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· Michelle Wang

Light and Shadow with the National Saturday Club

Last weekend, Cullinan Studio had the pleasure of hosting a masterclass with the National Saturday Club for the second year this time

The Saturday Club organises art and design related workshops and masterclasses for eager teenagers every Saturday, allowing young creative minds to inspire and be inspired outside of school.

Coffee Made, Tables Set

On Saturday morning, we gathered materials ranging from string to coloured acetate, and different tools for the students to explore as many ideas as possible. After making a quick cup of coffee, we were all set for a day of craft and fun. After the students had all arrived, Kristina gave a short presentation introducing our practice and the workshop brief for the day. Given our architectural background, we decided to run a model-making workshop focusing on the play of light and shadow. The group of students that visited us meet at the Victoria and Albert Museum every week, so it seemed logical for the brief to be a space for contemplation and exhibition.

Cutting, Testing, Photographing

Cutting and making. Photo (left): Magnus Andersson

Photo: Magnus Andersson

“Process” has always been the keyword amongst designers and architects, it was definitely one of ours that day. We set up some lamps for testing quick ideas, and a make-shift photography studio inside one of our storage vaults for students to photograph and film their models in the dark with a focused light source.

Keeping in mind that they will have a summer exhibition in June to exhibit the plethora of works they will have produced throughout these weekend sessions, we set up an Instagram account for those of us volunteering on the day, and the students themselves to upload photos and short films of their models.

They were all very eager to try and, when stuck, seek advice from our team of volunteers. It was refreshing to see young minds tackle spatial modelling (some for their first time!) through their own lens, and they began to understand the effects light and darkness had on their modelled space through film and photography.

Understanding the effects of light and dark on the models. Photo (top right): Magnus Andersson

Tessellation - Culmination

One of the goals for these workshops is to present the students’ work in an interesting way at their end of year show.  In response to that, Cullinans designed baseboards (acting as ground) for students to model upon, and these baseboards despite being different shapes, share common dimensions, therefore allow tessellation of everyone’s work at the end of the workshop. This larger piece of work will be featured in their exhibition as a culmination of both individual and group efforts.

At the end of the workshop, the students placed their models together, creating a tessellation of colours, shapes, and textures. It was fantastic to see such quantity and quality of work produced during a half-day workshop, and it had been an absolute joy for all of us involved. “Making” has always been an integral part of the design process, and the workshop was perhaps a reminder to us all, as architects, to never lose touch with the art of craft.

The completed models. Photo: Magnus Andersson

For more photos and videos taken during the class, please check out the Instagram account “natsatclub_cullinan”.  

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