Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Open house, Open City

The Open House event has closed it's doors again this year. For those of you not familiar with the event, it has taken place every September across all the boroughs of London for the last 25 years. I discovered this year that it has become a global phenomena, stretching to other major cities such as New York and Tokyo.

Notable buildings, dwellings and other construction projects both large and small host tours and presentations for 1 weekend only to give visitors more insight into the history, architecture, construction and ethos of the space. Many of the places on the Open House trail are not usually open to the public, so the event encourages our natural curiosity to 'nose around' and gain an 'access all areas' pass!

What I think is wonderful about the event is it also provides the space to appreciate the diversity of buildings that make up our city, each has a special story to share and over just 1 weekend 1,000's of people are united in looking, listening and experiencing living history.

I decided to apply and put forward Fabrications new 'Imaginerium' craft space to be part of this year's event. The organisers came to visit and were keen for Fabrications to be on the Open House map. This year they were also encouraging hosts to put on 'late night' events to take place on the Saturday evening. After talking to my architects Eric Martin and Nikolai Delvendahl (DM Architects) we decided on hosting a good old fashioned slide show all about the making of the new space followed by a Q&A session with the team.

I decided to weave in some of my own buildings history into the slide show, pictures of the shop when I first discovered it in 1997. Back then the shop was in a bad state of disrepair and dilapidation as were a majority of shops on Broadway Market at that time. Preparing for the slide show and our daily tours (with myself and DM architects), made me realise the journey I have been on with the fabric of my shop building and how much I have achieved and improved. When I got the shop, the name on the front was "All Well" - Appliance Rescue Centre - a reoccurring theme in Fabrications story!!

For the tours and the slide show I wanted to promote the people and organisations that have contributed to creating the new space and my collaborative / community approach. One of these organisations is 'Out of the Dark' an inspirational social enterprise who "uncover the hidden potential of old furniture and young people by training and employing dissadvantaged youths to recycle and restore vintage furniture" (this quote came from a recent review of The Imaginerium by Inhabit ) Out of the Dark got stuck in with reworking old lock wood, fruit crates and a G Plan wardrobe to provide a kitchen and storage area for The Imaginerium. They also suggested curtaining across the front to hide workshop resources and a creative way to incorporate and showcase my own upcycled textile work.

On the previous weekend, for the London Design Festival, Out of the Dark ran a special workshop here 'Revamp your old furniture' which was so popular and well received, we've decided to run another workshop in December.

I really enjoyed being part of the Open House event. I was overwhelmed and really pleased by how many visitors came along and were captivated by The Imaginerium and our stories. I'm looking forward to participating next year!

No comments: