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Forgotten Spaces 2011 shortlisted: The Grotto: A Living Archive by Justine Sharpley and Cadence Kinsey

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[Brent] An interactive recording and listening organism for the community

The design comprises two distinct areas: The Grotto and The Living Archive. The Grotto is a hanging garden and light installation with chalkboard walls, onto which drawings can unfold over time, providing a surface for graphic intervention, debate and communication.

A place where the stories of the area continue to weave themselves back into the present

In contrast to The Grotto, The Living Archive will be a light, open garden. Microphones in the existing tree will allow users to record oral histories, music, plays and poetry. These will play at random through a table, wrapped around the base of the tree. The table will have no exposed wires, relying on vibrations to carry sound through the body.

The vertical gardens surrounding the Living Archive will be peppered with plaques detailing key events in local history. This is a place where the stories of the area continue to weave themselves back into the present: an organic, evolving system of exchange and participation.

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