Make Shift A Twitter Timeline
with really good people. Bring on tomorrow! #48hrmag
6:22pm @rosiewadey: In other news, great day at @48hrstackmag! Made lots of progress and heard some amazing stories from people all around South Bank.
8:12pm @48hrstackmag: We’ve run out of printer ink. Cripes. #48hrmag #makeshift 7:30pm 48hrstackmag: Steve: “But hang on...logo doesn’t begin with an x” | The countdown is addling us... #48hrmag #makeshift
First things first, we are not Southbank Centre.
9771752878025 06 Vol. 19
Happy reading, Steven Watson
I run a service called Stack, which brings together the world’s best independent magazines and sends them out to subscribers every month. Back in May, Jing Lu from Black Country Atelier contacted me and told me that she was working with Southbank Centre to curate a weekend celebrating British Power and Production. She wanted to know what they could do to commemorate the weekend in print, so I suggested that we make a magazine. Several months later I put the call out to London’s independent magazine makers, and on the evening of Friday 12 August a group of writers, photographers, designers and illustrators came together to make a magazine in two days. As I type this it’s just past eight o’clock on Sunday evening. We’ve been going for a shade over 48 hours, and the end’s in sight but there are still a couple of hours to go. The magazine you’re holding in your hands (or looking at on screen) doesn’t quite exist yet, but it’s not far off. Our theme for the magazine is Power and Production, but it’s Power and Production within the context of the Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain all summer, so while we’ve used this issue of Make Shift to look at ideas of manufacturing, we’ve also branched out to think about the last 60 years, about notions of Britishness, and about different people’s ideas of what power is. Above all, we’ve tried to give an account of what happened here, on London’s South Bank, during one weekend in August. It’s been a fantastic experience working so closely with a group of people who have only known each other for a couple of days. Southbank Centre is a lovely place to work and we’ve all had a great time, so I hope you enjoy the next few pages. We’d love to know what you think to it, so drop us a line on Twitter @48hrstackmag, or say hello @stackmagazines and tell us what this one-off issue of Make Shift means to you.
Make Shift was made possible by the following magazines:
Vol. 19 / RRP. £4.99 www.anorak-magazine.co.uk
Delayed Gratification www.dgquarterly.com
Little White Lies www.littlewhitelies.co.uk
Lost in London www.lostinlondonmagazine.com
6:59pm @48hrstackmag: @willagebbie | What does it look like and I’ll get our hat elves to find it? Jeremy’s probably sitting on it. 6:43pm @willagebbie: @48hrstackmag oh no!! I’ve left my hat :( 5:51pm @StackMagazines: @eyemagazine @magculture We’re getting there! Think I’ve done lasting damage to my eyes, brain and carpal tunnel, but we’re getting there! 5:46pm @StackMagazines: @Inkthestudio @eyemagazine @magculture Oh my god. People are drinking beer. They’ll be asleep in 10 mins. #48hrmag 4:45pm @48hrstackmag: @StackMagazines | As long as it’s not fizzing, you’re fine. 3:56pm @StackMagazines: Think I just heard my brain pop. #48hrmag 3:13pm @ericabuist: Just handed in my article at #makeshift Looks like it’s all coming together for #48hrmag What a weekend! @ StackMagazines @southbankcentre 2:54pm @craig_jackson: @48hrstackmag but come back from lunch to find someone on my laptop. If your not fast your last.
Steven Watson www.stackmagazines.com
10:16am @48hrstackmag: The final day begins... #48hrmag #makeshift
Designer Jeremy Leslie www.magculture.com
Contributors Alan Rutter, Alice Ralph, Amie Mills, Ana Maria Perez Saldias, Anna Kontopoulou, Anthony Teoh, Betty Wood, Clare Willis, Clarissa San Pedro, Craig Jackson, Elsa Wesbeicher, Erica Buist, Esa Matinvesi, Frances Ambler, Grégoire Bernardi, Isobel Seacombe, Jeannine Saba, Jenny Purt, Jess Gibbs, Jessica Taylor, Jo Bounds, Johnny Winstone, Jonny Burch, Laura, Snoad, Lewis Smith, Lucy Scott, Maddy Marriage, Matt Parker, Nick Wells, Rob Reed, Rosie Wadey, Sharon McCabe, Siobhan Leddy, Tina Smith, Willa Gebbie, Zita Aliba, Zoe Barker
Shellsuit Zombie www.shellsuitzombie.co.uk
For Dean and Kim. Sorry I couldn’t be there.
10:08pm @sharonmccabe25: Is having an awesome time working in the @48hrstackmag crew! Heading home now, but looking forward to starting again tomorrow. #48hrmag 9:56pm @StackMagazines: Home time now. What a great day’s work
6:20pm @rosiewadey: Just heard a woman loudly declare outside the Royal Festival Hall that she hasn’t thrown up for 25 years. Wow. 6:12pm @48hrstackmag: @StackMagazines | Lucky they’re powerful postcards so you can pump your guns while you do it aye Steve? 5:56pm @48hrstackmag: Are you 56? Max needs you (in many ways) | http://ow.ly/62ri7 | #48hrmag #makeshift 5:35pm @StackMagazines: Removing postcards from a wall is brainless but useful. Exactly the sort of work I need to be doing just now. #48hrmag 2:48pm @TCOLondon: This weekend @StackMagazines are making a mag in 48hours @southbankcentre. Be sure to check it out & follow their progress @48hrstackmag 1:44pm @48hrstackmag: Biscuits will be a gamechanger: tumblr. com/xzq42kwk52 #48hrmaga #makeshift 12:56pm @benterrett: I’ve just finished writing and filed a 983 word article for #48hrmag 12:52pm @48hrstackmag: In between shelling out smints Janine was busy mast heading and make shifting tumblr.com/ 11:44am @48hrstackmag: @storeygareth | We have a special corner for hungover poets. 2nd floor @ back. We look like a mac store. Fonts everywhere. 11:00am @48hrstackmag: MAKE SHIFT....and then there was a magazine name. #48hrmag Friday 2:09am @48hrstackmag: We start at 10am Sat morning. Come join us. There is a fountain to play in and pagination to prepare.
Billie, 26 In the 50s people had to work in factories because they had to get by, whereas in the future I would hope that people could tailor their careers more to who they are personally.
Ernest, 67 I remember the Skylon. The amazing thing was that it looked like it was hovering. It was held up off the ground with these very thin bits of aluminium.
As Southbank Centre celebrates 60 years since the Festival of Britain, we asked what life was like back then…
Alla, 33 In Russia we had to be creative because we did not have many toys then. People were always gluing things together to make do. Nowadays kids are spoilt for choice.
WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE IN
Alexander, 81 and Gordon, 75 In 1951 in Halifax it was all about engineering, textiles and carpet manufacturers. Crossley’s, for example, employed 4,000 people and furnished the Cunard liners with their carpets. Now that’s been lost, and the industry has not been replaced. We don’t have a single mill left in Halifax.
Pheobe, 10, Tabby, 9, and their parents Justine and Mel Tabby: It was really busy in 1951, because everyone was building everything after the war. 2071 will be a lot busier! And cars will be flying. Pheobe: Normal cars will have a lot more power in the future. And clothes will be flashing with lights.
AND WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE?
Khaliel, 16 The workers of the future will all be accountants and techsupport workers. The focus will be on technological industries. These industries don’t do it for me, and you should just pursue your own goal in the end.
Joan, 66 We’re not a very happy world at the moment, so I hope things move full circle. One of the beach huts outside was lovely – about all of us, all colours and backgrounds and so on, being one.
Paul, 45 In the future we won’t be making things. But does that matter? As long as that industry is replaced. An alternative will probably manifest itself with the changes that come.
