We’re all well aware of the woes of the high street by now. Shopping centres in particular get a bad rep, often dismissed as soulless spaces that are devoid of personality and rammed full of shoppers’ worst nightmare: other shoppers.
South London-based Kingston School of Art is looking to shake up people’s attitudes to IRL shopping as part of a new collaboration with local shopping destination The Bentall Centre, which has been orchestrated by Blackline Creative.
A group of over 50 students from the art school’s design, art and computer games programming courses were tasked with taking over the shopping centre with a programme of free exhibitions, workshops and other events for the public.
Running throughout May, BCXHIBITION’s programme includes everything from a comic-making workshop to a 24-hour game coding jam, where shoppers can watch students as they create a new computer game.
Passers-by will also get the chance to have a look around the brilliantly titled exhibition A Very Brexish Summer, featuring political drawings and cartoons related to the dreaded B word.
As well as giving shoppers a good reason to well, go shopping, the collaboration is also giving the students real-world skills which will stand them in good stead once they finish their courses. A number of the students have been given specific project management roles such as Events Coordinator, PR and Marketing Manager, and Graphic Designer, and will be paid the London living wage.
Blackline Creative Strategic Partner, Andy Bailey, says: “This is just the first part of a longer-term project to reimagine the future role of a shopping destination. We wanted to create more reasons for our visitors to visit more often by presenting them with experiences which are beyond expectation and engage people of all ages in our community.”