Critical Practice is a public arts group based at the University of the Arts, London. They operate under the proposition that developing aesthetic and programmatic space is a radial rather than lineal process and created the installation Parade to explore the effectiveness of their process in the public square. Made from 4300 black milk crates tied together with zip ties the structure’s components were minimized in order to focus on special relationships during the design and assembly process. It was constructed on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground at Chelsea Collage of Arts and Design during the third week of May, 2010.
The temporary installation was designed by Polish architects Ola Wasilkowska and Michał Piasecki who developed it as an exploration of changes and context of public space and how user-built structures could evolve. The seed of the design came from a series of algorithms manipulated to provide structural soundness. As participants began the assembly process they were encouraged to add to the design layout by manipulating space and adding “furniture” or human scale seating and platforms designed into the overall structure. This had the effect of the structure spreading out. The building process had layers of predetermined design and spontaneous space creation which then became indistinguishable.
The installation is intended to explore the role, intent, and process of communal places- how people interact by creating space and engage in group design.