YEARS OF CHANGE
4 7 PAST AND FUTURE
From major projects to urban myths, we remember 60 years of change to Southbank Centre and its neighbours
3 KEY Street New Buildings
Points of interest Old buildings
6 Lion / Unicorn Pavilion
Royal Festival Hall Built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, the hall has seen performances by such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie and Louis Armstrong. It hosted the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest: the winner was Jacqueline Boyer of France with her song ‘Tom Pillibi’. As part of its restoration programme, you can sponsor one of the pipes in the organ in the Royal Festival Hall. Made in 1956, it contains 7,866 pipes. Sponsorship starts at £30, while £10,000 will buy you sponsorship of one of the 32 foot pipes. It was rumoured that, after his escape from Wormwood Scrubs in 1966, the Russian spy George Blake escaped out of the country in a harp case belonging to an East German orchestra that had played at the Royal Festival Hall. In fact he was smuggled out in a camper van.
2 Hayward Gallery One of the UK’s most famous examples of Brutalist architecture, the Hayward Gallery was designed by Higgins and Hill and opened in 1968 with an exhibition on Matisse. The concrete shapes of the building acted as a perfect backdrop for a 1972 series of Doctor Who, ‘Frontier in Space’ featuring John Pertwee. As part of Antony Gormley’s 2007 show at the Hayward, 31 life-size casts of the artist’s body were placed on walkways and the tops of buildings dotted around the city.
3 Skylon At over 90 metres high, the Skylon tower remains one of the abiding symbols of the Festival of Britain. Myths still surround its fate after it was taken down in 1952 – it was rumoured to have been thrown in the Thames, or even buried. The truth was revealed by the BBC’s Front Row programme earlier this year: it was sold as scrap. The entrepreneurial purchasers made some of the material into paper knives and other souvenirs. Apparently, a strut is mounted on the wall of one of the purchaser’s descendants in North London. The Skylon’s base is in the collection of The Museum of London.
The Telecinema, or Telekinema (named from the Soviet ‘Kino’ films), showed films that had been specially made for the occasion, including some in 3D. It formed the basis of the National Film Theatre. The construction of the Shell Building meant it moved in 1957 to its current location under Waterloo Bridge.
National Theatre Designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and Peter Softley, the National Theatre opened in three stages, starting in 1976. The style of the architecture of the building has always divided the population: a 2001 BBC poll found it was London’s fourth most popular building, but it also featured on the poll’s most hated list. Prince Charles famously described it as “a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting.”
This pavilion was intended to illustrate the strengths of the British character, symbolised in the characters of the ‘realistic and strong’ lion and the ‘independent and imaginative’ unicorn. The attached Unicorn restaurant was one of 13 restaurants on the site. It was surrounded by a moat, and the diners sat in Ernest Race’s Antelope chair. The design is still available to buy today, at the cost of £505 per chair.
Shot Tower Dating to 1826, this was the only piece of existing architecture to be incorporated into the Festival of Britain site, transformed into a radio tower. It was eventually demolished to make way for the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1967.
Dome of Discovery Designed by Ralph Tubbs for the Festival of Britain to showcase the latest scientific advances at the time, it was the largest dome in the world. Like the Skylon, it was sold off for scrap. The aluminium, which had cost £300,000 to buy, was apparently sold for £24,000.
2071 As Southbank Centre celebrates 60 years since the Festival of Britain, Davey Spens ponders a vision of the UK 60 years from now Illustration Zoe Barker On the ground floor of the Royal Festival Hall is an area devoted to the year 1951. Wandering through I find it filled with patchwork quilts, propaganda films and Meccano; crowds of people who lived through the 50s stand around pointing out things they used to have, while hipster couples in skinny jeans point out things they want. In amongst the sea of adults, an eight-yearold boy in a Ben Ten T-shirt wrinkles his nose at a living room set up with its retro telly and Bakelite. He doesn’t want to be here – he wants to be in the gift shop, where every eight-year-old boy has wanted to be since eight-year-old boys were first dragged to cultural entertainments. My wife and I had a daughter in June. We haven’t had a child before, and it changes a few things. In a week swept up in the London riots, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to imagine the Great Britain our daughter will grow
up in. She was a picture of serenity while Croydon burned live on Sky News and flatscreens went missing from Currys. The Twitterati prophesied the end of the world, but civil unrest isn’t a new invention. In the summer of 1958, London was turned upside down by the Notting Hill Race Riots. Their ‘hoodies’ were called ‘teddy boys’. A small minority rioted. Five nights of unrest. A hundred police officers injured. It’s common for pieces on the future to get carried away. To paint either a utopian vision of milk and honey, or an anarchic Armageddon, with Tarantino whispering stage directions from the shadows. The journalists of the 50s probably pictured us in 2011 zipping around on hoverboards and rocket-packs and living like the Jetsons. And there’s a bit of that – our impromptu newsroom for the weekend is just a few yards away from a 3D printer that literally ‘prints’ objects (see page 6). But marooned in the Festival of Britain in 1951, with a Ben Ten eight-year-old tugging on his
mother’s sleeve, what strikes me is not how alien this ‘Area 51’ feels, but how familiar it all is. In 2071 there’ll still be love and fear. Men still won’t be able to understand women. Flat-pack furniture will still come with indecipherable instructions. Television viewers will still enter prize draws to win holidays to Vegas. There’ll be a minority that riots, and a majority that comes together and tries to figure out how it all got to this. We’ll forget to phone our mums, we’ll laugh at puerile jokes, we’ll spend far too much time worrying about things we can never change. Teenagers will smell of teenagers, tea will come in bags. Some people will believe in God and other people won’t. I’m not worried about what changes in 60 years time. I hope homes become affordable again. I hope the internet doesn’t make us lazy. But when I think of the things I’m scared about, what Britain will look like isn’t of them. Naïve as I am, I still believe in humanity. And in the grand narrative arc of life, 60 years is little more than an evening gone.
WHAT WILL BRITAIN BE MAKING IN 2071? “SIMPLE THINGS LIKE T-SHIRTS, WHILE CHINA WILL BE MAKING JET ENGINES.” EVAN DAVIES, ECONOMIST
“SAFER AND PLEASANT HOMES AND COMMUNITIES.” PAUL HODGE, RETIRED POLICEMAN
“MORE SPACES IN THE CITY FOR PEOPLE TO RELAX.” HICAKO, STUDENT
“WE’LL BECOME REALLY GOOD AT CREATIVE STUFF, SUCH AS MAGAZINES AND GRAPHIC MEDIA.” GORDON COOKE, FIRE
HOVER CARS AND POCKET-SIZE LAPTOPS. EWAN LESLIE, 13
“WE’LL BE WORKING IN HUGE 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS BUT ALSO PRODUCING LOW-TECH STUFF WITH OUR HANDS.” JING LU, ARCHITECT AND FOUNDER OF BLACK COUNTRY ATELIER
“LEISURE WILL BE A BIG THING. PEOPLE WILL HAVE A BETTER ATTITUDE TOWARDS WORK-LIFE BALANCE. PEOPLE WILL BE MAKING MORE TIME FOR THEMSELVES.” STEVE MCCULLOUGH, RETIRED
“NO IDEA. BUT I HOPE WE’LL HAVE WORKED OUT THAT TECHNOLOGY ISN’T REALLY AS IMPORTANT AS PEOPLE THINK IT IS.” INGRID BUSBY, TRAINEE MATHS TEACHER
“ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.” JON MCCARTHY, RETIRED
Jenny Purt discovers the new technology that promises to literally shape the future. Photographs by Sharon McCabe Ideas come and go with the wind, often gusting unexpectedly from our imagination before scattering across the pages of the nearest unsuspecting notebook. The seed is planted, the concept is created, but where next? For the average person, the answer is nowhere. The complexities and costs of experimenting and prototyping prevent the process from moving into the realms of reality. However, the growing evolution of 3D printing is helping to break down these barriers. This printing technology, which enables users to print physical objects, is changing the face of design, with customers becoming makeshift manufacturers for the very first time. Black Country Atelier is a 3D prototyping workshop in the Midlands founded by architect, Jing Lu. She believes that this new form of creating could shift the relationship between consumers and manufacturers, forming the backbone of a make-it-yourself movement for the 21st century. “Everyone has a little invention up their sleeve and this form of printing means that if you’re at home and have a great idea, you can start to
prototype it. It puts the power of invention into the hands of people at home.” Jing has set up shop to, in her words, show the world that “we are still making things here in Britain.” Her workshop aims to link the old with the new, using 3D printing to help keep more traditional forms of craftsmanship alive. Jing is interested in how the two worlds, one drawing on age-old manufacturing methods such as carpentry and iron casting and the other dependent on the latest computer technology, can be brought together. “Coming from a purely architectural and technological background, I saw how architecture uses a lot of 3D modelling for buildings. This made me realise that, actually, you can make other stuff with this technology, not just models but real products.” Whilst the cube-shaped printing machine, appropriately named a Thing-O-Matic, looks formidable, the process is surprisingly simple. The first stage is to draw your product by hand, before using SketchUp, a free piece of Google software, to draw the image in 3D on a computer. Once completed, your masterpiece is sent to the printer to be crafted into a real object built from resin. This stage is the most fascinating, as the machine comes to life and a needle darts seemingly consciously around the printing platform, slowly expelling resin into the shape
of your design, eventually creating a physical object from your former digital artwork. The machines are currently aimed at architects, designers and students, but with the right marketing Jing predicts that an increasing number of people will use the technology. “Speaking to people, they immediately get the potential but the market is not there yet. Once they become £300 this could become a hit Christmas gift and then it could really take off.” Web portals for 3D design,
the manufacturer and print the part at home,” Jing explains. “For example, at the moment if a small part breaks in a toaster, you most likely have to throw the product away. With this printer, the customer could download the design of the broken part and print it in plastic themselves.” The concept appears exciting for wannabe inventors and designers, but are traditional industries really interested in embracing the technology? “We get people coming to us saying that they do complex moulding or woodwork and would love to 3D scan something and then print it,” Jing says. “I suppose there is still this fear of new technology and questions over whether will it work, but this is just a psychological barrier.” One more concrete obstacle to 3D printing is money – a Thing-O-Matic will currently set you back £800. However, as Jing points out, prices are falling all the time. “Previously, these machines and this kind of software cost tens of thousands of pounds and you would need to be professionally trained, which could take five years.
