Being the charity partner of this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, architecture NGO Article 25 has partnered with RBM, a brand of Scandinavian Business Seating (SB Seating) to create Agora on the Green, a temporary structure located at Clerkenwell Green. London-based practice russ + henshaw has been appointed to design the installation. The firm’s ceramic installation at Clerkenwell Design Week 2014, Tile Mile, won the Gold Award at last year’s London Design Awards.
Agora on the Green is a dynamic installation for Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 that sets out to revitalise and reanimate Clerkenwell Green, a public square at the heart of a neighbourhood rich with history and colour.
The installation takes its inspiration from Clerkenwell Green’s history of hosting public assemblies such as trade union rallies and remembrance services and is named agora after the ancient Greek word for ‘gathering place’. At present, the square is under-used and by transforming the forgotten space into a modern-day agora, Article 25 will invite the public to engage and interact with the installation and reflect upon both the charity’s approach towards giving life to communities and RBM’s philosophy: 'to vitalise space and relations'.
The SB Seating showroom in Central Street will feature an interactive virtual build which will be directly linked to the Agora on the Green. The virtual build will allow visitors to donate money to the Article 25 cause, seeing the constructing of a new seismic-resistant school in Haiti, one which was constructed in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster zone of Petionville. Here the visitors will get RBM colour themed stickers which they can stick on Agora on the Green and leave their own creative touch to the installation.
Robin Cross, Managing Director of Article 25, said: “Agora on the Green is a representation of how innovative design can reinvigorate public spaces and bring communities closer together, mirroring the ethos that underpins our works. Our approach is shared with RBM, we work in areas that need to be revitalised, not to just offer a temporary solution but something that will last once we’re gone. With further support like this from the design industry, Article 25 can increase its capacity to reach those communities in most need. We are proud to be the charity partner of Clerkenwell Design Week.”
The narrative of transformation is realised in the installation’s design as a continuous folding surface and engages and unifies the road-locked site. A seemingly endless table top is formed, punctuated with a kaleidoscope of colourful RBM Noor chairs. The geometry of the structure’s constant surface twists, turns and elevates vertically to create gateways, arches, large public ‘dining rooms’ and smaller more intimate meeting spaces. Visitors can engage with the sprawling piece, as there will be areas to sit, stand, and walk under and over. This provides the opportunity for communal gatherings and a variety of interactive social spaces.