Assemble + Schools of Tomorrow: The Place We ImaginePast Exhibition
- 1: Assemble and Schools of Tomorrow: The Place We Imagine, installation view at Nottingham Contemporary, 2022. Courtesy Nottingham Contemporary. Photo: Julian Hughes.
- 2: Assemble and Schools of Tomorrow: The Place We Imagine, installation view at Nottingham Contemporary, 2022. Featuring artwork created by the students at The Milford Academy in collaboration with artist Laura Eldret and Fraser Muggeridge. Courtesy Nottingham Contemporary. Photo: Julian Hughes.
"A surreal delight... merry mayhem... bouncing between the play structures in euphoric disbelief that an art gallery could ever be so much fun"– Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian
In 1968, the legendary Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi drew a fantastical playground. This colourful drawing imagines a series of vast structures in front of Museum of Art, São Paulo (MASP), which she had recently designed. They loom over the museum – as though imagined by children, rather than an architect. This was important for Bo Bardi, who wrote: “the young will be the protagonists in the life of the museum through design, music and theatre”.
This utopian play-space was, however, never built. Today, the unrealised design prompts the question: how might we reimagine galleries, play and education?
More than three years in the making, in summer 2022 Nottingham Contemporary will collaborate with the design collective Assemble to bring Bo Bardi’s vision to life. Inspired by the architect’s now-famous drawing, this ambitious project will realise a series of large-scale play sculptures, one of which was developed in dialogue with children from three local schools.
At each school Assemble worked closely with a resident artist and children over time to explore themes around play. Children’s actions, ideas and responses were at the heart of this conversation; Assemble have created a design for and by the city’s children. So, let’s go and play.
To ensure the safety of our visitors, capacity in this exhibition is limited to 60. You may be asked to wait to enter during busy times. There is no pre-booking; entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please speak to our Reception team about the next available time slot.
During peak periods, you will be asked to limit your visit to one hour.
Please take care of your children while enjoying the exhibition, encouraging safe and positive play.
Grown-ups and children are asked to remove their shoes. Please be aware that the floor may be slippery. If you have non-slip socks at home, please bring them with you – if not, a limited number of non-slip socks are available on request.
Please don’t take food and drink inside the exhibition.
Our Gallery Assistants are on hand to support a happy and safe environment. Please help by listening to their guidance and let them know if you need assistance.
Assemble is a multi-disciplinary collective working across architecture, design and art. Founded in 2010, Assemble has developed a co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales – both making things and making things happen. In 2015, they won the Turner Prize, the first architects to do so.
Lina Bo Bardi (1914–92) was a prolific Italian-born Brazilian modernist architect. She devoted herself to promoting the social and cultural potential of architecture and design. While studying under radical Italian architects, she quickly became intrigued with Brazilian vernacular design and how it could influence a modern Brazilian architecture.
Schools of Tomorrow is a 4-year learning and research programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which places artists in residence at eight local schools. Together, artists Gillian Brent, Laura Eldret, Peter Rumney, Sian W Taylor and Charlotte Tupper, alongside teachers, develop approaches to supporting creativity in and beyond the classroom through a process of action-led enquiry. Assemble linked with three of our partner schools to develop a play structure.
Exhibition:Assemble + Schools of Tomorrow: The Place We Imagine
Dates:7 May 2022 – 4 Sep 2022
Lisa Jacques, Amanda Spruyt and Nicole Yip, assisted by Niall Farrelly
Developed in collaboration with:
Jubilee L.E.A.D Academy, Nottingham and artist Gillian Brent
Nottingham Nursery School and artist Sian W Taylor
Robin Hood Primary School, Nottingham and artist Laura Eldret
With additional contributions by:
Edna G Olds L.E.A.D. Academy and artist Charlotte Tupper
Huntingdon L.E.A.D. Academy and artist Sian W Taylor
Melbury Primary School and artist Peter Rumney
The Milford Academy and artist Laura Eldret
Southwold Primary School and artist Charlotte Tupper
The ‘Big Red’ is a co-commission with The Bentway, Toronto.
Exhibition graphics by: