‘Space that has been seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space subject to the measures and estimates of the surveyor. It has been lived in, not in its positivity, but with all the partiality of the imagination’ (Bachelard, 1964; xxxii).
This research project evolved from personal experiences of reflecting on the role of a particular creative space (the fabric shops of Goldhawk Road), in the formation of my design practice.
The project explored how reflecting on – and recreating – early spatial experiences could be a source of inspiration for design learning, as well as a way to understand one’s design practice more deeply. These early spatial experiences are formative learning environments, empirically frequently highly significant to an individual’s life and education. They are not necessarily always a recognisable ‘design’ space, but a provocative one that has activated creative qualities in the individual between the ages of 8 - 12.
Engaging with concepts such as phenomenology, the body, space, performance and memory, the project drew on semi-structured interviews, auto-ethnography and participant observation, merged with design-led and performative methods such as model-making, narrating through making and installation building (inspired by theatre set design). These interactions were documented through notes, film and photography.
The project’s outcome included a ‘blueprint’ brief – a set of guidelines for design educators and learners on the process of narrating and recreating this type of space.
Photography by Lili Golmohammadi.
Bachelard, G. (1964) ‘The Poetics of Space’. Translated by Jolas, M. Boston: Beacon Press.