a deeper level of creativity and design is then allowed to flourish.
The rules are made to be challenged and to innovate the composure of the design.
LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY – DESIGN
Customisation of home
All of which results in a higher need for polished products and ready-made living.
Reflection: Our studio discussion progresses surrounding the concept that space can look how you want it to. There are no direct guidelines of space and this allows for creative and interesting pavilions to be explored.
Finding inspiration within other elements of design allows for innovative and engaging forms and textures.
“Design is all about learning how to learn.”
“architecture, therefore, is not art when it is artificially designed. it is art only when it opens space – freedom – and places it on the soil, which is transformed into a homestead”
Footnote: Discussing this curation of lifestyle in the preliminary stages of development. How to successfully create the essence of home – by developing a space providing the means for a home.
the act, state, or right of possessing something.
When considering ownership within cities, where a rightful framework must be adhered to, is it closely defined by having full customisation rights?
Does a single development for personal usage represent the peak of ownership?
What are the parameters of defining the level of customisation personally needed from individuals?
“We’re not, as a group, I wouldn’t say that we’re high maintenance, we just want nice light and a good box of space” – Poppy Waddilove
Poppy is a London based painter and fashion illustrator, who after studying Illustration at London College of Fashion has found herself with clients such as VOGUE, Selfridge, The Edit and New a Porter amongst many others.
While Poppy has exhibited solo shows in Proud Gallery, she has also played a role in group exhibitions at Oxo Gallery. Her most recent shows include ‘Kate Moss’ Iconic Looks’ and ‘Fashion Flora’ for SHOWstudio.
“It’s about having the versatility and freedom to be able to, to think in a different way, to not feel pressured about it and to be kind of, objective about your practice at the same time” – Jack Edmonds.
Jack Edmonds is a Painter and Filmmaker from London, after studying Art and Moving Image in Brighton he now engages in multi-disciplinary work. Since 2009 he has exhibited in various group shows and film festivals such as Islington Art Fair, B.A.R Gallery, and The Vibe Gallery and is currently exhibiting his first solo show at 508 Kings Road Gallery, Chelsea named ‘The Alchemist Series’ chronicling work from the past four years.
I think it would be about finding artists who are truly passionate about having a studio space, and it’s much needed and they cannot create without it. I think if you had a good group of people, they could act as spokespeople for the rest. – Gabriel Choto
What is your definition of a studio space?
Definition of a studio, I define studio as a place for creativity. I would call it, in a way, an escape. It’s like an artist’s factory before they make things before it gets distributed, that’s how I view a studio space.
I think it depends on what you do, you could be sculptor, painter, designer, it definitely is personal, it’s like your own little bubble really.
“I always bring in the different elements of my studio space into my work, it literally becomes like the raw material of my work and that’s where my ideas are translated and developed and transformed into art pieces.” – Winnie Mo
Young British multi-disciplinary artist, born in East London currently living and working between Paris & London, finishing a fine art MA at the l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Central Saint Martins.
Upcoming performance piece on the 25th of April at the Camden Art Center. Exhibited at Bétonsalon, l’Amour, the Beaux-Arts of Paris, etc.
Her work moves around ideas of negative and positive space, as a photographic representation of the human body as the raw material that translates movement through collage, video, installation, sculptures, drawings, and performances.
“I like to be lost. I like to feel like a foreigner. I like not to know everything. I’m trying not to burn the whole city. I try to consume it in slow motion.” – Pierre Huyghe
With our cities ever-growing, it seems almost impossible to explore them within our lifetime. Each day one finds themselves discovering new spaces, creating new ideas and conversing with the personality of the cityscape.
The studio has had a continuous open dialogue regarding the break down of open plan studio space ‘studios within a studio’. Have the artist community already expressed a brief?
“I think anyone can be a designer. Anyone that creates. Someone that finds a solution to a problem.” ~ Aidan Lewis
The studio is working towards creating a strong dialogue with London’s tradesmen; asking how designers are defined, the future of development and their opinions on the fusion of art and development.
Aidan Lewis is a London working furniture craftsman in the infancy of development, and founder of Studio Nuumi. We speak to Aidan about development and creativities importance on London’s cityscape, the ‘recycled’ furniture market and the future of development.
“Form (ever) follows function.” ~ Louis Sullivan
Footnote: The alternate reality of retail’s future upon the fusion of theatre/performance in retail spaces. Creating an engaging and theatrical space enabling shopping to become an animated moment of engagement with the product.
