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New practice: Group Ginger

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Founded in September 2014, Leeds-based Group Ginger is finding its feet with diverse projects from community gardens to music hubs

Main people: Simon Baker with David Pogson, Mai Omi 

Based Leeds

Founded September 2014

Where have you come from and why did you leave?
We’ve worked with Piers Gough, Terry Farrell and Laurie Chetwood. The time was right to launch a small independent, client-focused, creative studio. We have extensive architectural and urban design experience in retail, residential, commercial, leisure and culture.

What work do you have and what are you looking for?
Diverse bespoke projects, including a bird hide and classroom, private residential, a community garden, a community music hub, a cinema and retail proposal, a bar restaurant and a temporary urban proposition. We want to maintain a varied portfolio and work with clients with specific requirements willing to challenge normative solutions. We make time to enter competitions, and also develop our thinking through our research-by-design diploma studio at Sheffield University.

What are your ambitions?
We want to be recognised as a group of creative people who influence the direction and activity of an organisation and the environment by identifying alternative propositions which support our client’s goals. Our overarching intention is to highlight the possible and to draw attention to situations in a positive, opportunistic and celebratory manner. We intend to do things well, to tackle the difficult, create value and change the perception of a place.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up?
Meeting demand, demonstrating capacity and satisfying funders that we are a risk worth taking.

What advice have you had?
To be ambitious.

Which recent scheme has inspired you most?
Palais de Tokyo, Site for Contemporary Creation, Paris 2012, Lacaton & Vassal.

How are you marketing yourselves?
Word of mouth, social media, website and participation in events, such as organising a breakfast seminar on the future of the Leeds Southbank and preparing unsolicited architectural responses to enduring city issues.


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