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Aarhus Residents 2017 Announced

Ben & Stephanie © Ben & Stephanie

© Ben & Stephanie

Ben & Stephanie
The Afterbite made for the Science Gallery’s Mouthy season  © Ben & Stephanie

© Ben & Stephanie

The Afterbite made for the Science Gallery’s Mouthy season
1215.Today  © Ben & Stephanie

© Ben & Stephanie


15 June 2017

Ben Peppiatt and Stephanie Bickford- Smith have been selected for the Aarhus Residency 2017.

Working in partnership with the Creativity World Forum 2017 (CWF), this is our first residency programme in Denmark, which will be part of the Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture programme. Ben and Stephanie will create a site-specific piece of work to be presented as part of the CWF conference in Aarhus this November. Their project will explore the theme of the conference, “how to use creativity to develop cities on the rise”, responding to one of the following three challenges:

People: How to cultivate and nurture your creative spirit?

Enterprise: How to make room for skills and competencies?

City: How to ensure that city heritage becomes a city of opportunity?

Here, we find out more about their work and why they applied for this residency:

Tell us a bit about yourself; your background and areas of interest.

We are a creative partnership who surprise, compliment and confuse each other. Stephanie is a covert researcher who practises in speculative design, performative artworks and creative workshops. Ben is a visual communicator & design educator who likes to make objects, images, films and experiences.

What are you working on or researching at the moment?

We are just finishing up an interactive web experience as part of a commission for 1215.Today. We have been looking at the impact that online media has upon our ability to contemplate and process information coherently. As the work hasn’t been launched yet we can’t say too much - in a nutshell we have ridden some of the most scenic train routes around the UK, staring out of windows thinking about Brexit and Facebook. As well as this Steph is currently researching the recipe for the perfect creative conversation and Ben is working out the best way to animate a one man band human heart performance.

Why are you interested in Aarhus and why did you apply for the residency; how are you planning to respond to the three challenges set by the open call?

We were drawn to the optimistic approach to urban development especially in respect to creativity. We currently live and work in South London and are lucky enough to have become surrounded by an exciting and inspiring mix of artists, designers, creatives and makers from all around the world. But in the current political climate, this situation is becoming precarious as Britain increasingly closes itself off from other cultures and our cities are taken over for privatisation and profit. We are interested in engaging with the Aarhus program and Creative World Forum as they seem interested in creating opportunity rather than shutting it down - we hope there will be valuable lessons to be learnt for the times to come.

What are you planning to research or produce during your residency in Aarhus and the celebrations for the European Capital of Culture and at Creativity World Forum?

We plan to continue our research into contemplation that we began with our work for 1215.Today but this time considering the topic in physical rather than digital terms. How do spaces and cities influence how we process our thoughts? We have always had an interest in making dens - the creative adaptation of spaces using what is to hand - and hope we can incorporate this playful spirit into our work for the Creative World Forum.

For updates on Stephanie & Ben's time in Aarhus follow Architecture Design Fashion on Instagram & Twitter