Welcome to Optimism

Getting Hands On with Building Crafts College

This week we launched Hands On, a showcase demonstrating the skills and work of students from Stratford’s Building Crafts College.

Running until September 24 to coincide with the London Design Festival, local BCC students will be demonstrating crafting skills and techniques in our public-facing window.

Six students will take turns showcasing their craft, with demonstrations including turning and assembly, spoon carving and steam bending. Passers-by will be able to interact with them via an intercom, and the students’ wares will be available to purchase from the window.

We’ll also be hosting an exhibition of the Second Year students’ award-winning designs in our reception gallery space at 16 Hanbury Street.

ECD Tony Davidson said: “In a world where technology is replacing so much of the human workforce, it’s important to remind ourselves of our role in creativity. Partnering with Stratford Building Crafts College for Hands On enables us to shine a spotlight on the skills and techniques that have remained integral to design and creativity.”

Neil Austin, Course Director, Building Crafts College, said: “As schools, universities, and colleges across the country are reviewing their course content and scaling down the physical act of making in their curriculums, the fundamental skills of craft and making with real materials and tools are being lost.

“To build and to make is the natural way for us as people to experience the finest nuances of our entire sensory experience of our physical world. This partnership with Wieden+Kennedy London highlights the enduring importance of craft skills to our future living environments.”

Forever Curious window

Being curious and creative is important to us. With cuts to school budgets, children aren’t getting the chance to be as creative as they could be. That’s where Forever Curious comes in.

Each year we invite 90 local school children to get creative with some W+K volunteers. This year’s workshop was called My Creative Spark and included the creation of some imaginary worlds. Each planet in the magical universe has two sides; one made by a child, the other by a W+K buddy. They’ve come together to make a world where anything is possible.

Special thanks to the amazing kids of Millfields, Newport and St Anne’s Primary Schools. Find out Forever Curious more here.