1. A body of people or things viewed collectively.
For much of the 20th century, when asking someone how they define ‘community’ it is very likely you would get a response involving a physical location. One’s community was commonly derived from one’s home, one’s school, one’s town.
Much like technology and our cityscape, the 21st century is where the development of ‘community’ has progressed. The word today, tends to relate much closer to one’s identity, rather than where one lives. Community now, is not just something that someone fits into, it is chosen for oneself. It is heavily based on shared characteristics and circumstances.
Future #2090 ‘Community Centres’ may be of the innovation collaborative characteristics and circumstances to create beacons of future community territories. Space reformed.
When creating a space with constraints one has to be beyond standards. Developing from the basic and fulfilling a contemporary vision.
The physical abilities, when combined with our imagination is enabling for extraordinary, contemporary landscapes, changing the face of planet Earth.
A feeling of slight discomfort and intense intrigue when immersing oneself in an unrecognisable cultural territory.
Also relevant in singular cities, like London, is described to be four cities within one.
“The room gets really really tense. Sometimes just being surrounded by white walls isn’t really that nice.” ~ Wesley Branch
The studio is working towards developing a strong dialogue with London’s creative community; asking how we can maintain, develop and understand the city’s studios. The multi-disciplinary community requires different spaces for different practices, from painting to performance.
Wesley Branch is a London based pre-professional dancer, set to tour the UK at the end of this month with My First Ballet: Swan Lake dancing with the English National Ballet School. We speak to Wesley about how the studio can hold the intensity of dance, the small world of London’s dance community and how the future could materialise.
“We are a species chemically rewarded by the new.”
~ Es Devlin | The Fifth Sense | Presented by Chanel and i-D
The hub— meaning the centre, the capital, the heart of the locality. The importance of this meeting place is multifaceted; a celebratory, safe, economically viable and familiar place.
The new local hub standard sets out the design for this significant meeting place, emphasising its critical functions and providing this local haven—
1. the designer carrying out such developments should ensure the space—
(i) consists of moments that allow celebrations to live (weddings and 60th birthdays)
(ii) a light and open space to host mummy and me classes and pilates
(iii) transformative for the needs of each dynamic local
(iv) self-sustained by programmes and local engagement
“Creative industries are worth almost £10 million an hour to the economy.”
London sustains an unparalleled strength in its cultural economy.
The vast and diverse array of events, museums, and creative practices spans the city creating one of the strongest creative industries in the world.
This ethos and landscape of London is changing, but how can we tend to and nourish our cultural economy?
“Design is where science and art break even.”
~ Meike Gerritzen
R E M I . C . T D I C T I O N A R Y
1: We want to believe in a community; this all-encompassing support network around where we live. We want to immerse ourselves in the ‘local’ and to be a part of this fabric.
Generations pass, and yet we still place value on the relationships with those surrounding us, and with rented lifestyles, a sense of belonging is of growing significance.
E: We meet twice a week at our local hub. I am a part of the local.
“The studio isn’t necessarily where my work happens. But it is a form of a place of work.” ~ Rupert Whale
An abstract painter, former art teacher and one of two London graduates to be represented in The Dean Collection chosen by rapper Swizz Beatz for Bacardi No Commission, Berlin; Rupert Whale is bringing a new energy to the world of abstract painting.
Graduating from MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2017, Rupert is a London based fine artist participating in exhibitions across the country both as solo and part of a group, working with Tate Exchange in 2017. His work “reveal[s] surprising and fractured approaches to abstract painting.” ~ Herb Shellenberger on Rupert Whale, June 2017.
We ask Rupert about his working processes, the aftermath of a studio and the artist as the developer.
// Every building is a prototype. Each build
is the first of its kind in its place. // ‘A first or
preliminary version of a device or product
from which other forms are developed.’ //
Each complexity within the construction of
its character forms the unfinished product. //
“[Artists] own a part of the culture in a way, and you can make things out of that. ” ~ Paul Antón
Paul Antón is a Fine Artist and Illustrator based in South London, currently studying MA Fine Art at UAL Wimbledon College. Antón’s practice “deals with the relationships between Form and Matter in Space” (Artist Statement) with an emphasis and drive from the process. As a multidisciplinary artist, his works can take the form of sculptures, canvases, installations and beyond.
As a London based artist with an international practice, we speak to Paul about the value of cross-disciplinary conversation, how to make creative work sustainable and new formulas for studio operations.
The branded home places the design in its own moment in time.
A designer should listen to anyone and everyone.
“Pods… dotted around areas of London- I think that would be an incentive to keep young creatives here.”