Making Made Easy
Draw a design using pen and paper. This can be anything from an animal to a logo, or even your very own invention. Those unwilling to draw can choose an image from the internet.
Using Google’s SketchUp software, draw your design in 3D form. If the image is taken from the Internet, the programme will help you recreate the picture in 3D.
“You could download a toaster part and print it...” such as Shapeways, already exist, allowing users to send their designs to a third party, who will 3D print it before posting it to them. Other versions include Thingiverse, an online community of makers who upload their designs for others to share. This new form of ‘additive manufacturing’, where the item is built from material rather than being cut from it, also reduces waste both in production and in sustaining products. “Rather than having to go and buy small parts from outside manufacturers, potentially you could download a file from
Now all the tutorials are free online and you can have a go at getting your idea out there. “Of course there are still things that people cannot do without being professionally trained, but this technology opens up new doors for a lot of people. Children are used to software like Google SketchUp, as they learn these new technologies in school and are not scared of them.They’ll end up taking it for granted as it becomes part of their daily lives,” Jing says. Watching the machines at work is impressive, but imagining them being powered by tech-savvy, creative young people is nothing short of aweinspiring. If rapid prototyping does revolutionise the way we make our world, it will be because of the SketchUp generation and their desire to literally shape the future. Let’s see what they make of it...
Once completed, your design is ready to print using the ThingO-Matic. Press start and it will build your design from layers of resin.
Remove your creation from the Thing-O-Matic – it’s ready to wear/look at/use as a headline immediately.
BUSES Jonny Burch discovers that an hour on an old bus can have a surprising affect on the 21stcentury urbanite’s soul Photography by Jonathan Winstone You wouldn’t think that a vintage bus tour to Stockwell bus depot could touch the modern Londoner’s soul, but it seems there are strange powers in those old wheels. Photographer Jonathan and I have spent the last hour on board RT1702, the majestic AEC bus that took us on a trip from Southbank Centre to Stockwell and back, and as I dismount the sun is shining over a London recently ravaged by rioting youths and financial turmoil. This is a troubled time, but in no way as troubled as the Britain that emerged after WWII. The war had left large parts of the country in rubble and in dire need of redevelopment, a situation that was still the case in 1950 when my bus was born. The festival of 1951 was intended as a show of recovery and strength for the war-battered people, and it was considered a great success. RT1702 played her part, making up one quarter of a four-strong fleet that travelled Europe promoting the festival in 1950 before going into active service as a London tour bus the year after. She saw 20 years of active service with London Transport before being
bought by private collectors in 1972, who still own and obsess over her now, their passion oozing out of every sprocket and bearing. As we hopped on board I stopped to ask for an information sheet from a bespectacled conductor with more London Transport badges on his tie than hairs on his head. Jonathan was only a minute ahead of me, but by the time I joined him he was already deep in conversation on the front seats with two sisters, Joan and Toni, who had been five-and-a-half and 11 respectively at the 1951 Festival. Joan admitted she didn’t remember a lot of the day they spent there, but Toni listed the Skylon, the Emmett railway, the Guinness clock and (with a twinkle in her eye) the funfair as favourites. It was with childlike glee that they recalled how much of a treat it was to come to London and visit this vision of the future at a time when ordinary people didn’t have fridges, washing machines or televisions. Toni had worked on the buses as a teenager, and found herself a German boyfriend, much to the chagrin of her family. “I was a teenager, just full of myself. I never thought about it that way really”, she says of what must have been a liberal opinion for a child so affected by the war and its aftermath. “Besides, there were no clubs or anything like that. It was home by 11 – anyone not home by 11 was definitely up to no good!”
Stockwell bus depot It’s not just the people who visited the festival the first time around who were affected by our journey, and mothers and children far too young to have been around for the original festival pointed out favourite places as we chugged along. For somebody who regularly commutes in London the smiles seemed as incongruous as the olden days bus itself – there were none of the usual grey expressions and tinny headphone sounds. This was far and away the happiest bus I’ve ever been on, with at least five conversations going on at any one time between complete strangers, rejoicing in memories past as well as how beautiful the London of 2011 is, despite “all the nastiness going on”. Conversation carried us all the way to Stockwell, where we stopped for a short tour of the historic bus and depot. Everything from the cracked leather seat edges to the old ‘sticky box’, where used ticket stubs were discarded contributed to a strange sensation akin to nostalgia – frankly a ridiculous notion considering that I was born little over 25 years ago
Toni holding her original ticket stubs and (to memory) have never been on an old bus before. Something to do with slowing the pace of a London day to sit on a rolling museum and chat to some lovely strangers really got to me, and I would happily have sat there all day talking about my memories of the city. Unfortunately it was all too short a trip back past Vauxhall station (Joan: “it looks like a ski jump!”) and MI6 before we trundled our way back to the Royal Festival Hall. For most the bus ride was a nostalgia trip, but for me it had been more of a voyage of
discovery. I learned that the £5 fine for spitting listed on the big plaque on the rear was due to a tuberculosis risk – a disease that has all but died out in Britain. I learned that Stockwell bus depot was the largest freestanding concrete structure of its time, built as a necessary measure to deal with festival crowds, but without steel due to post-war shortages. But I also learned that for many, now and then, there is a huge sense of national pride, and a real love for Britain. South London never looked so inspiring as from the top of RT1702.
