Co-DB were invited by Whitechapel Gallery to devise and deliver a set of workshops in response to the Elmgreen & Dragset Exhibition ‘This is how we bite our tongue’ as part of their schools programme. The exhibition featured a specially commissioned installation which questioned attitudes to civic space by transforming the gallery into a disused swimming pool.
We were excited by the opportunity to combine two of our passions at Co-DB: facilitating co-design workshops and creating interventions which transform the use of space. The workshops were with local school groups from year 4 up to year 12.
We asked them to imagine how things around them could be different, and what that would feel like. How could they be adjusted so that they function better or were more enjoyable for people use them everyday? It was great to see their imaginations explore the possibilities!
Working in groups, they shared their ideas and coordinated their efforts. They came up with a huge variety of imaginative concepts, and made installations and models which represented their ideas. It was really important to us that we met them as equals, legitimising the power of their imagination, adding weight and value to the amazing ideas they came up with.
It was great to see their imaginations explore the possibilities of how their school environment could be different, from the hanging sofa in the reading corner to the recycling zip line and the volcano stress reliever (both educational and a tool for relaxation).