In 2015, we joined forces with Architecture 00. Together, we enjoy collaborating in a shared environment where strategic, urban and social designers, architects, programmers and economists practice design beyond its traditional borders. 00 work with individuals, governments, corporations and communities to solve problems and anticipate change, and to design successful platforms and places. As a studio it aims to reach beyond the design of objects themselves to the social, economic and environmental systems behind them.

Tall Stories

As part of the Friday Late event at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Studio Weave ran a series of workshops called Tall Stories where participants were invited to make ‘lost exhibits’ and conjure up their backstory.

The night culminated with a grand exhibition opening in the Architecture Gallery where the objects and their stories were unveiled on plinths.

On the last Friday on every month, the V&A stays open late and commissions a wealth of for-one-night-only installations, workshops, performances and talks. Each month there is a different theme and for June 2012, the theme was Un-built: De/Constructing Architecture, exploring the approach of architects whose work teeters on, and indeed blurs, the boundary with art.

Each Tall Stories workshop began with a storytelling session of Freya and Robin to illustrate how we use stories to nurture a strong sense of place in our designs and as a way to involve as many different people as possible in the process.

The participants listened eagerly then set to work on mastering their creations in just twenty minutes. We asked everyone to imagine that some boxes of lost exhibits had been found in the V&A storeroom and under this pretense, they each had to create such an object in parallel with the story behind it.

Materials available included clay, wire, matchsticks, buttons and fragments of ceramics. There was also the hat of inspiration to hand, which contained evocative words, as well as information about neighbouring existing exhibits in the gallery that people might choose to respond to. Everyone documented their stories on information cards much like those seen beside exhibits in any museum.

Following the last workshop, a procession of 30 or so people carried the night’s creations across the expansive museum to the Architecture Gallery, where they were arranged on plinths – themselves found discarded in the V&A storeroom.

Complete with sparkling wine (the necessary accompaniment to any self-respecting exhibition opening), V&A curator Abraham Thomas got into the spirit of the night and toasted the lost exhibits, unveiled for one night only.

A selection of some of the objects on show in the Architecture Gallery at the grand exhibition opening…

Screen,  thought to be a time screen, from the time of the Aztecs or Ancient Egyptians. It is believed that a person would stand in front of it and be transported to another time.

A British Totem Pole from a previously undiscovered British tribe. It appears to act as a spiritual aid in worshipping the spirit of the sheep.

An ancient temple found from a long-lost land, where the people died in an unusual way. The temple, carved out of stone, told stories of worship, prayer and deadly sacrifice.

Remains of the ceremonial crown of the great red squirrel. Widely regarded as proof of squirrel incredibleness and social structure.

Communication Tool, Brazil, a long long long time ago. Used to transport thoughts and feeling when words were not needed.