0-60 IN TWO PAGES
Nothing tells the story of the last 60 years like the people who lived through them. It took us a while, but we photographed someobody born in every year from 1951 to today. Almost. Photography by Haarata Hamilton
0-60 IN TWO PAGE S
Clara Smyth, 1
Ester Tong, 2
Reuben Whitby-Samways, 3
Maya Ukwunna, 4
Fraser Hutton-Squire, 5
Autumn Tupshafski, 11
Azaan Karmali, 12
Ewan Leslie, 13
Katherine Walklang, 14
Cameron Leslie, 15
Jayne and Harley Cross, 21
Emma Elgy, 22
Mudiwa Muronda, 23
Allison Waung, 24
Joanna Sweeney, 25
Steve Watson, 31
Kate Whitby-Samways, 32
Chris Morley, 33
Greg Whitby-Samways, 34
David Sanchez, 35
Ted Bowyer, 41
Alyhhan Karmali, 42
Alun Thomas, 43
Emma Moore, 44
Gabriella Mclaughlin, 45
William Ware, 51
Simon Trittoni, 52
Gintas Zvirblis, 53
Cheryl Rhyner, 54
Colin Prior, 55
Joseph Mclaughlin, 6
Holly Gaskin, 7
Grace Mclaughlin, 8
Kai Thomas, 9
Ali Karmali, 10
Caitlin Hamilton, 16
Tiffany Bates, 17
Beth Jellicoe, 18
Coral Jones, 19
Christine Rilling and Sandra Baum, 20
Xavier Mutale Mulenga, 26
Toby Denett, 27
Ania Nieczaja, 28
Bozi Morley, 29
Ekrem Ozer, 30
Terrance Wong, 36
Robert Hutton-Squire, 37
Anisa Karmali, 38
Paul Kerrigan, 39
Justine Kerrigan, 40
Steve Rudkin, 46
Lucia Bursati, 47
Bryony Rudkin, 48
Dawn Gaskin, 49
Ken Dunne, 50
Desperate photographer, not 56
James Diamond, 57
Esther Agbodo, 58
Christine Diamond, 59
Mary Gerahty, 60
PEOPLE POWER We asked 100 people aged from 0-60 years old to tell us how powerful they feel, and to draw us a picture of the most powerful thing they’d seen that day. We thought it would be lovely if the children felt the most powerful, but it turns out that they don’t. Those know-it-all 50-60-year-olds spoiled all the fun by feeling more empowered than anyone else. Never mind. At least we’ve still got some nice drawings...
Age & Power 01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.
Alice (12) Gregoire (28) Jeannine Kate (29) Leonard (59) Claire (26) Maya (6.5) Nicky (9) Rosie (20) Samsir (24) Tammi (29) Yijing Andrew (22) Vo (50) Anne Cameron (15) Sonia (10) Mark (35) Alexandra (27) Max (2.5) Ella (13) Basit (26) Ezra (14) Zoe (26) Jessica (25) Barbara (29) Amie (27) Jon Raabia (13) Tania (36) Natasha Zita (18) Aithana (10) Caroline (10) Helen (41) Anna (32) Roger (45) Alan (33) Betty (25) Nick (31) Belinda (46) Marilyn Sergio (20) Lee (44) Duncan (25) Jonny (25) Hisako (30+) Gabriella (29) Sharon (24) Gemma (25)
51. Ewan (13) 52. Maria (26) 53. Sarah (29) 54. Bonnie (8) 55. Ji (25) 56. Tina (28) 57. Yasmin (9) 58. Cindy (59) 59. Heidi (2) 60. Steve (31) 61. Amelia (8) 62. Craig (29) 63. Margaret (49) 64. Saju (22) 65. Dejhor (4) 66. Davey (30) 67. Elinor (12) 68. Markel (20) 69. Emma (31) 70. Eshan (2) 71. Hamish (46) 72. Ibrahim (10) 73. Carrie (25) 74. Jasmine (4) 75. Katherine (14) 76. KC (12) 77. Jane (48) 78. Ronnie (7) 79. Stephany (51) 80. Ted (41) 81. Willa (28) 82. Brufely (59) 83. Joshua (10) 84. Mum (48) 85. Jo (38) 86. Catarina (25) 87. Donald (11) 88. Esa (28) 89. Sydine (5) 90. Clare (30) 91. Alice (23) 92. Chris (27) 93. Rob (24) 94. Lucy (31) 95. Richard (39) 96. Mike (46) 97. Hector (6) 98. Emma (22) 99. William (30.5) 100. Jo (19)
5 6 7 8 3 4
5 6 7 8 3 4
10 – 19
5 6 7 8 3 4
5 6 7 8 3 4
30 – 39
MS CLASS 48
40 – 49
20 – 29
5 6 7 8 3 4
5 6 7 8 3 4
MS CLASS 48
50 – 60
77. 82. 11.
09. 24. 32.
A semi-accurate A-Z of Southbank Centre
TRUTH OR LIES?
Children are always being told stories, so they should know a few. We asked some of our younger contributors to tell us a story about Southbank Centre – the only rule is that it had to be entirely true or a complete lie. The lies seemed pretty popular… Illustrations by Jessica Taylor
Yvette, 10 Yasmin, 9
Lily loved to learn about the Southbank. Her parents took her there when she was nine for the very first time. When they got there she got out of the car and started to jump and say “Southbank, Southbank”. Her mother said, “OK then”. She started to run with her parents. They took some pictures. Lily’s dad looked and said it was four o’ clock and time to go home. What an adventure.
Every Monday in April a singer called Nadeem came to our school to teach us to sing gospel. I was a soprano. I was only in year four. The songs were hard. Give some love, Live forever, Sing on, Colours, Lifted up, two more I forgot. I was shocked when we arrived at the Royal Festival Hall for our big show. It was amazing. We had a jolly good practice. We sang like angels, my aunt was crying (as usual). After I was so tired, shattered I tell you. Sleep. End, thanks for reading.
I once saw a blue thing just outside the Royal Festival Hall. I turned to talk to my mum and turned back and the blue thing was gone.
N for Notes
B for Bear
O for Octopus
C for Comté
P for Printer
D for Dog
Q for Queen
E for Electric car
R for Rooster
F for Fox
S for Sausage
G for Goose
T for TV
H for Headphones
U for Unicorn
I for Eine
V for Van
J for Jelly beans
W for Wheel
K for Kitsch
X for Xylophone
L for Lobster
Y for Yorkshire Terrier
M for Model
Sonia and Tash, 10
In 1951 a body was found on a walkway near the Southbank. It was found by a mysterious little man who loved being on a jolly good case, as he’d say. He found some fingerprints on a long sharp knife that had some blood squirted on it. So it looked like it most probably was used for the murder. Once the case was taken over by the police the mysterious little man simply disappeared.
A for App
One upon a time there were two children called Rocky and Kiko. They lived by the River Thames. They decided to go to the Southbank. They got there and ate all of the food. By the time they finished they had a tummy ache. When they felt better they went on the London Eye twice. They saw the whole city. They spent the rest of the day playing and watching Big Ben and eating ice-cream. At the end of the day Kiko found a stray dog called Buster. They also found a dinosaur called Speedo and he took them to Greenwich and back to their house. The end.
There was once an animal who lived near the river. The animal had to leave and ran away to the Southbank building. Everyone began chasing the animal and then the animal made a high-pitched screaming sound like a human. Then everyone ran towards the exit to go home and just as they got out the building collapsed. The fox was scared and ran to the river. But the fox was magic and when it got to the river the magic went into the fish and the fish turned itself into a big monster and the fish promised to help the fox. www.jessicamaytaylor.co.uk
FUN MEETING THE WORKERS
Ercan Eray keeps the Southbank’s visitors sweet with 99s from his vintage 50s Morris ice-cream van Not everyone at Southbank Centre is here for the printmaking workshops and 50s memorabilia. Jo Bounds meets four of the people who keep Southbank Centre running smoothly Photography Molly
I love working here. The environment is good, the girls are nice. I’m always here. You get to talk all day, meet new people. It’s fun. I’ve done it for four months now. The job finishes soon and I don’t know what I’ll be doing afterwards, but I’d like to do it again next summer. I prefer it when it’s rainy, because I get to sit down and talk to people. It’s annoying when it’s sunny, because it’s so busy. I’m really proud of the Southbank, and working on the river. I get on with all the Southbank staff and the security guards are wicked. Would you like to try an ice-cream? Do you want a 99? Or can I pick one out for you? Go on, try the caramel...
