How Soon Is Nowt?
May 4th 2012
We were very pleased to be invited by the V&A to create an installation for their recent Friday Late event. ‘Britain Is Making It’ was the title, and our brief was to focus on the key themes of making, doing, innovation, wit and problem solving. Our installation had to be large and eye-catching, interactive and irreverent. And we had to design, create and install it in two weeks. No problem.
Our solution was to turn the theme of the show on it’s head, and make something that was all about doing nothing. This was more than just being contrary for the hell of it – these days, we’re always doing something, wherever we are. Distractions are unlimited. But the best ideas usually come when we stop and take a minute to do nothing.
So we teamed up with our Pick Me Up collaborator and all-round bloody good chap, Michael Marriott, and designed a capsule, big enough for one person, with a lurid green exterior and a sealed soft white insulated interior. We added a porthole, to give the participant something to focus on, but blocked the view with white foam, so all they could see was nothing.
We also designed a typeface especially for the capsule. We knew the best way to create any graphics on the walls would be to just mask off areas of paint, so the typeface was based on two thicknesses of masking tape.
Visitors were asked to surrender their phones, watches and shoes and were sealed in the capsule for three minutes. Successful participants received a certificate to prove that they had done nothing.
We were pleased to see that so many people wanted to do nothing!