Bettina Adela is a freelance photographer and curator. Her work hopes to “capture and explore people’s life stories through a range of documentary portraits and place them on a platform to be seen.”
Working within the music industry, Bettina has photographed artists such as Anne Marie, C Cane, and P Money, as well as founding BLACK The Collective.
A native East Londoner, Bettina tells us about her studio hopes for the future, East End locations and futuristic methods of maintaining London’s creative fabric.
Workers in Lesney’s Matchbox Factory. Picture: Neil Martinson
“If you wanted to be anyone or anywhere you wouldn’t stay in Hackney. It’s quite the opposite now.”
~ Neil Martinson, Hackney Gazette
The studio visited Martinson’s ‘Another Time, Another Place’ at Stour Space yesterday. The exhibition revisits Hackney in the 70s and 80s, documenting working lives of Hackney locals, families and street scene culture.
Working with photographer Jo Spence, he founded Hackney Flashers, a key part of Hackney’s creative activism during the 70s, pressing for women’s rights.
Contemporary life revolves around making plans. Be it five-year career plans, or dinner plans for next week; we all fall into these organisational patterns in order to maximise the value of our precious time.
But when it comes to our homes, generations of lifestyle renters are thrown into the mix and enter into a buying frenzy, unable to find that perfect place.
Do we have time to fuse the housing market with our rented lifestyles?
Our roots are in design and so we are coming from a strong base of art, and design; they go hand in hand. ‘Art’ is a broad concept, so is ‘design’, but they mingle. The fact is we are coming at this from the perspective of the art and design of a site which brings us to development. We are learning when it comes to the development part of the equation. It is a learning path, but over the past year, the narrative of the studio has definitely become stronger. This journey requires a clear understanding of evaluating a site with an understanding of art and design and an economical realisation of what it could be and in order to implement it.
As a studio, we are starting our conversation on a local level, but with an understanding that we work in a global market, and with an aim to create a dynamic landscape of ideas.
“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.”
~ Louis Kahn
Can we adapt Kahn’s ethos to reflect within small-scale development?
The immeasurable does not define large-scale; can we interpret this to be starting as the dreamer, and in the end becoming the ideal development, diversifying the fabric of our cities and accommodating different lifestyles?
“It challenges current solutions to the housing crisis in European cities, where too often the only ambition is to build more homes year-on-year, while the more profound question of what type of housing should be built goes unanswered.”
Quintessential bridges cross our rivers, and yet on motorways that we pass every day, bridges are left grey and neglected.
But what if we were to take this as an opportunity and unlock and occupy this new territory?
Vegetation, artistic displays of light or innovative forms that challenge and question the traditional ‘bridge’ could transform these dull and bare canvases into a destination for art within the ordinary; an advert for design.
Le Corbusier stated in 1927, ‘The house is a machine for living in.’
Design still draws upon Le Corbusier, despite nearly a century passing since these ideas were born.
Corbusier believed in “the mass production spirit. The spirit of constructing mass-production houses.” so does the concept that each house is a machine infer a lack of individuality in favour of faster productivity?
But in the midst of a housing epidemic and high demand within the laboratory of London, it is crucial to protect the individuality of design which makes the fabric of our city so diverse.
Is the machine the house of the future?
Motorway bridges are an under-appreciated vessel for design; a beautiful public design advertisement opportunity waiting to happen.
The existing structures have the current status of being the definition of grey, but could they have the potential to create the same statements as the iconic bridges that cross our notorious rivers?
The ‘space above’ could hold a key to an unlocked floating system of innovation within our city.
Could another form of land auction houses that just sell airspace be the future?
Innovation within this framework could be forming an agreement to not detract from exciting structures, but just to float above them.
Air rights have already been in effect, but could this movement of pushing the parameters of infill to be taken to the sky?
Our laboratory of London is self growing, ever-changing and evolving.
But in this age of constant change, does the city still belong to its residents?
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy
Change within our cities and homes on a local and global level can be hard for communities especially with regards to preserving local heritage and atmosphere.
But with the demand for housing escalating; change is inevitable. The emphasis on infill sites especially could be met with contention from the public; but can we elevate this perception to positivity through strong, progressive design that respects and responds to its surroundings?
Can we rebrand change to celebrate new schemes, potential new communities, and atmospheres within London?
As social media becomes more universal, are we seeing a change in people’s perspectives?
0.1 Visual Perspective: People are looking down on their phones, which means a change in eye level. We are now viewing the world through the interpretation of a lens.