Emily Hegarty, volunteer with Grounded Ecotherapy, helped create an oasis of wild flowers, vegetables and even weeds on the rooftop of Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall I was studying to be a doctor when I ended up in hospital with depression. That was five years ago. I wanted to do something physical to help get me out of my flat – I wasn’t getting out at all. So I joined Grounded Ecotherapy as a volunteer. The group helps people with drug and alcohol problems or mental health issues. It uses gardening to get people back on their feet and stabilised again. It’s definitely helped me. I’m almzost ready to go back to work now. Last year I worked at the Chelsea Flower Show – it’s a lot nicer here, because the garden gets to stick around. We’ve just found out that it’s going to stay for another year, so until I get a job, it’s something to look forward to. I first came to the Southbank Centre in my 20s for the concerts, and my dad played here in his 20s as a professional trumpeter. What does the Southbank mean to me now? The garden is special to me. We built it from scratch in five weeks and our vegetables have done really well – we’ve got beans, tomatoes and courgettes. I’m going home to make courgette chutney. We’ve even planted weeds. We try to put back in what everyone else takes out.
Andrew Creasey, co-founder of Jiminy Wicket, helps dementia sufferers bond with their families through croquet My father was diagnosed with dementia four years ago. We were on a family holiday in Cornwall and fell into croquet as a way of having fun with my dad in the garden. For three hours every morning he was out playing, rain or shine. We created a silver lining to the cloud we were living under. My brother, James, and I started Jiminy Wicket as a way of taking the idea to the rest of the world. I’ve been playing on astroturf outside Foyles bookstore during July and August, and in 22 days I’ve played with almost 2,000 people from 74 countries. During that time I’ve played with people who have dementia – they’re living it. I saw one man connect with his grandchildren and daughter. It created warmth and joy. It made the whole family smile. The Southbank Centre is fantastic. Incredible. Awesome. I’ve been here for six weeks, and every time I come, there is something different going on. This isn’t like work for me. I’m having as much fun as they are...
Romano Gentilini is a SouthRomano Gentilini is a Southbank Centre staff member, bank Centre staffbars member, helping keep the wellhelpingfor keep the barsthree wellstocked its annual stocked for its annual three million visitors million visitors I’ve worked at the Southbank I’ve years worked Southfor two – itatisthe fantastic. bankatfor years – it is Look thetwo views – we’re fantastic. Look the the views right next to BigatBen, – we’re right next to Bigme Ben, River Thames... It makes so the River Thames... It makes happy. meI so happy. love it that I’m at work and I love else it that I’m holiday. at work I everyone is on and iteveryone is on from love here! I’m else originally holiday. I love it here! I’m Belo Brazil, from a place called originally from Brazil,isn’t fromquite a Horizonte. The beach place Belo Horizonte. like thecalled ones in Brazil – they Thetoo beach quite like the are big isn’t in Brazil! ones in Brazil – they are too big in Brazil!
A Southbank Centre alphabet, as seen by Yijing Li and Hisako Nakagawa
Does Britain have a future in manufacturing? Four experts talked to Make Shift about the challenges facing the industry, and the need for innovation
Portraits Haarata Hamilton
We make our bikes in Brentford. Seventy-five percent go overseas, to around 38 countries, and we turn over £15m. Our profit goes into making new products – like the waterproof Oratory Jacket I’m wearing, or the electric bike we’re working on. There’s a risk with talking about manufacturing around the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain that we drift into nostalgia. We have to accept that the world has moved on since then. But I think there are two main things that have gone wrong with manufacturing in this country. Firstly, there’s a generation of children who don’t aspire to be in manufacturing, and to make things. They think it involves a boiler suit, a monkey wrench and a twelve-grand-ayear salary. Secondly, the government hasn’t taken the opportunities to invest in innovation and cutting-edge intellectual property. There’s a perception that we need to focus on making things that are high-tech, but our focus should be on things that are highIP. There’s nothing technically stopping China from undercutting what we [at Brompton] do. But they don’t have the knowledge, and we’re not giving it to them. And that knowledge isn’t necessarily in the product – it’s in how we make the product. The stuff we do is very clever, and that stops the buggers from copying us. We do need to tell young people that engineering and manufacturing are great industries to be in. We need to tell people that it’s a bloody good laugh making things! We have employees who’ve come in with all sorts of problems in their history, and few qualifications. They end up earning over £30k and are valued employees because they’ve got bloody good at what they do. Some people would go crazy sitting behind a desk – I’m one of them. Those people are just more suited to being in a manual job. There was a recent poll that asked 14–19–year–olds to name a living engineer, and the top answer was the mechanic off Coronation Street. Engineers have been terrible at marketing the profession. We need to get a single professional body, the government needs to get behind it, and we need a consensus message. I’d do it myself if I had time!
Managing director, Brompton Bicycle Ltd Interview by Alan Rutter There’s nothing technically stopping China undercutting what we do. But they don’t have the knowledge, and we’re not giving it to them
The magnificent reputation of Britain’s manufacturing heritage cannot be disputed – but neither can its decline. So is there a future for the UK in making things? Broadcaster, economist and author Evan Davis thinks so. His new book and TV series Made in Britain takes a look at the changing face of British manufacturing, and this weekend he hosted a discussion at Southbank Centre asking industry experts for their thoughts on the challenges they face. He was joined by Mark Adams, managing director of innovative furniture company Vitsoe; Will Butler-Adams, managing director of worldfamous folding bike maker Brompton, and Jing Lu, founder of 3D printing workshop Black Country Atelier (and curator of Southbank Centre’s Power and Production weekend). During a lively debate it became clear that the panellists don’t agree on everything. All concurred that there’s great satisfaction to be had from building things for a living, but where Adams said this was the primary reason to be in the industry, Butler-Adams argued that we should be telling young people that there’s money to be made as well (“unfortunately when I go to talk to schools I inevitably turn up on a bike – I should probably pull up in a Ferrari”). Davis played devil’s advocate when it came to talking about finance and funding, making the case that the set-up in the UK has allowed for a more buccaneering – if unstable – innovation and growth. The others were vociferous in arguing that the government and banks needed to do more to provide funding, that the financial sector has been given far too much freedom, and that the worst thing a company can have is investors demanding short-term profits. But above all there was a definite consensus that British manufacturing must make changes if it is to survive, and thrive.
Managing director of furniture company Vitsœ Interview by Laura Snoad It’s good if you cut your fingers – that’s where you learn
Much of our furniture is like Lego – no two products are the same as we work with customers to develop products that suit their needs exactly. We’ve invested in software that we use to configure products online, so you wouldn’t really see us as a dot-com service business but that’s what we are. A lot of our intellectual property is tied up in the service rather than the product itself – that’s just one way that British manufacturing is different from the Chinese model. We’re unusual in that we actually moved our manufacturing base from Germany to the UK. The business got into trouble in the 70s and hadn’t moved on in the way that it should have. One of the ways we aimed to change this was by becoming international and moving our manufacturing base to London. As Dieter Rams said, this is a truly international city in a way that there isn’t an equivalent in Germany. What do I think the government and schools should be doing to encourage people into engineering and manufacturing? Get them early – I was cutting my fingers aged five looking at how the saw and chisel worked. We need to have – in homes ideally but definitely in schools – places where kids can make things. Where they can actually do things with their hands. The whole health and safety culture has got in the way of that. “Ooh the little darlings might cut their hands” – I think it’s bloody good if you do cut your fingers, because that’s where you learn. As for the future, if you want my honest opinion, I think the claims that rapid prototyping and 3D printing are going to change manufacturing in this country are over-hyped. I mean look what’s happened to the ‘democratisation‘ of graphic design. Everyone’s got a laser printer and it’s a bloody disaster. Documents look like a heap of rubbish because the design has not been done by someone who’s actually been trained to do it, so I think the notion that we’ll all be producing things at home is a little far-fetched.
