Throwback: Exploring the future of design for communities at Manufactory Impact

Back in September, Kingston School of Art collaborated with Old Spitalfields Market to create a London Design Festival pop-up: Manufactory. A three day event with the aim of exploring the future of design for communities and commerce. The event gave students, past and present, the opportunity to bring their workspace/stall’s to life by creating a live, interactive space. Using their creative craft, the students transformed materials to reflect stories integral to the marketplace itself. The result – new thought-provoking inventions informed by the past to inspire the future.

Liam Dargan, a Creative Conscience Award winner, used the opportunity to expand his winning project; Heart of Darwen – A platform he created to encourage idea generation and community discussion for the future of Darwen’s market. The day saw 20 Darwen residents, which included students, local business people, market customers and council members, travel from Lancashire to the event to seek inspiration about how to improve their own town centre and market. You can read more about Heart of Darwen here.

Also in attendance was double-award winner Lottie Fox-Jones, who showcased her interactive project ‘I raised my hands’ where motion sensors recognised the participants raising their hands, in-turn activating 16 inflatable arms to rise around them. The intention was to encourage participants to recognise their own voice and to be the first to speak up about what is important to them. Lottie also displayed this project at Cause2Create’s #CreateChange Festival back in November.

Sinead Kirby, another Creative Conscience Award winner, also appeared at the event with a project named Playful Prototypes, which invited visitors to create their own playground using a selection of fun tools and materials. This was created to tackle many of the UK’s poorly designed and maintained playgrounds.

“Not enough playgrounds are designed by children when really ‘play should be that of the child, not the architect’. So why not have a playground designed by children for children.” said Sinead.

Creative Conscience Awards judge, Pali Palavathanan, also took part in the event with his studio TEMPLO. With the homelessness crisis in London ever growing, they used the event to reconfigure un-used Old Spitalfields Market stalls into shelters for the homeless. Named InnStall, the shelters captured the attention of visitors and encouraged them to discuss the topic of homelessness. At the end of the event TEMPLO then provided shelter for people who didn’t have a bed for the night.

At the event, we also met Rowan and Rob, who were using the event to showcase an invention of theirs: an eco-friendly alternative to MDF made from potato peelings. Creative Conscience founder Chrissy Levett, has since introduced the guys at Chip[s] Board to the CRL programme.

“We decided to apply for a place and are now set to start March 1st onto a 6 month programme with business mentoring, product design support and £5,000 of investment. If you hadn’t put us in contact with Jim its unlikely we would have known about the programme so we are really grateful for the connect as this will get us up and running.”