Ranbir and Colin

Learning how to raise funds to develop a prototype

Colin and Ranbir have collaborated on an architectural project called T-House, supported through VIVID’s Interdisciplinary Support Programme (ISP).  Prior to enrolling on the scheme, Colin and Ranbir were both undertaking freelance work as an artist and architect, and also doing some teaching.  Ran met Colin in 2000 when he asked him to help with some visualising for a project, and their collaboration began at that point.

Part-architecture, part-sculpture, the design for T-House is a deconstruction of the built form – in this case, of the Japanese tea house and the English garden pavilion.  T-House opens out like a giant piece of origami, and is intended to act as both container and shelter for a wide range of social, aesthetic and artistic interactions, to be determined by the general public.

Their motivation for wanting to take part in the ISP programme was the possibility of collaboration on a creative project that they both wished to develop.  When they secured their place they felt pleased that thanks to VIVID’s support they would be able to undertake a developmental research phase for the project.  The specific benefits that Colin and Ranbir hoped to get out of the programme included support, mentoring and strategic guidance from VIVID, and fundraising advice.  These benefits were very important to Ranbir and Colin – they went on to raise £25k of funds from Urban Fusion to build a prototype of their design, which they say would have been “impossible without the strategic support” they received. 

Ranbir and Colin highlight curational advice on how to sell their project, networking, and especially accessing commission opportunities as the most vital kinds of support that they received from their mentor.  It was a new experience for Colin to work with structural engineers, and both feel that they received the specific development needed to realise this architectural project through ISP.  ISP has forced them to step up and produce something.  The official opening of T-House took place during Architecture Week 2007, and the structure launched as part of the Festival of Xtreme Building, Birmingham.

When thinking about the impact of the programme on their future practice, Colin and Ranbir state that “there is a possibility that we will decide to set up a business together and work on more projects of this type”.  They believe that programmes like ISP are important because so often, the beginning of something is so vital – ideas so easily wither at their conception without nurturing.  Asked to describe the best thing about the ISP programme they both agree: “The intellectual, creative and strategic support of a respected arts organisation like VIVID”.



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