Earlier this week Co-DB Play ran a day of workshops as part of Westminster Abbey’s summer families programme. We had been due to run our workshops outside but with the unpredictable British summer we moved inside to Chapter House - an amazing space with a vaulted octagonal ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows.
The aim of each session was to construct and decorate our own abbeys. These were made of modular components Co-DB Play developed to allow kids to design and construct their own structures while considering the scale of the Abbey around them.
The components comprise of large scale cardboard tubes with loops of 20mm ribbon elastic riveted down one side. These can then be looped together to form walls and other structural interventions in space. They can be freely put together and taken apart to allow kids (and adults) to make flexible design decisions as they use them.
Alongside the components Co-DB Play also provided a set of CNC cut plywood stencils inspired by the shapes and patterns that cover every surface, and are often part of the structural integrity of the buildings themselves, inside and out, of Westminster Abbey. These were used as templates from which children could cut out gold and silver shapes to decorate and embellish their structures.
We had so much fun and it was (as it always is!) a pleasure to see children engaged in working together to create their own abbeys and having lots of fun in the process.
I really enjoyed the extra dimension it added to be able to talk to the participants about how we designed and built the construction components, the tubes with elastic loops, so they could be used to design and build many more new structures over time. This is what Co-DB Play is all about!
By Eva Freeman, Co-DB Play