MAKING IT BETTER
Economist and journalist Interview by Lucy Scott Let’s not undersell ourselves; the UK is the sixth-biggest manufacturing nation in the world In 1951 on this site, people were celebrating the Festival of Britain. Back then, we were emerging from World War II and manufacturing was a much more important part of the economy than it is now, accounting for around 30% of the UK gross domestic product. Today, it is 13%. My parents always ask me, “why doesn’t anyone make anything anymore?” But we are three times richer now and our living standards are much higher. And actually, we do still make things – from pharmaceuticals and chemicals to computer chips and software. So let’s not undersell ourselves; the UK is the sixthbiggest manufacturing nation in the world. In 2008 we produced more than at any other time in our history and our productivity has doubled in the last 10 years. There’s a danger in underestimating how successful the UK economy has been at adapting to the pressures around us. The rest of the world has worked out that to get rich, you need to make stuff and as a result, we have been forced to evolve. Therefore the UK has gone down the route of producing more valuable products that are more invisible but are of higher value; like Brompton folding bicycles and jet engines – goods that require a lot of brainpower. China is finding it hard to compete with that at the moment. Another positive to consider is that changes brought about by globalisation may begin to reverse soon. Much of our labour-intensive work has gone to places such as China and India and that has lowered the costs of production. But if oil prices continue to rise, the costs of shipping goods back and forth will increase to such an extent that this might actually mitigate the benefit of outsourcing our manufacturing to far-flung places. So we might find companies moving their operations closer to their bases and distribution networks and setting up shop in places like Turkey or the even the UK. In any case, having a successful economy isn’t about just being good at one thing. It is not just about having a strong manufacturing base, or just about having brainy people making brainy products or having a booming financial services sector. It is about having all of those things and a balance of them.
Architect and founder of Black Country Atelier ‘Made in Britain’ still has value. There is a trust. It is a great brand in itself I recently moved to the Midlands to set up a 3D prototyping workshop. It’s a collective workshop dedicated to working with new ideas and technologies, and particulalry to working with traditional crafts to help keep them relevant. If you look back to 1951, in the year of the Festival of Britain, there were a lot of companies around making things that are actually still making things today. The names might have changed, or they might have new management, but the same people are still on the workshop floor and they are proud that they have worked in these places all of their lives, or that their uncles or grandfathers worked there too. ‘Made in Britain’ still has value these days. There is a trust with that label and it is a great brand in itself. When people see that a bike is made in China, they assume that perhaps it will fall apart after not very long. Bikes made in China can’t command a high price. But bikes in the UK can. The value is in the expertise involved in making that product. I find that the people we work with worry about finding people to take over from them when they retire. That’s their main concern. They are struggling to employ young talent and are looking for a generation of apprentices to teach their skills to. There is a reservoir of talent out there, but we are not very good in this country at encouraging it. Kids I talk to aspire to be bankers in the City when they grow up, or to be a businessman like Lord Sugar. I don’t think there are enough role models out there in the public eye that make manufacturing look sexy, fun and something to aspire to. That’s why this weekend at the Southbank Centre has been about trying to get kids excited about making things and introducing them to cutting edge manufacturing.
TO THE FUTURE
Cycle-in Cinema on The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall
Erica Buist discovers that with a little pedal power the movies can teach a green lesson Photographs Johnny Winstone We are energy gluttons. Every time we switch on the kettle, take a shower or even open a window, energy flits off into the cosmos, never to be useful again. I know it, you know it. But Adam Walker’s organisation Magnificent Revolution has found a way to finally make you care – namely, “If you stop cycling, the movie screen goes blank. You want Johnny Depp? Then PEDAL!” With a little help from Walker the energy from a bicycle can be used to power appliances such as fans, stereos and, in several pop-up locations across London, movie screens. For Southbank Centre’s screening Walker brought seven bicycles together to power a showing of I’m All Right Jack. With a minimum of five bikes needed to keep the movie playing, the seven cyclists were told they would have to maintain a ‘moderate pace’ to keep it going (see the review opposite for a run down of how they did). But for Magnificent Revolution the point really isn’t in the movie itself. They’re no mere movie-peddlers – they’re an education project aiming to help people understand energy use, its links with power production and climate change, and positive actions that can be taken by all. The future,
they say, is bright, and filled with low-power technology – enough to negate the press-led doom and gloom attitude of “there go our non-renewable resources… everyone get your Dickensian Britain pantaloons”. Energy consumption is an utterly baffling concept to grasp. As Walker explains, the intangibility of energy waste statistics rarely change our actions. For example, let me tell you something about your hairdryer; whereas your computer probably uses around 92 watts of energy in an hour, your hairdryer uses 1,440! Many have tried to make
such statistics more accessible. The University of Bradford reliably informs us that “A window left open overnight wastes enough energy to produce 130 wine bottles”. Brilliant. My window has been closed for the last three nights, which means I have unwittingly saved enough energy for 390 wine bottles! Oh JOY! Now all I have to do is get my energy net, capture all the lovely energy I’ve saved, put my nose to the wine-bottle-making grindstone and there’ll be no need for Christmas shopping this year. Perhaps a more accessible comparison is energy in terms of its alternative uses. In 2005 the Scottish Executive’s Do a Little, Change a Lot campaign
I’m All Right Jack John Boulting, 1959
Four hundred volts are required to keep tonight’s film rolling, which means 10 cyclists positioned on either side of the screen tirelessly peddling away. Imagine that – a Cine-Gym where you can give your thighs a good pounding whilst chuckling along to a fine satirical take on post-war class-riven Britain. Hurrah! With a not-unpleasant background whirr, we relax into I’m All Right Jack, in which clueless Oxford graduate Stanley Windrush finds himself caught between the self-interests of his managerial uncle and his socialist shop steward employee. With a nationwide strike declared and television cameras circling, it’s only a matter of time before Windrush, now a cause-celebre across the land, will crack, which he does, with appropriately hilarious consequences. As sweaty cyclists tire and dismount, others spring up to take their place. “It’s just great,” remarks one woman. “You forget you’re cycling after a while, but you certainly feel it in the legs afterwards!” Matt Parker
reported that over-filling kettles wastes enough energy in a week to light a house for a day, or power a television for 26 hours. Sadly, neither seem like particularly useful endeavours either – the sun can light a house for a day for free, and my mum says TV rots the brain. I do wish they’d measure these things in life support machines, or Zach Braff’s hairdryer. Magnificent Revolution’s education project aims to “make the intangible, tangible” by demonstrating energy consumption via physical exertion. Children of all ages gather at Walker’s demonstration of how a power generator works, how it links up to a bike and how pedalling can power fans, lamps or a particularly brilliant White Stripes song. His t-shirt features a picture of an angel on a bicycle, suggesting he thinks even those with alternative, zero carbon-emitting modes of transport would do well to travel by bike. By teaching children, Walker is hoping to create more aware adults in years to come. Let’s admit it, we grown-ups are clueless. As Walker puts it, “The guy down the road who built his own solar panels has a much better understanding of where his power comes from that the average person, whose best indicator is the bill at the end of the month.” Children, then, who spend their entire £1 per lost tooth income on chocolate, must have no idea whatsoever. “If you tell a 25kg kid that to have a five-minute hot water shower he’d have to pedal for nine hours – that gets through much better that putting a price on it.” The simple idea of putting energy in and getting power out gets through to adults too. Even the bizarre image of what it would take just to boil a kettle, “60 cyclists cycling outside your kitchen window”,
perhaps sparks the guilt of not pulling one’s weight, a feeling we adults are very keen to avoid. Having already educated thousands of school children on what happens when you plug something in, Magnificent Revolution is expanding globally through word of mouth alone. Greer Allen came all the way from Australia on a government grant, and people from both Slovakia and Kazakhstan have also simply “dropped in” at the office, hoping to bring the Revolution to their own countries. Having first shown the Cycle-in Cinema idea at The Big Chill Festival in 2007, Magnificent Revolution branched out in the entertainment world, even to cyclists powering the stage for bands. “There’s this amazing relationship between the performers and the audience where they’re actually dependent upon their audience to power them. The performers are aware of how much energy they’re using because they see the grimaces on the cyclists’ faces as they turn up the bass. It’s a much more responsive atmosphere.” And how do people feel at the end of a Cycle-in experience? “They whoop and cheer, usually! There’s a great sense of collectivity and achievement.” “I think it’s wonderful,” says Gael from London, balancing her toddler on the saddle, presumably to instil in him a love for bikes that could one day power her electric Zimmer frame. “It could solve the obesity problem and the energy crisis in one fell swoop!” And what does the future hold? Cycle-in Cinemas in housing estates, fields – pretty much anywhere with a flat surface and a ready supply of cycling movie-buffs. Looking around the Southbank Centre as the stage is lit, the cyclists mount and the audience take their seats, I’m optimistic. I mean we all want to see more of Johnny Depp, right?
