From October 2010, ICA welcomed 6a architects to the building, who joined the institution for a six month architectural residency. 6a examined how the spaces worked and made significant changes with small gestures. The architects played with furniture and layout, cleverly engaging with ICA programme in a physical way. As Stephanie Macdonald, Co-Director of 6a architects, mentioned in the beginning of the residency period, ‘The spaces should engage with the diversity of the ICA’s programme and the social life within and around it. In order to foster this kind of cultural laboratory and it’s communities the spaces must be open, beautiful, authentic and specific – the character of the ICA must be unmistakable.’
The residency offered a process-led approach as a way of making change without the need for major fund raising. This process was drawn as an alternative to a large, capital dependent, instrument of renewal. Through the residency, the ICA’s recent organizational reforms established a corollary in the physical environment to communicate to artists and audiences its new creative and critical values.
Full feature in Issue 23 (Summer 2011) – click here to view.