WELCOME

INITIAL IDEAS

UNLOCKING THE BUILDING'S POTENTIAL

INVOLVING PEOPLE

DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR THE BUILDING

LOCAL PEOPLE, ARTISTS AND PROFESSIONALS WERE INVITED TO SHARE IDEAS

Playgrounding extended the collaboration which lies at the heart of ‘Scratch’ to the architectural process: a collaboration between the imagination of theatre makers and the expertise of the architect.

Important lessons on collaboration were learnt in the production of The Masque of the Red Death, and as the ideas for the building development progressed, we sent an invitation out to local people, artists and professionals to enter into the collaboration and share their ideas. This was done through a series of events called ‘The Fuzzy Surgeries.’

Involving People SLIDER

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THE FUZZY SURGERIES

The Art of Health and Safety

The importance of the collaborative approach was solidified during The Masque of the Red Death. Haworth Tompkins and Battersea Arts Centre engaged every person in thinking about how Playgrounding’s improvisational and collaborative approach would relate to their role.

For example, to create a show in which an audience of two hundred and fifty people could wander at will in semi-darkness around an old building required significant attention to health and safety. Rather than approaching the health and safety and fire officers as law-keepers standing in the way of what the creative team wanted to achieve, they engaged them as experts who could help the creative team find solutions to even the most challenging situations. By asking those people to think creatively about the building, they elicited imaginative responses. As a result, one reviewer went so far as to congratulate the health and safety officer working on the show. Growing from this, approach of treating everyone like an artist became an important part of Playgrounding.


How Buildings Learn - Stewart Brand

This six-part, three-hour, BBC TV series by Stewart Brand aired in 1997, based on his 1994 book, HOW BUILDINGS LEARN: What Happens After They’re Built. It was another inspiration in the early stages of the project.

Fuzzy Infographic

THE FUZZY SURGERIES

In June and July of 2008 we ran a series of workshops in collaboration with Haworth Tompkins under the banner of The Fuzzy Surgeries; drawing on the mathematical principal of Fuzzy Logic. The meetings were designed to explore, challenge, develop and enrich the emerging direction of Battersea Arts Centre.

At each session Steve Tompkins and his team, David Jubb, David Micklem and the Battersea Arts Centre team would sit down in a different room and share a meal with the guests; a picnic in the Recreation Room, drinks in the courtyard, afternoon tea in the Waiting Room or family lunch by the Fireplace. These meals would frame open discussions about the future of the building.

These meetings were held to get feedback from a wide range of people who use the Town Hall. The process placed the audience, artists and the community at the centre of the project, establishing their needs and discovering innovative ways to meet them. Through collaboration and dialogue, groups were able to build new and unforeseen layers of richness into the early design moves. The resulting ‘Fuzzy Logic’ plan was the first composite step towards the master plan and the aim to create a vision for the future of flexible theatre spaces in the UK.

Click here for the Fuzzy Logic PDF resource


Fuzzy Surgeries

A snapshot of the Fuzzy Surgeries.


Steve Tompkins

Steve Tompkins is a Director of Haworth Tompkins Architects. He had the idea of applying Fuzzy Logic to the project.


David Jubb

David Jubb is the Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre.

WHAT IS FUZZY LOGIC?

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FUZZY LOGIC

The term "fuzzy logic" was introduced with the 1965 proposal of Fuzzy Set Theory by Lotfi A. Zadeh. Fuzzy logic has been applied to many fields, from control theory to artificial intelligence.

Fuzzy Logic is a form of many-valued logic; it deals with reasoning that is approximate rather than fixed and exact. Compared to traditional binary sets (where variables may take on true or false values) fuzzy logic variables may have a truth value that ranges in degree between 0 and 1. Fuzzy logic has been extended to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.

Steve Tompkins came up with the name for these surgeries based on the idea that had begun to emerge from the process already, in particular the notion of improvisation and architecture – of each stage revealing part of the truth, but not the fixed, finite, whole truth.

FUZZY FEEDBACK

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FUZZY FEEDBACK

Battersea Arts Centre already is a creative “hub” for so many people, and it is this fantastic reputation that we could build upon (in the literal sense too) for future generations to see Battersea Arts Centre as a living, breathing, porous space where their imagination can run wild!
Sunita Pandya (National Theatre)

The plans are incredibly exciting and stimulating and I was thrilled to have played a part at this early stage, so thank you for inviting me.
Chris Harper (Stage Entertainment)

I love the idea of a place for everyone to play, but I would like to stress the importance of really pro-active outreach and the need for free or very low cost activities.
Sarah Rackham (Katherine Lowe Settlement)

First of all we would like to thank you for inviting us to the surgery. We find the project extremely interesting. It is amazing that you have arranged a project like this, must be a dream project for the architects too!!! From our point of view the project is an interesting contribution to the ongoing debate on the notion of temporality in performance and architecture.
Christer Lundhal (Lundahl and Seitl)

I want Battersea Arts Centre to be a series of doors that can be easily be pushed open, whether you know everything about theatre or nothing, whether you are an adult or a child. There must be doors within the doors and wardrobes within each room allowing me to explore as far as I want to go, even as far as Narnia and beyond. I want Battersea Arts Centre to be visible outside of its walls. On Lavender Hill, on the roof, in my dreams.
I want you to raise the stakes, and if you fail, fail better.
Lyn Gardner (The Guardian)

To download the full feedback click here

MAKING PLANS

PLAYGROUNDING CASE STUDIES

FINDING FUNDING

THE MASTER PLAN

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