Under the monthly V&A Connects programme, we partnered with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to host a workshop geared towards students and professionals working in the London design scene. The workshop brief asked participants to ideate solutions to the emerging trend of home offices, with an aim to create a dual-purpose dwelling that could serve both as a space to relax and unwind in, as well as to concentrate and focus on tasks at hand.
Aside from asking participants to develop their creativity and imagination through a hands-on design challenge, the workshop also encouraged dialogue with practising architects and allowed insight into a process centred around solving real-life problems.
We began with a brief introduction exploring the role of the architect and where we derive our inspiration from, including how the V&A’s collections have influenced our museum residency. Participants were then divided into groups and assigned a table complete with arts and crafts supplies, a cardboard dollhouse in the shape of the traditional home and a list of characters with various home-working scenarios – such as a married couple in their mid-thirties who run a textile design business from their spare room.
The brief asked each group to convert the cardboard dollhouse into a work/live space that addressed the home-working concerns of their chosen characters. We encouraged the participants to be bold: rooms could be reassembled and extensions could be attached to the existing structure. The resulting series of miniature model homes displayed a breadth of solutions that were then presented to us, and to which we provided feedback on the creativity and efficiency of each design.
The dollhouses and ideas generated during the workshop were then compiled into a drawing that brought together each group’s design philosophy and key points in each design, all with the aim to question the future of work/live scenarios for the city and the suburbs.
As part of the V&A DesignLab initiative – which explores new ways of engaging secondary school students in design – we also held this workshop with 30 students at the Ark Academy in Brent, London, as part of an outreach session.
“During Aberrant Architecture’s residency, around 500 higher education (HE) students have directly benefited from crit sessions, research seminars, studio visits and practical sessions. Kevin and David’s residency studio has provided students with a tangible space to visualise the realisation of architecture projects and experience the day-to-day workings of an architectural practice.”
– Leanne Manfredi, V&A Programme Manager, Higher Education and Creative Industries V&A Museum
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)