Episode 3: Open House London

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Abigail and Rachel braved the rain and set off to record Every Day Design on the road (literally, so sorry for the sound quality!)

Open House London is an amazing opportunity to nose around people’s homes and public buildings. We chose a number of different options, and part of the fun of exploring what’s on during Open House is realising just how many amazing places are open to the public all year round.

This Month I:

Rachel has been on holiday – and her holiday book of choice is the fascinating Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson. This is the second of Bee’s books that Rachel’s read, and it’s a well-researched and thought provoking exploration of how we cook and eat literally shapes and is shaped by what we eat.

Secondly there’s been a recent report from property company British Land Designing for Life which explores the ways in which our built environment impacts mental health and wellbeing (and ultimately profit).

Abigail has spent her month on the road, listening to podcasts – and this month she was particularly struck by 99% Invisible’s exploration of the Sears Houses. In the early 20th century American’s were ordering everything from this catalogue – and now there are bands of enthusiasts seeking out these early kit houses.

Good Design / Bad Design:

Partly inspired by Bee’s amazing book, but also by living in 5 different houses in as many weeks while her building works were completed Rachel has been thinking a lot about spoons. Specifically about the balance between the all-purpose spoon and the specific spoon. In buying new spoons is it ever permissible to give it a ‘trial run’ in the shop?

Abi has been thinking not so much about the specific design, as about the issues that can arise when you try and make off-the-peg kitchen shopping live up to your bespoke dreams. Stay tuned on Instagram (@EDDPodcast) for her modifications to an off the peg kitchen.

The Big Topic: Open House!

We were thwarted in our attempts to visit Stafford Terrace, the queue was literally around the block and it was pouring with rain. So we scurried around the corner to Lord Leighton’s house. Both homes are museums and open to the public throughout the year.

Lord Leighton House

After an extensive exploration of Leighton’s house – we had two questions:

1 Why no photos??

2 Does the fireplace in the back parlour actually work (it sits directly below a window).

Abigail was particularly keen on this temple to Victoriana.

Abi at leighton

Next we drove to the Tin House to try and have a bit of a comparison with a contemporary bit of architecture (the kind of thing that makes Rachel’s heart sing) but sadly didn’t read the visiting hours closely enough – and had a rather bemused woman answer the intercom only to be told they’d closed up shop hours ago.

Rachel at Tin House

Back in the car Abigail and Rachel mused over housing design, in part in response to the recent panel discussion Rachel had at the Big Tent Ideas Festival.

Next Month:

We will be moving back into our respective homes, clearing away the builder’s dust, and probably having a good old autumnal clear out!

We’d love to hear from you about what you’re interested in at the moment, any particular topics you’d like us to cover.

Till then, remember, Every Day Design!

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