Thursday 13 August 2009

Create Your Space workshop: Moscow

A little while ago I was invited to Moscow to give a talk and run a workshop around Interior Design for students at a conference centre close to the GUM shopping mall and Red square. My initial thought was how I could run a workshop in such an enormous event that would engage such a huge audience? The organisers didn't want me to simply talk to the audience about Interior Design and my knowledge of Russian embarrassingly consists of two words. Therefore, everything that I did say in English was followed by several minutes of translation into Russian. It is not the easiest thing to concentrate on what you are saying, waiting for it to be translated, and then pick up where you were, however after years of having to do this you do develop the knack. Anyway, I decided that I would put together a workshop and presentation which I called 'Create your space' where students were given some basic materials and guidelines and invited to literally create their own space. Some of the results can be seen below. What is so interesting about these is how different each and every 'model' is. We had hundreds of them too which we laid out across the auditorium for the audience to view, including the Mayor of Moscow. What about the presentation? I hear you ask. Well, not everything went according to plan, some things got lost in translation and the organisers had decided to cancel the projector and screen as they didn't think I would need it. The presentation therefore, (and my toes are curling as I write this), had to be done from a laptop to an audience the size of a mini Olympic stadium. Well these things do happen occasionally no matter how prepared we are and they might well happen again in the future, we just have to learn to dance quicker on the rug, I suppose?

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