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Charrette Topic

Flex, Flux and Fluff was our theme for charrette. We explored topic of the loop, this was a tour starting and ending around Newcastle, visiting sites that had a story. One story was the ‘vampire rabbit’, placed behind St Nicholas’s church. Its story started 116 years ago, when it was placed by a solicitor’s firm, resembling the last name of the person who owned the firm. The design then at the time, was rather menacing, years later people thought it was there to scare away the dead, as behind St Nicholas’s church are a small number of graves. Closer to the early 2000s, the rabbit was refurbished and given a vampire look. The story of scaring of the dead was exaggerated, its new look then stunned the locals, and that’s how the ‘vampire rabbit’ came to legend.

Our main task to illustrate on a map and present the stories around Newcastle, using various arts and craft materials, such as:

  • wallpaper
  • glitter
  • paint
  • cardboard boxes
  • and glow sticks

The task also included, creating a video to show the story, using any resources we wanted. With each group using desktop research and exploring the city, we searched for a story to tell.

Our story, we found in the Chronicle Live, about Jimi Hendrix who played at Newcastle’s City Hall in the 1960s. He had not reach the peak of his career at this point, but to make a statement, just before finishing his gig, he through his guitar up damaging the ceiling. Wanting to bring that experience to our exhibition, we presented the idea using cardboard, glow sticks and printed images of City Hall and Jimi Hendrix. The cardboard was connected, like a tunnel, which the user would look through to illustrate the scene at the gig, the printed City Hall image was stuck on the front with Jimi Hendrix playing in the background. Then using pink glow sticks, we created a tunnel stage light effect. The overall picture looking down the boxes was a single image. Then with a final touch adding the guitar just peaking over the top of City Hall.

The video was made using historical footage on YouTube, a song from his album and a collection of his older interview recordings. The footage includes myself standing outside City Hall holding a Jimi Hendrix collage, and the process in making the setup for our presentation. You can view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kivtlN1-Gek

Presentation

Finally, the remaining groups created a poster, mapping the locations of their chosen stories. We then created a tour route through the city visiting each groups story, thereby making the loop. Overall the charrette was a lot of fun, through trial and error we had many models that did not work, but we discovered many ways of illustrating a story and the hands-on materials were good at bringing to story to life.

Exhibition

The exhibition was great, as seeing the other groups stories gave more insight to Newcastle’s history. A few things we would have done differently, if we did the project again, getting larger boxes of cardboard to show the stage, as the current model was narrow and small. This would allow to show, more views and pictures.

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Charrette

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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