0.2 Mental and Social Perspective: People have changed the way they view an object or location. We actively seek certain places as places to be seen, a place to capture the picture perfect moment that we have created – ‘it’ll look good on the gram’.
This piece aims to challenge how we perceive development within residential communities through creating a structure that will keep the diversity of artistic communities post-gentrification and allow the artists to stay ingrained within the community.
Gentrification is a strong word. And yet, it is a story that we are all too familiar with on a local, European and Global scale. The artists create cultural capital, and subsequently, the residential appeal creates value. Within the laboratory of Hackney Wick, the studio is watching this process in motion with artists relocating from their typical warehouse settings.
REMI.C.T Studio wishes you a Merry Christmas, however you construct your day!
Developers renovate existing buildings and build on raw plots of land for profit. An artist is a person creative and innovative in an artistic practice.
The developerists believe in the fusion of art and development, the assemblers of the design-led environment
They believe in facilitating innovation through creativity and youthful optimism; creating options by unlocking unpredictable sites.
The art is in the challenge.
“One design fits all” is a design that is assumed to work in all situations; one style or system that is forced to work for all potential residents.
But for our homes, there is is no ‘one design fits all’. We are living in the age of lifestyle renting; necessity and priority within our homes is vastly different for everyone.
Another version of the potential for individuality could be the naked home scheme; blank canvases to be edited and updated, structures where the finish of design cannot be afforded by all.
Our homes must cater for all lifestyles wherever possible.
Is it possible to sew a more diverse fabric of design within London?
How can we create tailor-made homes?
Green space is increasingly fashionable within the contemporary lifestyle. Our feeds are constantly surrounded by the potted plant wave.
The 2016 National Gardening Report found that “37% of millennials grow herbs and plants indoors, as opposed to 28% of baby boomers.” Evidently, the ‘Instagrammable’ aesthetic of the plant farm is increasingly attractive to the current generation.
This trend is sponsored by the conscious advocates for the effects global warming and climate change are having on the environment.
However, are we arguably living in the most wasteful age?
Plants should come with a ‘how to keep this plant alive’ manual. We should be more aware of how to live this Guvo lifestyle.
With this great aesthetic, comes great responsibility. How can we ensure the design of this organic lifestyle is sustainable?
R E M I . C . T D I C T I O N A R Y
1: As the pace of technology increases, so does our lifestyle. The home is, now even more than before, a place of refuge and calm.
There is a growing demand for self-sustainable homes that can be managed by technology; like a house that can be controlled via an app on your phone.
This is not just for an easy life, this stems from a growing awareness of being green and clean living. The conversation about sustainability is happening now.
Clean living doesn’t have to be sharp or brutal – it can be sexy and sleek. This can be achieved by entwining the design with the system and function.
E: Guvo design will accommodate everything. Guvo is the present and future of home design. Guvo is a lifestyle.
“[People] want to believe community still exists and they want to call things ‘collectives’ and ‘communes’ and they want to put that above the door. But actually the real value of collaborative spaces is the organic nature of them. You should want to be there, and want to interact as a part of that community.” ~ Kit Powell
Kit Powell is an artist and photographer, recently graduated from University of Brighton from BA (Hons) Fine Art Critical Practice. Nominated for the Graduate Platform Award as a part of a 13 person collective, she has exhibited at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, as well as speaking as a part of their recent PechaKucha conference.
We speak to Kit in the infant stages of her career to grasp the budding artist’s perspective on London’s studio spaces, the collaboration trend and the how contemporary art responds to crisis.
“More than 85% of the building stock that will exist in the year 2050 is already built.” ~ The Chartered Institute of Building
Within our East London Laboratory, it is critical to preserve and appreciate the existing character and quality of housing.
However we also need to understand and value the dynamic and diverse fabric of our city, and expand on this conversation with new schemes in a new way, by continuing to challenge how the future should be developed.
Terraces hold an abundance of character and history within the city of London.
In the age of backyard and corner end development, how can new schemes interact with these faces?
“One-third of new housing planned in London will be built on small sites, including in back gardens and upward extensions of existing houses, apartment blocks and shops.”
~ The Guardian
Don’t mind the gaps, London. Mayor Sadiq Khan revealed the New London Plan aiming to build 250,000 new homes in capital’s 13 outer suburbs, doubling the current rate.
The Mayor will allow for more small-scale infill developments to happen within the gaps of London, utilising these pockets of land to house a growing population.
Are we entering the age of moving from our parents homes, into the back garden?
