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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Honorary membership of the RIBA for TBE Chief Exec Nicole Crockett

The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Council this week approved 14 new RIBA Honorary Fellowships tor 2012.

We are delighted that our Chief Executive Nicole Crockett is to be awarded this honour at a ceremony in February.

RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who have made a particular contribution to architecture – in the broadest sense. This includes its promotion, administration and outreach; and its role in building more sustainable communities and in the education of future generations.

Speaking earlier this week, RIBA President Angela Brady said:

'Each of this year's Honorary Fellows has made an enormous contribution to architecture, whether as a practitioner, designer, curator, writer or policy maker. The RIBA values everything that they have brought – in their very different ways – to the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the world of architecture. I look forward to presenting them with their Honorary Fellowships in February.' 

Other recipients for 2012 include artists Ai Weiwei and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

For more information please visit the RIBA website.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Additional Funding from Arts Council England

The Building Exploratory has been awarded a £5,000 grant from the Arts Council to further develop creative arts practice with older people. The grant will allow us to create a pool of artists who are trained to work with older people with reduced mobility, hearing or visual impairments and mental health issues. 

During this project we will commission the artists to develop and deliver creative activities to enable these more vulnerable older people to explore and engage with buildings and public spaces. The project will act as a test bed for developing stimulating and multi-sensory creative experiences which will allow older people who may otherwise face difficulties in participating, to take part and engage creatively with architecture.

We are currently looking for artists to get involved in the programme. For more information please email karen@buildingexploratory.org.uk

Monday, 21 November 2011

Research Volunteers Needed

Investigate the History and Development of High Street 2012

The Building Exploratory is offering a fantastic research training and development opportunity for new volunteers as part of our new Peoples Panorama Project.

The Peoples Panorama Project aims to work with a group of committed volunteers to discover the history and hidden stories of the buildings along High Street 2012 – the 6km road that links the City of London to Stratford and the Olympic Park.

Volunteers will use a range of resources as well as their experiences of visiting ‘High Street 2012’, to compile a detailed history of the development of this important high street, from its Roman origins to the present day. This research will be combined with a photographic panorama of the entire road, to form a major online resource.

Volunteers will receive comprehensive training in the skills they need to undertake their tasks, as well as full support and regular meetings from the Building Exploratory’s learning team.

If you would like to volunteer for the Peoples Panorama Project, please email Lizzie Edwards at projects@buildingexploratory.org.uk
, for an application form and more details about the project.  

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Architecture workshops: OMA at the Barbican

'This autumn Barbican Art Gallery is transformed by an exhibition on OMA, one of the most influential architecture practices working today. Celebrated as much for their daring and unconventional ideas as their inventive buildings, the work of OMA and its think tank AMO anticipates the architectural, engineering and cultural ideas transforming our material world.'

Take part in this practical workshop led by the Building Exploratory. Learn about the creative processes behind architecture and design and gain a better understanding of the buildings and spaces that surround us.

Saturday 29 October, 12 November, 3 December and 18 February

Tickets include same day entry to the exhibition
£12 if booked on-line through http://www.barbican.org.uk
Tickets on the door £14, subject to availability

This event takes place in Barbican Art Gallery Events Space. 

Friday, 30 September 2011

The People's Favourite Project

The People’s Archive project aims to create a resource for the people who live, work and play around Bow Road. We are gathering the reminiscences, stories and opinions of local people in order to create an archive of this remarkable part of east London. Bow Road forms part of ‘High Street 2012’, the 6km route from the City of London to the Olympic Park.

You can follow our progress here on the People's Favourite blog, and get involved by voting for your favourite building on High Street 2012 on the People’s Favourite Buildings website.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Open House London: 17th September

The Building Exploratory will be open to the public as part of Open House London, on the 17th September, from 10am till 3pm. 

Come and find out what we have been up to this year and take the opportunity to explore our wonderful collection of maps, photos and resources related to the history of the built environment in the local area.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A Building Exploratory tour of the Commonwealth Institute for the Design Museum

The former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street, which once welcomed over 500 school children to its exhibitions per day, has been closed to the public for nine years. The Design Museum will be taking over the building and opening it to the public as the site of their new home in 2014. 

