Things are getting more and more exciting with every workshop! 27th June was probably one of the hottest day in London this year, the perfect weather to be in Liam’s sunny studio figuring out ways of realising our ideas around paternoster wheels, protocells, bee-growing-trees and direct democracy.
Having created our individual paths or trajectories, for the third workshop we narrated our individual stories from our chosen trajectory to the rest of the group. For instance, here’s an excerpt from Chris Collett’s story:
“X climbs on to the paternoster wheel, plucks a carrot from the soil tray bordering the sun-side of the pod, which has already started turning on its solar-magnetic axis to follow the sun’s path.
As X soars upwards and the great wheel arcs over High Street the shaded east walls of Übervillage – houses, fibre-feather teepees, the Learning Tower, the Idea Investment Bank - come into view coated in flowers. The walls are earthen with a special fibreglass partitioning on the interior to prevent the escaping of roots and insects…” And it goes on to talk about a world of self-governance that is intriguing and fascinating at the same time.
I want to share these individual paths with the world and am working with graphic designers to visualise them in the best possible way. So watch this space for more.
Importantly, apart from documenting this part of the project, we are now figuring out a way of collating all the eight stories into one collective map which will help us move forward to the next step of building props and prototypes.
And again, I am going to present the workshop in images, and give a very quick summary of the happenings of the evening.
For the second workshop we started off in the Bar Music Hall and ended up spending a good few hours in Liam’s studio, settling in for sketching amidst his collection of stuffed animals. The idea in this workshop was to select key themes, and begin to think of ways in which we could make our ideas tangible. After some exciting conversations, heated debates, crisps and humous, we decided to focus on Curtain Road, where we were physically located at the point, and think of ideas that “we would like to see on the street that are not there today”.
From “bikes that never crash”, to “invisible buildings” we came up with a range of fun and thought-provoking ideas. We mapped these ideas under our key themes and gave them a spatial boundary, as if they existed in a town or a suburb. Each of us then drew our own pathway or trajectory through this ‘town’ marking ideas along the trajectory that appealed to us. We were making our own journeys of this map of the future, almost in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way. Except that we had thoughtfully put down the ideas we wanted to play with, and that this ‘map’ still did not exist in the real world.
As Darryl said, our process became “a kind of post-psychogeography where the derive is reverse-engineered. Instead of drifting aimlessly through unknown cityscapes, we have plotted a route through a psychogeographic territory of our own making… with yet unexpected consequences.”
I am still processing the immensely successful first workshop with the Power of 8 crew. In fact we all are a bit dazed and confused by the happenings of Tuesday afternoon. It was inspiring to meet everyone together for the first time, and the ideas just flowed. We will all be writing and blogging about it, but at the moment we are busy preparing for the second workshop and sketching out the best ways of presenting these ideas.
Alongside our video appeal, we continued our letter-writing campaign. We posted several letters, printed on the back of the envelopes to prospective collaborators. Letters were also slipped under the doors of my neighbours, and last but not the least, one to Emily Thornberry, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury.
While I am not expecting any Member of Parliament to have the time to collaborate, I am keen to invite one of my local politicians to a workshop and get their perspective. Apart from that, we have had a good response for several interested people, thanks everyone.
The growing list of collaborators will be up soon.
Here’s the short video, briefly introducing the project, and inviting collaborators. I am thankful to the people who have expressed interest, and we are still looking for more people to join. Do spread the love and pass it around.