Skip to main content

Your creative future starts here:


Details and Spaces: A Collaborative Project

© Greenpeace / Hati Kecil Visuals, Indonesian models wear eco fashion apparels designed by Indonesian well known designers Felicia Budi, Indita Karina, Lenny Agustin during “Detox Catwalk” organised by Greenpeace in the polluted paddy field in Rancaekek, West Java province to highlight the toxic pollution brought by clothing industry as well as the idea that ‘Beautiful fashion shouldn’t cost the earth’.
Written by
Isabelle Gressel
Published date
25 June 2015

Taking place in early May this year, Details and Spaces was a collaborative project between 70 first year BA Interior and Spatial Design students at Chelsea College of Arts and their tutors who collectively designed and built a temporary installation spatially linking Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts.  The project was supported by not-for-profit initiative Kupambana and sponsored by John Purcell Paper.

Students studied and surveyed the architectural details of both Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, focusing on their respective historic ornamental language, in search of discovering imagined spaces hidden within. The students then documented these details in drawings and models. A number of details were chosen and enlarged, using wire, wood and paper to form two structures large enough to inhabit inside. The final structures were situated on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, on a sight line, visually linking both institutions.

'Details and Spaces', interior detail

‘Details and Spaces’, interior detail

“Zen understands a specificity of thing-event to be a recapitulation of the whole; parts and the whole are to be lived in an inseparable relationship through an exercise of non-discriminatory wisdom, without prioritizing the visible over the invisible, the explicit over the implicit, and vice versa.”(Nagatomo, Shigenori, Japanese Zen Buddhist Philosophy, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition)

It is a Zen conception that the world is the sum of a series of details. We can also understand architecture in the same way, as a series of details creating a whole.

Students and Staff on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground

Students and Staff on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground

To create light weight structures with complex forms, students studied the building techniques and skills of traditional craftsmen of the Japanese paper festival float Nebuta in Aomori. The Nebuta float has a squared timber skeleton, to which wire, bent to form a complex shapes, is attached and on which shoji paper is glued.

The final structures were constructed using 500 metres of 28 x 28 mm and 35 x 35 mm softwood carcassing, 1000m of 3mm DIA Steel Round, 500 sheets of 48gsm, 62 x 92cm Shoji paper, waterproofed with linseed oil, PVA glue, screws and twine.


Jack Hardy, Takeshi Hayatsu, Phillip Rutter, Shibboleth Shechter, Jonathan Shmulevitch


Sara Abbas, So-Hyun Ahn, Whitney Akwe, Fatima Al-Theyab, Rossana Argentero, Anna Balint, Natasha Benbow, Jaafar Berraho, Domitille Boulin, Julieta Capria Brcich, Bethany Carr, Kay Chan, Peter Chan, Alice Channon, Linda Dacomi, Victoria De Jesus, Daisy Domville-Musters, Yue Du, Nicole Edmunds, Tenisha Fraser, Elisa Frenay, MengJia Gan, Jixing Gao, Lulu Guo, Lynn Haddad, Yurika Hashimoto, Charles Hayes, Joana Hilgraf, Rebecca Hollands, Joseph Hui, Erica Hui, Leanna Ioannou, Celine Jabar, Emilia Jarosz, Jane Jiang, James Kamel, Ryder Kwong, Yao Lai, Diep Le, Lanxuan Li, Rick Li, Jinglan Li, Ilayda Lippert, Estela Maeda Hein, Paige Mander, Dominic Massarella, Chloe McFarlane, Tracy Mok, Morgana Moriero, Jackie Mu, Sarje Nagda, Sacha Nicette, Jelezaveta Orlova, Victor Polyakov, Jordania Moura, Shelley Rossell, Yulia Salnikova, Ferah Salyanci, Joey Shu, George Storr, Sonya Sung, Katherine Varnava, Eleanor Wort, Hayley Wrighton, Rose Yang, Evan Ye, Katty Yu, Yaqing Zeng, Xingnan Zhao

Find out more about BA Interior & Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts.