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Supermarket_ ferensway_ Hull

Part 2 Project 2000
Richard Gill
University of Lincoln Lincoln UK
Project supermarket was born out of an earlier written research project where I became acquainted with the texts of Baudrillard, Virilio, and Auge amongst others. Common themes of investigation included hyperreality, the ‘virtual’ in relation to the ‘real’, media etc.

Placed in the context of a design project I decided to relate the above theories to the modern day phenomenon of e-commerce and globalization, by asking the question. ‘What is the future of the shopping trolley?’

The project was explored using two separate modes of investigation. Each ran in parallel, which ultimately combined to form the final proposal, as dictated by the ethos of studio Factory. The first could simply be described as site and subject analysis. The second however, became an interactive art installation. A demonstration of the potential of space I was trying to create. (Hybrid space, a collision of virtual and real space causing them to be seen as relative to one another, governed by the users actions) Whilst also generating forms and images which were developed into a unique architectonic language, which ultimately produced a final building design proposal.

Richard Gill

Richard Gill was chosen as a nominee because he fulfilled the studio’s criteria in ways which both surprised and engaged us. His response to the brief we set was energetic and a joy to tutor.

Factory is a studio primarily concerned with the metropolitan, as such the years work was based on examinations of the urban condition. To achieve this the studio was and is grounded in the idea that open experimentation, work in various scales and mediums, exploration of languages of expression, creation and depiction are paramount.

The year was split into two projects, the students were expected to develop a continuous theme through both projects, Richard’s scheme was particularly strong because he managed to translate the ideas, narrative and visual language he developed from his first project into the second.

The primary objective of the first project was to construct a kinetic installation. The project was principally concerned with two core themes, firstly the investigation and interpretation of selected ideas from a chosen environment. Secondly, the relationship of the performer-subject-viewer experience.

The architectural installation created by Richard Gill, which underpinned his project, combined two essential qualities, it worked and looked great. A rare achievement in the world of architectonic kinetic installations. The installation comprises a series of pendulums that react to the presence of the viewer. The relationship between subject-performer-viewer generating a dynamic and rich spatial experience.

The students were then asked to select a site and apply the narrative and themes they had developed through their installation. Richard developed an architectural language, programme and scheme using a current brief and site in Hull. Essentially, it is an exploration into the possibilities of modifying the shopping experience to incorporate e-commerce, cyberspace and the ideas of mechanical, physical and spatial interactivity explored within his installation.

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