In the mean time, we are delighted to have been given the task of creating a tour that makes the design and engineering behind the wonderful and complex structure of the Commonwealth Institute building accessible and engaging to the public.

The impressive hyperbolic parabola roof that sweeps away from you wherever you stand, was designed by Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall and Partners and represents the experimentation characteristic of 1950s and 60s engineering and architecture. 

The Commonwealth Institute will be opened up over the Open House weekend, 17th-18th September. To see the amazing roof and learn more about the building, you cab book a place on one of the tours during the Open House weekend.

The Open House weekend is the last chance to see this incredible building, in its original internal configuration. Book your by visiting www.designmuseum.org


Friday, 29 July 2011

Our changing view..

From this...
... to this in 6 months. 

The view from our office, across the Regent's canal, has changed dramatically in the last 6 months. We miss the nice multi-coloured wall... It is seriously noisy with all this going on!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Canal Sounds

On Saturday 16th July we held our first ‘Imagine Hackney’ workshop for young people as part of the Shoreditch Festival. Working with the theme of this year’s festival which was all about Regents Canal, we decided to run a workshop titled ‘Canal Sounds’ in which participants would create a Soundscape of the canal. During the workshop, the participants first learnt about the history of Regents Canal and of soundscapes. Recording soundscapes was part of a movement started in the 1970s by the World Soundscape Project who advocated that recording the sounds made by the built environment is equally important to recording the built environment via photos or drawings. Armed with this knowledge, the participants set out along Regents Canal to record occurring and found sounds. These sounds will later be organised into a composition, which will appear on our website soon.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Canal Sounds: Event for young people

On Saturday 16th July we are holding our first ‘Imagine Hackney’ event for young people to explore the built environment.

Canal Sounds is a workshop where you will explore the life and history of the Regent’s Canal
and think about how it is used today through creating a soundscape. During the workshop you’ll learn about music production and how to use digital sound recording equipment, as well as learning about the history of Regent’s canal. All of this knowledge will enable you to make recordings that will be used to create the soundscape. So you’ll be learning new skills and exploring the world around you in a creative way, all at the same time!

Canal Sounds takes place at the Building Exploratory (and along Regents Canal) from 2pm-4pm on Saturday 16th July. If you can make it and would like to book a place, please contact us by email (mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk), or by phone on  02077292011.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Open House: Saturday 23rd July

This saturday we will be open to the public between 1pm and 5pm. As part of the Shoreditch Festival, this is a chance to come and visit our bespoke designed space, over looking the canal at 8 Orsman Road - A great opportunity to explore our wonderful collection of maps, photos and resources related to the history of the built environment along the canal and in the local area.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Canal Sounds - Saturday 16th July. An event for young people.

On Saturday 16th July we are holding our first ‘Imagine Hackney’ event for young people to explore the built environment.

Canal Sounds is a workshop where you will explore the life and history of the Regent’s Canal and think about how it is used today through creating a soundscape. During the workshop you’ll learn about music production and how to use digital sound recording equipment, as well as learning about the history of Regent’s canal. All of this knowledge will enable you to make recordings that will be used to create the soundscape. So you’ll be learning new skills and exploring the world around you in a creative way, all at the same time!

Canal Sounds takes place at the Building Exploratory (and along Regents Canal) from 2pm-4pm on Saturday 16th July. If you can make it and would like to book a place, please contact us by email mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk, or by phone on 02077292011.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Folly for a Flyover

Last Saturday, Nicole and our volunteers Sarah Khalaf and Esin Gumus, took part in the structures week of Folly for A Flyover, a temporary structure that is hosting creative activities for 6 weeks underneath the A12 flyover.

Working with a wide range of enthusiastic local people they built a giant tetrahedron out of smaller newspaper triangles. The weather stayed really bright and it turned out to be a fantastic day exploring structures in this exciting creative space.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

TBE at The Big Bang

Janet, Aimée and our lovely volunteer Sarah, spent a day at the Science Museum on Wednesday talking to students, teachers, parents and STEM ambassadors about the Building Exploratory and what we do.

