During the summer, I worked for three weeks at the architectural firm from which I have previous experience. Amongst other projects I was mainly focused on the common room of a student accommodation new build. The site was once the home to a cotton spinning mill that later became a military uniform factory. These were the main two influences on the scheme for the accommodation and I was given a set of images to kick-start the design.
The main structure of the building had been designed by the architects but I was able to play with internal partitions, furniture and zone plans, finishes and lighting.
Final Day: INSTALLATION DAY. After grafting solidly for two days the installation was up and running. Everyone was pretty tired but it was such a buzz to see it how we had imagined, and mildly surprising to see it actually work! I spent the day checking the videos for sound fluency and adding a few last touches to the projections whilst everyone else put up the structures. At one point I had to go back to uni for an hour or so, so when I came back I could really see a transformation. When we had our trial run yesterday we didn’t put everything up to perfection as we knew it had to come down later that day, so it was great to see how all the little, but important, things made such a difference, for example tidying the wires, using black tape and having the record sleeves and clothing pulled taught.
There were a few minor things that our tutors picked up on when they came to mark it, but we were able to change most of these before the festival opened. We couldn’t change the beer boxes, but if we’d thought about it, it would have been nice to use boxes of beer that was sold in DRY at the time. Unfortunately we were not able to project onto one of the pieces of clothing as the projection finished half way down the shirt, this could have been solved if we’d had time to set the clothes up as they would have been the day before and make any adjustments.
It was annoying for us to be restricted to erecting the installation between 11 and 4 on the final day, as it meant there wasn’t any room for mistakes, but I think it made as work harder and more efficiently.
The most gutting experience, for us all I think, was when the projector lost connection to the computers. The projection turned blue and without help there wasn’t anything any of us could do to set it up again. We’d all put so much hard work into the project it was such a shame that it couldn’t be used to its full potential. After an hour we decided the best thing for us to do was take down the projectors, call it a day and just enjoy the rest of the night.
I personally think the installation worked very well, when it did, and it was great to hear positive feedback from our friends that visited. It’s been a learning curve for many of us, not only working in a team but learning about the city we live in and its culture and history. Not coming from Manchester itself, it’s nice to learn about the social history and hear stories from people that had grown up here. Those we spoke to all seemed to know each other, even though we had ‘found’ them through different contacts. There was a real community of people here and I think thats so important for somewhere you live.