We’ll be your critical friend / thinking partner / outboard brain

04 October 2018 Daniel Charny

We have a number of long term relationships which might be termed critical friend (or substitute according to taste: outboard brain / sounding board / thinking partner/irritant). Sometimes that’s formal, like Daniel’s role on the curatorial committee of the Design Museum, or Dee’s role on the advisory panel for Clandon Architectural Competition. Or it can be project based, where we’re brought in on specific projects to represent points of view or challenge agendas.

We’ve been called all these things since we started to work with Heatherwick Studio and some of their eclectic client list. Whatever they call us, they do call on us  when there’s something complex to be unpicked, or too open to pin down. It’s a relationship which goes back some years, from shifting the Children’s Museum to embrace a new life as the Institute of Imagination, to exploring potential future lives of what became the multi-award winning V&A Waterfront mixed use development in Johannesburg. 

It’s an exciting and privileged position to be invited on significant projects at critical, early stages, and being given a platform to challenge their social and cultural agendas. We feel the responsibility and work to be as irritating as we can! 2018 has been a particularly fertile year for these kinds of exciting collaborations. Long may these friendships continue.