Throughout the day we welcomed budding engineers and designers to help us build a tower from rolled newspaper based on a structure of 3 sided pyramids. With so many eager hands, the tower took on an impressively abstract design and was taller than our stand by the end of the day!

The event was a free celebration of science and engineering for young people across the region that aimed to showcase the diversity and potential of careers in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths).

Find out more about STEM at http://www.stemnet.org.uk/

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Building Exploratory is awarded a Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

We are really pleased to have been awarded a Quality Badge for Learning Outside the Classroom. This award is recognition of all the hard work we put into our workshops and visits to give both teachers and pupils the best learning experience we can.
The Quality Badge is a nationally recognised indicator of good quality educational provision which combines the essential elements of provision - learning and safety - into one easily recognisable and trusted accreditation scheme.

‘The LOtC Quality Badge reduces the red tape associated with learning outside the classroom, making it easier for teachers and other education providers to incorporate LOtC into the everyday curriculum. This increases the likelihood of children having the opportunity to have wider educational experiences which directly benefit their educational attainment and social and emotional development’.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Refurbish: the life and times of a tower block

To celebrate Lifelong Learning Week the Building Exploratory ran a special event for a group of 25 adults - 'Refurbish: the life and times of a tower block'.

The event began with a talk exploring the history of towers and the evolution through time of their use and design, before focusing on the architectural development of post war tower blocks in the UK. 

The group then went over to Grange Court, originally one of four tower blocks on the Holly Street Estate, where we met with Ken Gilmour, from the the Grange Court Tenants Management Organisation. Ken talked us through the re-development of Holly Street and answered questions about the management of Grange Court (the tower was refurbished as a block specifically for older people) . The event ended on a high with a very special opportunity to go up to the top of Grange Court from where the group enjoyed fantastic views (and many towers) across the whole of London.  

Friday, 13 May 2011

Dalston Square Time Capsule

On Thursday 12th May students from Holy Trinity and Colvestone Primary Schools, along with councillors and representatives from Barratt Homes, gathered to bury the Dalston Square Time Capsule.

The time capsule itself contains a wonderful collage of pictures of the children and the casts they made back in march.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Progress in Geography

On Friday Head of Learning Janet Clark joined the Architecture Centre Network’s Head of Learning, Cara Courage, to speak at ‘Progress in Geography’, the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition at the University of Surrey.   

Around 70 geography teachers listened to Cara talk about the Network’s national offer to teachers and schools and Janet talk about the Building Exploratory's work with secondary school Geography Departments.  

Using Hackney as a case study, Janet encouraged teachers to use their local urban built environment and demonstrated how maps, photography, buildings and creative practice can be used to inspire and engage young people studying geography at all Key Stages.

Find out more about out our school workshops at www.buildingexploratory.org.uk/schools

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A big thank you goes to Alan Ledger of Durkan Estates, for stepping in at short notice on Friday morning to speak to the Senior Bees about some of the redevelopment work taking place just across the canal from our office.

Having met previously with architects, designers and planners, the Senior Bees appreciated hearing about this redevelopment from the contractors perspective. It was really interesting to hear about Alan's role at Durkan and it was a real eye-opener to have an insight into the complexities of managing large scale developments.

We hope to welcome Alan back to give another talk once the scheme has been completed.

The work over the canal has really picked up over the last few weeks with a forest of cranes springing up and the building on the Durkan site starting to take shape.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Getting involved at the Building Exploratory

Over the last couple of weeks we have held three really busy and very successful open evenings for people who want to get involved in our work.

At the end of March we welcomed 12 potential new volunteers into our office for tea and biscuits and to learn about what we do and the experience they can gain from helping us to develop our learning programmes.

Last Monday 15 artist attended an open evening, which we organised to increase our pool of freelance artists who would like to work with us on up-coming creative projects. The artists' practise ranged from painting, illustration and printing to sculpting, ceramics and installations. The artists' were also all very keen to take up our offer of professional development, which will enable the to gain experience and skills to engage with a variety of audiences they may not have worked with before.

