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.

140 Boomerangs

Created for the London Architecture Biennale, 140 Boomerangs comprises a modular element that may be assembled and re-assembled in various permutations to create site-specific, fluid, playful forms from one boomerang shape.

The first home of the boomerangs was a helical structure, inhabited by local children’s clay sculpture creatures, which wrapped around the Peace fountain at West Smithfield. Inspired by the garden’s character, we wrote a magical story that imagined a history to the statue and fountain. The story plays into the significance of clean water sources in London’s history and to the significance fountains in place-making.

We held nine workshops with a total of 140 children where they were asked to make a clay sculpture of a magical creature from the subterranean water-world, Binnanbrim, in response to the story. Our aim was to play on and intensify the site as an urban retreat and offer up fantasies to visitors of the Biennale and passers-by.

The second homes of the Boomerangs were as play-furniture in Queen Street in the City of London and in the playgrounds of each of the three local schools that took part in the workshops.

As this project was funded entirely through sponsorship, it was subject to very tight cost constraints. As well as acting as designers we also sought sponsorship, without which the project would not have been possible.

140 Boomerangs has since been exhibited as part of Architecture Week, New London Architecture, and London Design Festival. The project was awarded the ‘Prize for Social Entrepreneurship’ by London Met, and ‘Best Overall Delivery’ by the National Architecture Student Festival 2006. It was following the success of this project that Studio Weave were able to secure new commissions and formally set up our practice.

A long time ago, there lived a girl called Ulla. Ulla lived in a little house with her parents. Behind the little house, they had a vegetable patch, and at the end of the vegetable patch was a well. Ulla helped her mother with the vegetable patch most days and she loved to watch the buckets and buckets of clean cold water come up from the well. They used the water for everything, and she knew how lucky they were to have it.

As Ulla grew up, she became more and more curious about where all this water came from, until one dry day, as she was pulling up a bucket to water her vegetables, she thought she glimpsed something gleaming very slightly, way way down. She stared deep into the well, as she often did, imagining what might be down there, when suddenly, something pulled her, and before she knew it, she was racing down the well very very fast. She could see the circle of sky above her getting smaller and smaller, and when it was almost a dot she hit the water. It was very cold but she didn’t have much time to think about it because she was still being pulled down so fast, and then, as abruptly as it had appeared, she felt the water around her disappear, and she was still.

She had her eyes tightly shut. She felt around her. Something felt damply springy, like grass, so she opened her eyes. It looked like grass too, but slightly bigger, with millions of strange flowers that seemed to be drifting around and nodding slightly as if they were quietly chatting to each other.

“Hello”, said a voice above her. Ulla looked up. The sky was startling. It was grey green and rippling with hexagons. Shafts of light beamed through some places and glowing dots bobbed gently, lighting up others. As she looked more closely, she realised that the expanse above her was water, and it was filled with hundreds of different creatures, some bobbling, some flitting, some wafting gracefully around each other and some zooming past in a hurry. As she looked still closer, she realised that even the glowing dots were creatures; creatures more peculiar and wonderful than any she had imagined.

“My name is Wini.”

Ulla turned around. “Where am I?” She pulled herself up feeling very shaky.

“Binnanbrim! I’m sorry about the ride. There’s no other way, I’m afraid. You’ll be less wobbly in a minute.”

“Binnanbrim?” Ulla fell back down again.

Wini sat down next to her. “You need to help. You need to make a fountain.”

“What’s a fountain?”

As Ulla became less wobbly, Wini explained to her how Binnanbrim’s ocean sky was the source of her well. He described how she could make a fountain which would bring water to all the people in the town. He very proudly showed her drawings and little models of fantastically sculpted fountains overflowing with water, bubbling up for everyone; water as pure and clean as that at the bottom of her well.

“Will you remember all this?” Wini smiled.

“Yes, of course.” Ulla looked around her. The sight was incredible: reds fuzzed, blues lolloped and purples wiggled about as oranges melted into them.