Last week saw me lend a hand in a Gap Filler workshop for children to design a ‘tiny house’ as part of a wider initiative to encourage Christchurch to reconsider the quarter acre section idea and look to a more sustainable future for the city – perhaps…
With childlike imagination, and the common sense of a young inquisitive mind, the next generation set about learning how to design the interior of a 10m squared living box. Yes… a box. Scaling up objects we see as vital to our homely existence would struggled to fit comfortably in this space, and so creative problem solving became the tool for rethinking what you need, what that need looks like, and how to live well with it in miniature.
Joined by innovative architect Andrew Just from FIELD, I offered the link to the fluffy, textured well-being and design, whilst he offered a magical insight into his interests in compact and compartmentalised living spaces. Inspired by iconic European greats, he added a sense of structure and logic to the mix. All in all, everyone got to work at creating a space that would work as a functional oasis of well-being, for that user. Privacy and commune work alongside each other, which are values I have come to revisit also whilst being in a city centre lacking in population. Each day in the city provides an awkward sense of ghostly abandonment at times, but then where you turn the next corner and a community of like-minded ethics have colonised, and regenerated. Pockets of energy and ‘buzz’ are aplenty, which is why I guess it is a great time to encourage the future creative minds to now take part…
We explored the tiny buildings at the Commons and the differences in use and meaning – but the togetherness of the layout was important as a tool for encouraging collective thought as well as personal need. A grassed area, in a circle, was a simple format to then place small dwellings around, facing in, looking at each other, but remaining cosy places for each of the community to flourish – here is a community folks! Here is your commune and private space!
This week revisited, for me, the reoccurring theme of ‘home’. I am always questioning what ‘home’ looks, feels, tastes, smells and sounds like as for me, memories are my home, for now. The idea of working out what I don’t need, means what I do need is most vital, which is the approach we took. Looking at how a space makes you feel, and how you can change that with design started to link not only with my interior design studies but with the concept of ‘mind-set’.
A change of mind-set, of habit, can change the way a place makes you feel. I honestly feel that those pioneering people at the heart of this emotional ‘rebuild’ journey, here in ChCh, like the Gap Filler’s of the city, have changed their mind-set since the quake to create a new way forward. I hope the city follows suit. I am trying to. I am learning to try this each day, and with that has come new skills, variety in observation and a new desire to build ‘small’ in all aspects of my life when ‘home’.
PS… You don’t need planning permission for these!
UK are you ready for this?!?