A BRIEF TYPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF
Southbank Centre had a very thorough update a few years ago, but there are still a few typographic gems to be unearthed, dusted off and put on display. Michael Bojkowski presents a smattering of type collected on one balmy Sunday afternoon in August.
1 Just in case you were wondering what day it is. Actually it’s always Sunday in this sunny little corner of Southbank Centre, which is a nice idea really.
4 Old 60s/70s signage so chunky you could carve it. They kind of look like a series of ginormous coloured erasers... erasers on a stick... now there’s something no-one thought to do before.
2 Tucked away in the upper echelons of Southbank Centre is a Poetry Library. Is this old news to you? I’d never noticed it before. Inside there was a video installation that kind of looked like someone was going through the library catalogue. Weirdly hypnotic.
5 Downstairs in the Spirit Level there’s a veritable cacophony of ace 50s typefaces on parade. I have no idea what these two are chatting about. Cucumber sandwiches maybe?
3 Strangely spindly ‘Shop Deco’ choice of typeface for the Hayward Gallery. Sort of looks a bit ‘old Hollywood’ when you see it like this.
The father of design British graphic designer Abram Games, a doyenne of graphic communication and one of the great poster designers of the 20th century, was the man behind the iconic 1951 Festival of Britain logo.
6 Who doesn’t. This rather fetching piece of hand-drawn typography was downstairs in the students gallery as part of the Gallery of 1951. 7 The current Southbank Centre identity uses a typeface called Lutz. Lutz gets around on the festival site, including wrapping himself around these tall metal beacons.
8 BFI Southbank stands on the Southbank Centre site, but is actually a separate organisation. It used to be known as The National Film Theatre. Luckily they kept the original signage as one of the few examples of ace 50s typography left in the city. The coloured fan is rather spesh too.
So imagine our surprise when his son Daniel wandered over to the Make Shift ‘newsroom’ sporting a 3D modelled blazer badge of his father’s logo. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, we stopped typing, dropped our biscuits and trapped him for a quick snap. Daniel was five when he attended the festival and you can find a picture of him aged two with his family in the Museum of 1951 exhibition. He told us he still visits the Southbank Centre regularly and loves the market outside as much as the exhibitions within it. But he’s not such an expert on his father’s work, he admits – that’s his sister Naomi’s domain. You can hear Naomi Games talking about Abram’s work at 5pm on Sunday 28 August at Southbank Centre
START THE NEWSPAPER CLUB When we decided to make a magazine we knew who we wanted to print it. Newspaper Club has given ordinary people the power of print – co-founder Ben Terrett tells us how (and why) they did it Way back in 2008 a few friends and I collected our favourite blogposts from that year and published them in a newspaper. A proper tabloid newspaper, printed at the same place they print Metro. We printed 1,000 and we gave the first 100 away to friends as a gift. That was the point of the project; it was a Christmas present. Left with 900 copies in the office we stuck a note on our blogs, offering to send people one for free. Several hundred pounds worth of postage later we’d dispatched copies as far afield
as Argentina and New Zealand. All 1,000 copies had gone in under 48 hours. This thing was popular. Why was it so popular? Lots of people talked about the joy of reading words on the printed page. One blog post in particular we’d featured had become famous and was cited at every at conference throughout that year ¬– but it was 8,000 words long. We doubted whether anyone had
read all of that on a screen, and it turned out they hadn’t. As Matt Locke said, “Some things work much better in print – Dan Hill’s epic ‘The Street As Platform’ blog post is something I’ve been meaning to read for ages, but never managed to when online. Offline, it was perfect for the commute to Hove from London last night.” We thought we might be onto something and we began to wonder if we could make
In the Club
So Newspaper Club printed the paper you’re holding in your hands. But what else have they made?
The Long Good Read A project that was born digital and only later turned into a physical object, The Long Good Read is the brainchild of Guardian journalist Dan Catt and aims to aggregate the best long-form journalism from the newspaper. The back-end is clever: the website fetches all articles above 2,000 words in length using the Guardian API, and then uses Guardian Zeitgeist (their trending stories tool) to put them in order. The first edition rolled out in March this year. “This issue with 14 stories weighs in at 24 pages,” says Dan. “It feels like a real thing, you can hold it, fold it, take out wasps and flies in one arcing sweep with it – it’s a thing of wonder.”
The Dab Hand The Club is popular with design and art students. In April they printed a paper called The Dab Hand, designed by Amy Arthur, a final year Design for Visual Communication student at the University of Ulster. Arthur used a sewing machine to stitch the pages together, meaning that the reader has to tear their way into it, emphasising the tactile nature of print. The approach works particularly well for The Dab Hand, which covers the equally tactile world of food. “I wanted to emphasise this relationship and establish The Dab Hand as the place where the craft of cooking and the craft of typography come together and converge,” Amy explained.
Great Gran The Newspaper Club is also the ideal outlet for personal projects – for anyone who wants to realise their idea as a beautiful, printed object. Great Gran was a one-off publication by New Zealand-born illustrator Toby Morris, who also works for the Amsterdam branch of creative agency Wieden + Kennedy. It was part of Toby’s online project ‘200 people I used to know’ (www. xtotl.blogspot.com), in which he draws people from his past. He says on his website: “I’ve got 100 copies to sell, numbered and signed, and I’m really happy with the format – printed in glorious newsprint at tabloid newspaper size. I think they’ll go pretty quickly!”
