Setting the Stage

In the months leading up to summer, Joe Plume and Sirisa Clark are busy building the Degree Shows. But if they do their work well, you probably won’t even notice it.

Starting in February, Sirisa and Joe meet with course tutors to find out what needs to be built for the shows. Sirisa explains: “They come with their designs or ideas, and we have to realise them in light of what can and can’t be done.”

Working with freelance builders and teams across the King’s Cross building, Joe and Sirisa oversee the creation of plinths, portfolio stands, scaffolding structures and freestanding walls. Joe says: “There’s never a dull project. There’s always something to learn.”

Good experience
For disciplines like MA Innovation Management, co-ordinating the show is part of a student’s project. In these cases, Sirisa and Joe will work with the students to advise them on the design, budget and organisation of the build.

Joe believes this teaches them a lot about professional life. He says: “It is quite an eye-opener for the students. It’s good preparation for the logistical problems they will come up against in the real world.”

Part of the show
The pair know that their work is mostly invisible to the untrained eye, but take pride in the part they play. Sirisa says: “It’s about creating something quite plain and setting the scene for the students’ work.

“Last year, I personally must have safety-tested about 800 portable appliances. I went round the Foundation show with my sister and drove her insane by saying: ‘I tested that, I tested that.’

“I enjoy that aspect of feeling like you’re part of the show, and that you contributed to it in some way.”