I received an email asking if I was interested in taking part in a week of research and development for a project which would see two disused classrooms be transformed into ‘a place of wonder and inspiration to encourage young writers.’
Yes, I thought, that sounds amazing!
The Writer’s Block is a project by Kernow Education Arts Partnership and The Story Republic to create a space where writing workshops can be held from February 2017.
The week of R&D was a completely different experience to any of my previous jobs, it was hugely refreshing to have the opportunity to develop new ideas with creative professionals from other strands of design as well as writers and educators. The speed that the project moved from vague concept to real, tangible plan was incredible and by the end of the week we had a very clear idea of what the space would look and feel like and how to go about commissioning the work.
I felt that flexibility of the space was very important. It was a word that kept cropping up throughout the R+D week from all participants. From the very beginning of the project I had identified that my research into the effect of light on wellbeing would be very important in creating a healthy space for children to write. These factors caused me to look into a smart lighting system made by Phillips called ‘Hue’. It is a wireless lighting system that uses LED bulbs which can produce a very wide range of white light as well as 16 million colours at the tap of a finger. With it’s retro-fit bulbs that would be easily installed in pendants, ceiling and practical lamps it seemed a great solution which also maintained the flexibility of the spaces.
Phillips Lighting UK was then approached to see if they would like to be involved in the project. They said yes and that they were very interested in collecting data to assess the effects of their products with a view to improvement.
The deadline for phase 1 completion was very tight so certain cutbacks had to be made on the original design. Phase 2 and maybe even 3 will allow for further development of the space once it has been tried and tested by the first cohort of groups.
What follows is a pictoral timline of Phase 1 development:
LED lighting can only simulate natural light, it can’t replicate it. The space already had loads of natural light pouring in which was very important to me to maintain:
As an ongoing project expect to see more as it develops!