Today, four Central Saint Martins Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students will enter the Futuro House on the roof of the College and will not leave for four days, six hours and 45 minutes – the same period of time it took the Apollo 11 space mission to reach the moon. During this time, Celine Clark, Amy Packwood, Scene Peng and Isobel Whalley Payne will all be living and working within the structure.
Titled COMMUNE, the project gives a nod to the fact that Matti Suuronen’s Futuro House received its American launch in July 1969, the same year as the Apollo 11 space mission. Incidentally 1969 was also the year of ‘The Locked Room’, a radical educational experiment conducted at the College, where a group of Sculpture students, including Richard Deacon and Tony Hill, were locked in their studio daily for a term with restricted materials and no critical feedback from tutors.
COMMUNE is also a response to Head of College Jeremy Till’s EU referendum statement and recently announced initiative Creative Unions, as part of an ongoing research project helmed by senior lecturers in Graphic Communication Design, Lucy Alexander and Tim Meara, who are hoping to develop an approach to design education via new and alternative behaviours.
Speaking on the residency, they said: “COMMUNE asks our wonderfully diverse student body to conceive of a set of rules, values and aims by which to live together, with the aim of generating, sharing and distributing ideas of the future in imaginative and surprising ways. We hope that by interrupting familiar and comfortable attitudes to the production of ideas, explorations and outcomes, our students can cultivate collectivity and connectivity as imperative modes for design production.”
Craig Barnes, who restored the Futuro House in 2014, said: “I’m both jealous and proud of the exciting mission Clark, Packwood, Peng and Whalley Payne are about to embark on. I wish them well and await with anticipation the first hand tales from their journey where no human has recently gone.”
The outcomes of COMMUNE will be on display in the Futuro House during the eighth ELIA Academy hosted by CSM from 5-7 July. Stay tuned for diary entries from the participating students across CSM channels this week.