Super City Comes Alive at the Imagination Lab

In March, we announced that Super City, a project proposed by artists collective Jim Bond, Helaina Sharpley and Samantha Bryan, was the winning concept for our first ever cultural residency at the Lab.

It’s hard to believe we’re already more than half way through the residency and we’re so excited by the shape and form that Super City is taking.

The idea behind Super City was that through a series of workshops, a mini-city of buildings populated by people, transport and infrastructure would be created collaboratively. Each workshop would build on the work of the last, to create a truly collaborative city, which grows and develops through the ideas and making of many hands over time. The city is as creative as the many imaginations that go into its construction.

The core material for the city is wire, which allows children to learn design and making skills and subsequently add to the construction with technology to programme the lights, wind turbines, transport, cranes and other moving elements. The people and transport have been created using mesh, clay and craft materials.

A mother and her child constructing with wire

“There’s been many delightful moments over the past few weeks of Super City.  The children’s ideas have been wonderfully imaginative, creative and thoughtful (we’ve had ideas such as banks that move if compromised by burglars, a hotel shaped like a cat – for cats only and a giant bed for the homeless.)”

Super City artists

So far, 4 workshops have contributed to Super City, launching with a Lab Life exclusively for local Lambeth residents, Lab Learn sessions with 4 school classes and Lab Live, where more than 500 people had the chance to contribute!

A child with a model airplane

“It’s very exciting now the city is growing and developing, it’s gone from nothing to a very busy metropolis!  Creating the population of the city this week has also made it feel more alive!”

Super City artists

When we asked artists Jim Bond, Helaina Sharpley and Samantha Bryan what they have been most impressed with during the workshops to date, they focussed on the collaboration and cooperation between children and their accompanying adults, especially in the opening weekend when Lab Life sessions kicked off the project.

There are still three workshops to come including a day for SEND school children, an adults evening event as part of Art Night and a final chance for local residents to finish up the project on 14 July at Lab Life. SO what’s next for Super City in these workshops? The artists gave us this sneak preview:

“This week we started creating a map of how the Super City might look with the children from the Lab Learn sessions.  Thinking about infrastructure and key buildings, this will help to shape the final layout of the Super City. We also will be planning the elements of the city which will be controllable by code based on all the designs produced by the children.”

We’ll be sharing more about Super City later in the summer – stay tuned to see how Super City evolves!

The Cultural Residency is kindly supported by the International Charitable Foundation

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