“And it’s important, you see, that you honor the material that you use. You can only do it if you honor the brick and glorify the brick instead of shortchanging it.”
~ Louis Kahn
Demand for housing is escalating, and yet, as a country, we are still struggling to secure a solution.
Not only do we need to build a vast amount of dwellings, but we must also ensure that we continue to push the boundaries of design, and that the art of housing is not lost within the future fabric of our city.
Could the small developer be this link?
Small developers could provide an intensity of quality; investing time and attention to detail on a smaller scale with one-off builds and diverse design.
How do we create a framework to make this a viable part of the solution for London’s housing needs?
“A space in which you have the freedom to create what you want without limitation.” ~ James Bullimore
James Bullimore is a Royal College of Art graduate, tutor and contemporary artist working with performance, drawing, photography and printmaking in London.
“My practice involves how a cyclical narrative can impact materiality. How object, performance, and print can inform each other. The processes of documentation are key to how the work translates across mediums. The physical tool of production is not just in my hands, but also in the kinetics of my entire body.” ~ James Bullimore, Artist Statement
With more and more artists relocating out of London, it is crucial for us to understand what makes spaces work for artists in order to maintain creativity and diversity within the city. We ask James for his take on these pressing issues.
A blank canvas has nothing of substance or permanence within or imprinted upon it, a clean slate, such that it can be easily filled with entirely new things.
A canvas space is an impressionable territory to be marked. It is raw enough to be modified and scratched into. You may cast your impact within its framework.
Can we implement these canvas spaces into new build schemes?
“If you’re going to make a creative space you have to think about it creatively.” ~ Jeff Moore
Britain’s creative industries are thriving and the arts are producing a wealth of cultural capital for the nation each year. And yet, we are facing an epidemic in terms of artist studios. Due to soaring rent prices many artists are relocating out of London, with some even relocating abroad. REMI.C.T Studio is asking, how can we combat this?
Jeff Moore has been a photographer for over twenty years, covering major events worldwide including news, royals, politics, fashion and sport. Having worked for every UK national newspaper, he now specialises in editorial PR and advertising photography. The former chairman of the British Press Photographers Association of over ten years is now an active board member on top of being a member of the Association of Photographers.
We speak to Jeff about the contemporary failings of British creative industries, what makes a studio space work and how we can bridge the gap between artists and developers.
REMI.C.T Studio is in the process of designing and questioning artist spaces at present.
The IN CONVERSATION series will be taken to artists over the coming weeks to gain the honest perspective of future residents.
London’s studio crisis continues, so what is crucial to make studios work and how we can open up conversations between developers, artists and the spaces themselves?
Unlocking London’s arches has been a productive infill concept so far. Many arched sites across London are home to charismatic cave settings in the form of bars and restaurants, as well as quirky workspaces.
However, multiple plots remain uninhabited due to TFL’s infrequent but necessary requirement to access the spaces, despite the requirement for servicing only being once every two years in some cases.
What if we were to design transportable territories for these infills?
Art = Risk
Risk = Development
The ways in which we live and grow as people are ever-changing.
The average person could change careers up to seven times during their lifetime. Do our homes reflect this movement through our journeys?
“Rules, rules, rules. I’ve never been terribly good with rules.” ~ Jethro East
REMI.C.T Studio is working with a fusion of design and development, and understanding the market as a laboratory. In conversation with Jethro East, an East End London property developer, we speak about his exceptional career changes, how critical creativity is within the world of development and the value in taking on challenges, no matter how problematic.
Prior setting up Fairstone Property in 2015, Jethro was a successful DJ and trained as a pilot, but he clarifies that “it was a long time ago, and it was a tiny plane”. He expands, “it was fun for a while, but definitely not the right career for me. It’s just rules, rules, rules, rules… I’ve never been terribly good with rules.”
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Infill is the urban planning term for the rededication of land in built-up urban environment, usually challenging in terms of development, to new construction.
Infill sites are the cracks in the fabric of our cities; neglected but awash with potential. Their limits are not a restriction, but rather a unique quality to be rethought and responded to with innovative design and the artistry of construction.
As a society, we crave the warehouse look. Therefore, there is a demand for new standards of design: no compromises should be made, we desire a fabricated industrial feeling.
The proposed development regulations of the new build warehouse as per contemporary society’s desires (aligning with current trends)—
(a) the designer carrying out such development should ensure the space—
(i) consists of bold, imposing features
(ii) towering, lofty heights and vast light/ open spaces
(iii) comprise of raw, energetic materials
(iv) epitomise gritty and atmospheric industrial-chic