it something bigger. Eventually we met with 4ip, the sadly now defunct investment arm of Channel 4. 4ip’s remit was to invest in interesting new digital start-ups – particularly ones that crossed a digital / analogue gap. We fell into that gap nicely. “No matter how good portable devices get, people still like to see your words in print,” said 4ip’s Daniel Heaf. “People just like physical stuff. And there are huge accessibility advantages to newspapers – you don’t need a computer, you don’t need web access, you don’t need to remember a URL. I can give you a newspaper and you can keep it forever – or put it in the cat basket.” A business called Newspaper Club was born. A proper business with investors and VAT returns and six zillion online banking passwords. All the things you need for a business these days. Newspaper Club is an online service where anyone can create and print a newspaper. You can print as little as one colour copy or up to millions of copies. Five colour copies will cost you £29 including postage and 1,000 copies will cost just 65p per copy. You can design your newspaper online using our layout software called ARTHR, or you can upload a PDF and we’ll print that. We can deliver anywhere in the UK within a few days and most places in the world within 10 days. We go to press twice a week at 2pm on Tuesday and on Thursday. Sales are good and customers seem to be pleased. Like most businesses we get startlingly honest feedback from Twitter, “receiving my @ newspaperclub delivery was one of the best days of my life.” was one recent tweet. From day one we were keen to make Newspaper Club a platform, a blank canvas. We avoided telling customers what type of newspaper to produce. Despite many “advisors” telling us to go after certain markets we were determined to let the product be the marketing. Every great newspaper we print is an advert for our business that reaches maybe 5,000 customers. We have printed some fantastic newspapers. Newspapers by school children, newspapers as prospectuses for schools and newspapers as art school projects. Newspapers as birthday gifts, as wedding albums or to announce a new arrival. Newspapers for conferences or annual reports. Newspapers as football programmes and for other sports. It’s not been easy; we use some Adobe desktop publishing software that operates
across a server and allows thousands of people to use it at any one time. This software is so obscure that even Adobe don’t really know much about it, and it’s their software. We use a colour digital press that’s only been in the country a few months. There are only a handful that exist worldwide. We’ve had to persuade traditional newspaper printers to allow us to print 300 copies when they’re used to printing hundreds of thousands of copies. We’ve negotiated PayPal and Facebook Connect, both significant challenges. We’ve won awards including Design of The Year the Design Museum and a special award for Technical Achievement at the British Interactive Media Association. But more importantly we’ve created a business that prints thousands of newspapers every week, delivers those newspapers all around the world and makes a profit. The question we get asked the most is, “What’s the future of newspapers?” Our response? “We don’t know, but it’s not us.” We’re not about analogue nostalgia or digital infatuation. We don’t want to be a heritage business. We believe in the printed format because there are still some things it does better than anything else. One customer created a paper to protest at the closure of a local school. The organisers were saying that above all they liked the fact that you could wave a newspaper in front of peoples’ faces. You can’t do that with a blog post. We’ve just released our API so other services can link to Newspaper Club and consider print as one output for the data they generate. We’re having initial conversations with newspaper groups to potentially publish content and share revenues – an exciting option that would allow customers to publish papers around a certain theme. We’re not the future of newspapers but we’re proud to be a part of an interesting group of people that are playing with the format and making exciting experiments in print. Just like the people who are putting together Make Shift, which you’re reading now. Make your own newspaper at newspaperclub.com
AT SOUTHBANK CENTRE
What we now call Southbank Centre acquired its first graphic identity with the Festival of Britain. Abram Games’s 1951 symbol has now been remixed to include a sponsor’s logo, but it’s surprisingly robust. As Alex Cameron points out in his Eye 80 review of Naomi Games’s A Symbol for the Festival (Capital History), it was used on posters, catalogues, banners, stamps, bars of soap, biscuits and powder compacts. The Festival’s organisers took design, type and lettering seriously. You can see a surviving example from Belvedere Road in the oblique Egyptian (slab serif) letters that spell out ‘Royal Festival Hall’ on the road side of the building. This was no accident: the ‘Typographic Panel’ aimed to make letters that ‘were British in feeling’, that could be used
Head down, headphones in and shoulders hunched. By all means trudge, but do it quickly; those emails won’t answer themselves. Physical and mental disconnection is usually what it takes to survive any trip across the London landscape. And even if we wanted to, there’s no time to look up – it’s not what we do here. Mostly, our eyes are fixed on the virtual pressures in front of us rather than our physical surroundings. But not on the South Bank. The South Bank is something apart, a place to linger amid the wearing terrain of city living, where it doesn’t seem dangerous to breathe and play and where the sight of a giant chair made of sand is par for the course. I became love struck by the South Bank a few years ago when I walked along it every
John L. Walters, Eye
For film Matt Bochenski, Little White Lies
London’s film culture is an embarrassment of riches, especially for LWLies. We’re pop culture gluttons, and London is an all-you-can-eat buffet serving everything from calorierich blockbusters to fat-free arthouse. Nowhere nails that contrast of taste and flavours better than the South Bank – a stretch of riverside that somehow manages to cram the British Film Institute, the IMAX and Southbank Centre in between the tourist shops and bars. To be honest, we were pretty sceptical at first. There’s pop culture and then there’s, like, actual culture, and the Southbank looked a bit too real to us. Before it got a sexy makeo-
Cathy Olmedillas, Anorak
Southbank Centre is a magical place and one of our favourite spots in London. Its position by the river reminds us how beautiful and exciting London is, with all its wonderful landmarks around. There are always many activities for kids, which we are grateful for. We were once chased by zombies there, as we just happened to be there at the same time as
Lucy Scott, Lost in London
For skaters Ed Andrews, Huck
Walk down along Southbank Centre on pretty much any day of the year and your ears are bound to be assaulted by the sharp clacks and cringe-inducing screeches of urethane and maple attacking the concrete. It’s a sound that strikes fear into the hearts of the infirm, the closed-minded and those chosen to guard property. But here, the din of skateboarding is very much the soundtrack to a stroll along the river. It was the early 70s when Southbank Centre was first
ver, the BFI used to be called the National Film Theatre, and was deliberately designed to keep the riff-raff away. But the thing is, if you love cinema, you can’t stay away – and you shouldn’t. Opening a BFI programme is like some magical adventure: you never know where it’s going to take you. You want to go to a Lord of the Rings all-nighter at the IMAX? Cool, do it. You want to remember what Elizabeth Taylor was like in her prime? Go do that, too. Oh, you want to watch films from the art guild of Japan? On a Sunday afternoon? Fruity, but doable. We hear a lot of stuff about new media this, and digital distribution that, but the South Bank had all that figured out years ago. It’s always felt like you were in control, curating the kinds of things you didn’t even know you wanted to see. It’s kind of a cliché, but the South Bank at its best offers the thrill of discovery. Sure, at its worst, it offers over-priced sarnies and the feeling of being surrounded by old people. But that’s all part of the experience.
It’s one of London’s biggest tourist hotspots, but what’s Southbank Centre really like? We asked some of the city’s best independent magazines for their expert opinion.
London Festival of Horror – it was such fun! And a bit scary too. In the summer we absolutely love getting soaked at the Appearing Rooms fountain by the Royal Festival Hall, and after a change of clothes, we never fail to get sushi’ed out. We also like gawping at the many skateboarders there, hoping that one day we will be just as great as they are doing a 360 spin. We are huge fans of Southbank Centre, so I can’t think of anything that could be improved. Although maybe it would be lovely to have more street food stands.
architecturally ‘without loss of character’ and that provided scope for inventiveness. Nobody used the term ‘branding’ 60 years ago, but this was an approach to identity design that remains relevant. Southbank Centre has an official brand now, flexible and modular, courtesy of Wolff Olins. But it’s the look of the physical place that sticks in the heart and mind – the concrete and glass jungle of the Hayward, QEH and BFI, the skate parks, the unexpected staircases, the roof spaces that have hosted performances, installations and bands. And I love the big public spaces of the RFH, with its hula-hoop workshops, exhibitions and jazz marathons. All walks of life are drawn by its free gigs and functioning wi-fi, while round the back of the hall, those sloped Egyptians preside over lovers, buskers and traders, reminding us that every day can (and perhaps should) be a little festival.
colonised by skateboarders, who fell in love with the smooth concrete transitions sheltered from the rain by the Royal Festival Hall above. While No Skateboarding signs sprang up around the city in response to this dangerous new wooden toy from America, Southbank Centre’s tradition of cultural indulgence somehow unofficially turned a blind eye to it. Over the years, as skateboarding has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry, this spot has remained a must-see for any skateboarder visiting the city. In recent years, gradual redevelopment has slowly chipped away at the nation’s most iconic skate spot. But skateboarders around the world, mobilised by local skaters Winston Whitter and Toby Shuall’s ‘Save The South Bank’ campaign, are showing that they’re not going to let this national treasure disappear without a fight.
day to and from my frustrating office job. At 7am and desolate, it was a landscape of curious contours, sculptured into shape by frothy waves and beady-eyed seabirds circling overhead. At 7pm and heaving, it was a place of busy carousels and paving slabs slicked pink with ice-cream drips. It is where people come to commune in post-work circles, lean back on elbows, legs stretched out to the sun. And it doesn’t even matter that the grass is fake. Or that the man-sized fountains, in which grown men play, are installations. What matters is that it is a place where people interact with, rather than shy away from, their physical environment.
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Black Country Atelier - a place to make things. Curator of the Power and Production Weekend at the Festival of Britainâ€™s 60th Anniversary.
Published on Aug 18, 2011