Robert Urquhart of Designers are Wankers interviews Made in 24hrs in the second of a series of special interviews with members of the Designers are Wankers community who are involved with this year's London Design Festival.
The event is a design marathon lasting for 24hrs, between 7am on Friday 19th Sept, and 7am the next day.
It’s a performance where people can watch how the work takes shape over the 24 hour period. The results will be shown in an exhibition lasting for approximately a week.
What do you want us to do? No prizes for saying 'come'...
We would like you to come, obviously! We would like you to come and maybe get you talking and thinking about design, I guess the test might be, how can you get the public to think about design, and view design as more than just objects?
But essentially it's a massive experiment; we're not saying this is how design should be or anything we're just suggesting that this is a possible way of working; it could all be shit!
Equally, we don't really know how to measure the success of the project! We didn't set out to make money, or produce final saleable objects, so it's not really quantifiable, other than by going away feeling positive about it, I guess that's the only way we can measure it.
What will we see you doing during the exhibition - will we see you in person – performing? What will people physically experience?
It will take the form of a performance in that it is open for the 24 hours so that people can come and watch. There will be an exhibition after of the objects and bits and pieces. We're also filming the whole thing, and doing mini interviews and stuff like that.
Is the London Design Festival a good opportunity for you?
The Design Festival is a very good opportunity for us and they have been great with helping us out, with lots of free promotion. The project is actually a little like a critique of design festivals, we came up with the idea when we were in Berlin at the DMY, and were thinking what can we do that actually represents design to us? So it's supposed to be more democratic, open and less commercial. We were interested in celebrating design thinking rather than just showing objects that can be sold; after all it's a design festival, not a furniture fair!
How do you think the London Design Festival compares with other design festivals around the world?
It's a difficult one because the LDF is very democratic, I mean, they let us in! There are lots of opportunities for young designers, which I think are really very positive. Also the LDF seemed pretty excited about our project, which was reassuring. However we think there is a problem in some of the commercial work, but obviously you need that for the festival to be able to sustain itself. In comparison with the DMY in Berlin I think LDF is leading, but we liked the young designers stuff, but other than that that the DMY was pretty much just about private parties that were really separate and isolated.
Do you think there is much hype about design; your neighbours are in Vogue this month… (Made in 24hrs exhibition is right next to the Deptford Project Café)
In London there definitely is, but there is a difference to us between 'design' and 'designer', so there is all this hype around designer, exclusive products, but there isn't much hype, and probably never will be, about the work we are interested in making: the more kind of critical, thought based stuff. Equally though we don’t want to be taking ourselves too seriously, the project is also very playful, and we would love to be able to get the public involved, to establish some interaction, and play around with materials and ideas.
What are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
To be honest I haven’t even read the booklet yet! It's been pretty hectic here! I think we will be there at the opening, and then popping over to Tent at some point...: oh and the making time exhibition but that’s because our friends putting it on so I guess we're biased! Anyway we'll be going to see as much as possible...
If people come and see you in Deptford where else do you think they should visit?
The market is awesome; it's pretty much our favourite place! I don't want people coming though because they will buy all of the good stuff; we've been experiencing that a lot recently!
Go along and see it all for yourself…
Visit 24hrdesignandmake.co.uk which will tell you about the dates, space, who is involved and so on.