Nonterior sees the designer as a narrator, who engages with the multi-layered experience of the contemporary world and who works this into the realm of design. The platform pushes the testing of ideas on real sites, in real contexts, with real communities, stakeholders, external institutions and businesses. We investigate our site by creating large narrative drawings that investigate social, political and cultural narratives. Responding to these new stories, proposals adopt a design process that draws on local intelligence, and when possible engages people in process by encouraging interaction and experience. Outcomes might be an interior or installation, exhibition, event, product or visitor experience.
This year, Nonterior will work in conjunction with Aberrant Architecture on a live project that uses the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton as a case study to investigate the future of shopping environments. Many of our shopping centres and high streets, which had already been struggling amid a rise of online shopping, shifting consumer tastes and declining retail rent, have now been exacerbated by the pandemic and its evolving impacts. In stepping up to the multiple, connected crises and opportunities we face, perhaps what we require are new uses, processes and attitudes for organizing, inhabiting and making our spaces for shopping, into dynamic landscapes for play and recreation, which offer more than places to simply buy stuff? Nonterior participants are speculating, imagining and testing ideas for the Grosvenor Centre, considering how it could support a far wider spectrum of activities and services for the local community.
Image: Grigorios Tsilimidos, Repurposing a Northampton car park: a market-square typology for community haggling & debating.