Applications open for the Institute of Imagination Cultural Residency


Imagination Lab: a place to imagine

Applications are open for our first Cultural Residency, to be based at the Imagination Lab, in South London. Responding to the theme ‘Places to Imagine’, the successful applicant will receive an £8,000 grant to develop their concept and have access to the Imagination Lab as a workshop space for four months.

Download application brief (PDF)

Tucked behind Albert Embankment in an old London Fire Brigade warehouse is a hidden treasure. From the outside it looks like a dilapidated building but step inside and a grand hall opens up. Giant ducts and pipes spread across the ceiling and vibrant reds, blues and yellows bring colour to the raw space. Thousands of young minds have travelled through this space and our adjoining Imagination Lab this year with the invitation to imagine. Through provocations, cutting edge tools, visual prompts and spatial design we have provided physical spaces for people to apply their imagination in creative and inventive ways.

But how do physical places, either those that we create or those that are naturally occurring, have the power to fire the imagination? This is the question we are posing for the first of our cultural residencies as part of our 2018 Imagination Lab Programme. With generous support from the International Charitable Foundation (ICF) we will select an individual or collective to join us for four months to explore how real and imaginary places relate to each other, and the impact the physicality of where we find ourselves as individuals or groups has on our imaginative abilities.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a vibrant and evolving public programme of family events and workshops with schools in our specially designed Imagination Lab on Albert Embankment, central London. The residency is the first in a series that will help inform The Institute of Imagination’s cultural residency programme based at our permanent campus. It draws on one of the themes of our Imagination Matters Campaign which is championing a global societal shift to challenge the common preconception that imagination is nothing more than a frivolous pastime.

The residency provides a chance to work closely with The Institute of Imagination’s Experience and Learning team, to integrate into a period of programming that will see engaging with the local Lambeth community, investigating themes from making movement to computer programming and having access to tools/materials on a broad spectrum: from cardboard and glue guns to virtual and augmented reality.

We will welcome applications from those working in a broad range of disciplines and we are interested in the relationships between the arts, sciences and digital technologies. It is our ambition to deliver an experience outside of the normal boundaries of an artistic residency programme. The piece of work could take many forms and ultimately needs to be interactive and developed with children and families at its heart.

The judging panel comprises Turner Prize winning artist and Patron of the iOi Mark Wallinger; Children’s Content Creator and Curator Sharna Jackson; the iOi’s Director of Experience and Learning Tom Doust and Nick Viner of the International Charitable Foundation. 

“The Imagination Lab has been providing an inspiring space to let imaginations flourish since it opened in February 2017. As a Patron of the Institute of Imagination, I look forward to being part of the selection process for the iOi’s first Cultural Residency and to see how interdisciplinary responses to the theme ‘Places to Imagine’ can further animate the space for children and young people. We are looking for engaging, playful and flexible concepts which reflect the essence of the Imagination Lab and its programme, bringing together technology, science and the arts.”

Mark Wallinger, Artist and Patron of the Institute of Imagination

To apply please download the application brief (PDF). We look forwarding to hearing your ideas about places to imagine.

Tom Doust, Director of Experience and Learning

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