On Thursday evening 8 young people from our local area, along with some of their parents, visited us to help us with our plans to develop an Arts Award accredited programme about local sporting architecture. The group, aged 13-15 were all excited about the project, during which they will have the opportunity to visit a range of historic and contemporary sports venues, including swimming baths, boxing clubs, football stadiums, and of course, some of the magnificent buildings on the Olympic site. We hope to begin this programme in September.

We have been really overwhelmed by the all this enthusiasm for our work and can't wait to work with all these fantastic people!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Arts Council Funding Announcments

Responding to the news yesterday that the Building Exploratory will no longer receive regular funding from the the Arts Council, chief Executive Nicole Crockett said:  
“We are disappointed that Arts Council England has taken the decision not to continue funding the Building Exploratory. We are overwhelmed by demand from schools and local education authorities who recognise the value of our programmes. Our emphasis on creative learning, alongside our focus on developing a sense of place with some of the most diverse and disadvantaged communities in the UK, has made us one of the pioneers of the Big Society.

Our extensive programme of engagement has consistently delivered real results, promoting local partnerships between schools, community groups and artists, and helping to nurture a shared appreciation of the local environment. The Building Exploratory has created an important model for many other organisations, demonstrating how to effectively engage with children and young people.

It is essential that significant progress is made to ensure that local people are involved in shaping sustainable communities in areas, like East London, that are undergoing radical change. We will continue to seek new partnerships and new sources of funding in order to continue developing and extending this important work.”

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Refurbish: The life and times of a tower block

14th May 2011, 10.30 - 12.30 at The Building Exploratory

Learn more about the history of tower blocks, see our own refurbished model, and then go on a guided tour of the Holly Street Estate. FREE. Book by calling 020 7729 2011 or emailing mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk

This event is part of Discover Hackney's Adult Learners Week

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Dalston Square Time Capsule

This month we are delighted to be working on a project commissioned by hackney Council Cultural Services Department working with Holy Trinity and Convestone Primary Schools on a time capsule project for Dalston Square.

Pupils from the schools will work with artists, a photographer and a poet to record the redevelopment of Dalston Square, creating plaster casts, images and text which will go into the time capsule which will be buried in Dalston Square in May.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Transformers Grant

The Building Exploratory has been awarded a Transformers grant, funded by National Lottery Funding through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and managed by ELBA.

The Transformers grant programme is directing nearly £1 million of funding to communities in the five Olympic Host Boroughs over the next two years. The grants are awarded to projects that really make a difference in people’s lives, particularly by those communities most affected by their proximity to the Olympic venues.

For Transformers we are creating an intergenerational project based in Bromley by Bow, with a focus on the rich heritage of the route from Aldgate to the Olympic Park. Keep an eye out for more details coming soon via our website. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Architecture Centre Network: Knowledge Exchange Tour 2011

Later this month the Architecture Centre Network is leading a delegation of its members' built environment education (BEE) professionals on a knowledge exchange tour of Japan, hosted by Hokkaido University and supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Our Head of Education, Janet Clark, will join colleagues from Bristol Architecture Centre, The Solent Centre for Architecture and Design and the Architecture Centre Network in representing the pinnacle of BEE professionalism and innovative practice in the UK.

Hosted by Dr Sakai, of Hokkaido University, the visit will be based in Tokyo with travel to architectural education centres across Japan.

The UK delegation will present its BEE pedagogy and activities to Japanese educationists and thought-leaders from across the BEE sector; will visit a variety of architectural and built environment organisations and education providers; and will engage in knowledge exchange workshops, seminars and lectures with the same.

You can also follow Janet's Japan trip blog at http://tbejapantrip2011.blogspot.com

Hertford Road Development

The demolition and work preparation of the site opposite our offices continues... Over the course of January they have drilled up the concrete foundations, put the big bits through a concrete crusher and moved around some huge piles of rubble. You can also start to see them digging the foundations for the site at the other end of the basin.