Open Studios: Meet Kennedy Woods
Peckham Open Studios celebrates the creative industries of SE15…including architects! Meet Tom and Chris of Kennedy Woods: an interdisciplinary creative design studio specialising in spatial projects across a range of scales.
Hi Tom and Chris! Where is your studio? How long have you had your studio here? and if you share it, what do your studio mates do and how else does working alongside other artists help you?
We’ve been in the Bussey Building for two years now. At first we were renting a single desk in a studio shared with three jewellery designers, which was great fun, but we soon outgrew the space. As the business developed and we took on several staff we had to upscale and move between spaces. It’s really useful having that flexibility as a start up!
We have our own studio now (2nd Floor Bussey Building, C-Staircase) however, we are constantly talking to the different businesses around us and getting people involved in projects. We’ve had models prototyped at Hub Workshop, architectural components welded and sprayed at Seabass Cycles, and do a lot of work for the estate itself surveying the buildings. It’s great being able to walk 50m and talk to someone who’s an expert in their craft.
Tell us about your practice: How did you get into it and what do you love about it? What’s the most difficult part of the process?
We are both very hands-on people who like to get things done, and I think we found ourselves becoming frustrated in our previous desk jobs (as an architect and a product designer respectively) at both the slow speed of projects, and the distance from actual making. We entered competitions and worked on several temporary pop-up architecture projects before setting up, which gave us the confidence that it would be both possible, and fun!
Running a rapidly growing business is hard work, and the challenges are constantly changing from one month to the next and this is I think what we enjoy the most: not taking anything for granted and designing the way we want to work and the culture we want to build in the studio, as much as designing the projects.
How do you feel about being part of the first Peckham-wide open studios as part of Peckham Festival? What is the best part about being part of a wider open studio event with so many other creatives?
There’s a really strong community that has developed in Copeland Park, which we love being part of, hence joining in with the festival. We will be running an event – it’s a competition inviting people to construct the tallest spaghetti tower against the clock, with a limited set of materials. We’re excited to see how different groups of people, such as engineers, designers, and children, will approach the problem. As for the wider creative scene in Peckham – it will be interesting to expand our horizons and see what’s going on in the area.
Tell us a secret!
Tom has a glass eye