In March this year I went on a trip with my uni course to London, in order to gain inspiration for our new module, ID People. Our brief for this module was to focus on Human Centred Design and to create a co-working office space within a re-purposed shipping container. With this in mind, in London we were advised to visit many locations that contained elements of our brief, such as existing co working office spaces and converted shipping containers.
On the day we arrived the first place we visited was the British Museum, as this was close to the hotel we were staying at. We were told to look at the interesting ceiling and entry way:
After this we took our first Underground and travelled all the way to Roca Galleries, a showroom exhibiting Roca bathroom facilities designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Here we were given a tour and learnt how the interior structure was both manufactured and delivered to the site. The interior was completely unique and unlike any other showroom I have seen or heard of. It was designed to mimic the motion of water and this can definitely be seen in the flowing arches and fluid furniture:
The next day we travelled over to Kensington to see the new Design Museum; a display of design innovations from the past to the present. I really enjoyed this museum as there was so much to look at and lots of interesting facts about the progression of technology and how design is constantly evolving. There was a small section about shipping containers and the impact they have had on trade since the 1950s. The building itself also had an unusual ceiling, just like at the British Museum:
On this same day we also visited the Serpentine Sackler gallery, The Science Museum and some more touristy sights! Both the Sackler Gallery and the Science Museum had installations by Zaha Hadid, whose work we had seen at the Roca Showrooms also. Her work is often quite futuristic and hence easily recongisable.
A few touristy shots:
Our final destination that day was the Material Lab, which was a shop displaying all kinds of materials by many different companies in interior design. It was a great place to get a feel for a material type and they even let you take samples!
On the final day we headed over to Container City in Trinity Buoy Wharf, which was a series of shipping containers along the dock that had been turned into homes and office buildings. This was a great place to see shipping containers first hand and get an idea of how they can be placed on top of each other/ next to each other etc. After this I felt I understood better the scale of the containers and also the potential they have for being transformed for a new use.
As well as seeing these shipping containers, we then when to Boxpark which is lots of shipping containers that have been turned into a shopping centre with lots of independent shops and cafes. I thought this was a really exciting use for these containers and I liked the way the had been laid out so that you walked between them and through them. I decided I wanted a similar layout for my design, with less containers though of course!
Out of everything I saw in London my favourite places were the Design Museum and Boxpark. I feel that Boxpark helped me generate and initial idea for my project whilst the Design Museum got me thinking about what ‘good’ design is and how far the shipping container has come in terms of its use. After London I felt ready to begin my new project!