INTERIOR FUTURES | PLATFORM 4 | 2019/20
This platform asks that participants speculate in a future context where wellbeing is held in policy, re-purposing and circular economic strategy are usual practice, the visceral,virtual and AI have found their calibration, cognitive consultants are be part of the design team and pre-evidence is open source.
Wellbeing as a subject is as widely defined and challenged as that of interior design. To create an anchor, a checklist, a methodology, a sensibility, the platform is using PERMA to frame the work. (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement) Developed by Martin Seligman who founded the School of Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and practiced as a therapy, this platform is interpreting the principals as a spatial practice. Potentially critiqued as shallow with a snappy acronym the intersections and network between the elements and how to create a meaningful activation requires a complex and nuanced inquiry.
The PERMA Space is an interior environment tuned to offer the conditions for wellbeing. Futures platformers are curious about finding resonant intersections and how by expanding their knowledge into unfamiliar subjects they can inform and inspire their design skills to manifest purpose-performing interiors and to stimulate a discussion about what the future of the design of the interior could be. What happens when we view design as a medium in systems thinking? How different will our design choices be? The materials, the spaces between, the programming within, if considered consciously with the intention to encourage us to flourish? Will interiors passively or actively heal us? What workflow processes can be used to allow “on purpose” outcomes? Working as a group and independently the platformers, through mostly cogntive science optics, are researching how environment influences us.
The site is Clerkenwell, where the feedback loop between past and present wellbeing interventions create a rich context for future re-purposing and intervention: 12th Century Knight’s Templar crusade to Jerusalem with 13 medicinal plants still grown in St John Square, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon estates, Clerkenwell Road creation after the Public Health Act 1875, Fleet River tunnelling, 800 year old markets, St Barts Hospital, Crossrail, Henry 8th meat eating clubs, etc.etc.
Each platformer has developed their Perma-space brief as an intersection between attitude, intuition, science, data and context. For some, tomorrow is the future and for some the dial is set 20 years ahead. All have created complex briefs that challenge their design skills to translate purposeful briefs into spatial, material and temporal experiences.
THE PROJECT IS THE PROCESS; THE SENSORY ALGORITHM
Each project starts with the idea; a notion, an ambition, a vision, a question.
The acts of decision-making between inception of the idea and the “completion” can be described as “ the process”.
The path of “the process” is one that weaves acquired and new knowledge and intuition: a sensory algorithm of experience, fact, and emotion played out through time. The sensory algorithm could be interpreted as oxymoronic and this is deliberate. The design of the interior is a complex resolution of historical, contextual, political, sensory, mathematical and technical inputs and we want to provoke awareness of ALL that is considered as we consciously and unconsciously, rationally and irrationally, navigate our way through, choosing what to emphasize, prioritise, include and what to discard.
Every aspect in your process forms part of the sensory algorithm of your thesis. You will focus on developing an awareness of the practice of process as a tool for the development of your thesis.
We want you to be “masters” of your territory. We expect scientific research, intuitive witchery, site investigations, material experiments at all scales. ergonomic theatre, perception challenges, decision theory, multi-sensory paradigms , programming choreography, interaction scripting, atmospheric alchemy, story telling. We will encourage you to use both analogue and digital techniques.
We are not prescribing your project brief but we expect you to set your ambition and territory from very early on. The thesis position can be playful or reverent, fanciful or sublime, material-led or metaphysical, but it will be developed through this process of research and testing and documentation. We expect your thesis to be informed by your dissertation, even if it’s a reaction against it. The aim is to develop original concepts that lead to rich, layered design proposals, grounded in their context, aware of their politic, developed in their aesthetic and that provoke you to investigate, not what Interior Design is but what it could be…
Key to the studio is the discipline of regular documentation of process. Eventually you will have a year-long assemblage of material that reveals and reflects this. The choice of media should be driven by your manifesto. Reflect on the enduring relevance of Marshall McLuhan: “the medium is the message”. We will not prescribe your medium but it must be tangible. It could be an incremental model, a mile long collage, a tapestry of media, a continuous sketch. It is a live assemblage and should always be seen as a work-in-process…