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.