PART I: As the London Design Festival kicked off last week, we were delighted to be part of the first ever William Morris Design Line and host an evening talk with Extinction Rebellion’s Art Group. The themes of the talk were looking at William Morris’ design principles of Craft, Unity, Community and Simplicity and how these have informed the XR approach to their own activism around climate change, and mobilising their message through open source design.
Whatever your thoughts on Extinction Rebellion’s methods of protest, you can’t deny their huge achievement in raising public awareness and bringing people together to fight a cause. With this in mind, we invited them to host a workshop for our Blackhorse Responders programme to talk tactics and teamwork and the tools they use to spread their message and become a global group. Blackhorse Responders is our Creative Activism programme, that we started to provide 16-25 year olds from the local area with a place to pick up tools and create responses to life in London. We want to empower them to become active citizens, remove barriers to access creative spaces and provide free training in maker skills.
The workshop with Extinction Rebellion explored ways to communicate your message through placard making, with the Responders choosing to explore themes of gang violence, global warming and mental health. Over the next 4 months, the ten young people will embark on a journey of creative activism in a landscape we’d never imagined possible.
PART II: The Misused x Blackhorse Workshop
Our second day of activity for London Design Festival, invited Taiwanese industrial designer Liang-Jung Chen to bring her project ‘The Misused’ to Blackhorse. She hosted a day of playful exploration, inviting participants to re-imagine, re-purpose and customise common everyday hardware. A good shake up to remind us of the benefits of playful experimentation and the charm of everyday objects.