CASE STUDY: ELEVATE BE A CREATIVE – Telling the story of 2020 in lights

As part of our Elevate project, We Rise collaborated with Squire & Partners on Winter Windows 2020, a bespoke illuminated installation at The Department Store in Brixton. 

Five Year 13 students (age 17-18) from Elmgreen and Norwood schools had the opportunity to work with architects and modelmakers from Squire & Partners.  

Students have not only designed the  installation, but developed new skills in creative  collaboration, design development, software,  making and visual display. 

The installation was officially launched in early December, and remain on  display throughout January. 

“We need to make sure people from diverse  backgrounds are getting the breaks, the  introductions, the experience – are getting a better  future.   Winter Windows at The Department Store –  funded by Squire & Partners and supported by We Rise via our ELEVATE programme – is a  brilliant example of this, creating valuable career  insights and opportunities to local young people  at a pivotal stage in their lives.

Jack Hopkins, Leader of Lambeth Council

Since the beginning of the year, Coronavirus  has affected people around the world and  curtailed social, religious and cultural events  which traditionally bring people together.  Having previously worked with younger children on this annual community project, this year Squires addressed the acute lack of opportunity for  young people locally. Their brief was to  create a visual installation which would act as a  beacon of hope for communities globally.  

Students conceived, designed and made a continuous narrative of  eight designs addressing issues they and the  wider community have faced during 2020. 

The final result creates an inspiring and moving display to share with our community and a portfolio piece for  each student to take to their further education  or career choices, which vary from product and  graphic design to photography and law.  

Jesse with his design of a family embracing which communicates how  people came together in isolation to protect  themselves and others;   He said “ Working on this project has been an amazing one of a kind experience!  Together we have been able to create  a story to uplift people in such a difficult and confusing time. Light is a source of positive energy that is  used by all and to be able to manipulate light  to create art has been a beautiful opportunity.”  
Jesse with his design of a family embracing which communicates how  people came together in isolation to protect  themselves and others; He said “Working on this project has been an amazing one of a kind experience! Together we have been able to create  a story to uplift people in such a difficult and confusing time. Light is a source of positive energy that is  used by all and to be able to manipulate light  to create art has been a beautiful opportunity.”  
Nafisa with her design of a fractured heart which illustrates the pain of lives lost, and how love for one another – whether together or apart – became paramount.  “ Lockdown has been a very scary ride for  everyone - it has brought some closer  together but also separated others. With  these lights we would like to demonstrate  that there is still hope and that everyone’s  spirits could be uplifted when they walk past.”
Nafisa with her design of a fractured heart which illustrates the pain of lives lost, and how love for one another – whether together or apart – became paramount.“Lockdown has been a very scary ride for  everyone – it has brought some closer  together but also separated others. With  these lights we would like to demonstrate  that there is still hope and that everyone’s  spirits could be uplifted when they walk past.”
Natalia with her design of an airborne plane which represents freedom of travel and being able to visit family abroad - which was quickly lost as Coronavirus swamped the globe in the spring.   “This opportunity allowed me to develop my  creativity and communication skills, which will definitely help me. The  process of making the designs taught me  that refining with constant feedback is very  important to get the best outcome. This was a great experience, which was  very exciting for me and gave me more  possibilities for my future.”
Natalia with her design of an airborne plane which represents freedom of travel and being able to visit family abroad – which was quickly lost as Coronavirus swamped the globe in the spring.“This opportunity allowed me to develop my  creativity and communication skills, which will definitely help me. The  process of making the designs taught me  that refining with constant feedback is very  important to get the best outcome. This was a great experience, which was  very exciting for me and gave me more  possibilities for my future.”

If you have not had a chance to see the display we would urge you to stop by the windows on Ferndale Road and read the inspiration for all eight designs.

Many thanks to Squire & Partners for this fantastic opportunity and congratulations to Tayla, Geraldine, Jesse,  Nafisa and Natalia. We all wish you every success in 2021 and  beyond. 

We Rise are supported by Lambeth  Council’s ELEVATE programme Lambeth’s mission to open up the  creative and cultural sector to every  young person in the borough 

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