Stanley Picker Creators Academy

Stanley Picker Creators Academy (SPCA) 2016

For the duration of six weeks in 2016, the Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston was transformed into the Stanley Picker Creators Academy (SPCA).


Over recent years there has been a global rise in new types of creative working environments, from co-working and creative office hub spaces as seen in Wework and Second Home, to large-scale workplaces of media organisations, such as Google and Facebook.

Terms like Collaboration, Sharing and Community are commonly found in the branding and mission statements of organisations that provide or facilitate such working spaces. These reflect a certain ethos, generally focused around how they support and incubate individuals to work more efficiently, create more professional content, and ultimately access more lucrative opportunities and financial capital.

Collaboration, Sharing and Community were the working values that were reconsidered as part of the SPCA. By staging the spatial and organisational features normally found in creative working environments, the SPCA examined how these terms are used by organisations to incubate creativity and suggest possible ways that they can be refocused and repurposed in order to create alternative forms of capital.

Designed together with architect Inigo Minns, the SPCA included different zones for work, booths for meeting and conference calling, brainstorming and hot-desking stations, fast Internet connection together with areas for relaxing and socialising. Operating an ‘Open Use’ policy, the SPCA offered a free working space available for Kingston University staff, students, as well as local residents, community groups and the general public.

Alongside the many spatial features, creative work organisations often run events programmes for the purpose of general inspiration and staff development. The SPCA reflected this with its own ‘carefully curated programme’ to host a series of public activities; including talks, yoga classes and various networking opportunities. Additionally the SPCA explored the core values of Collaboration, Sharing and Community through workshops for local charitable organisations, schools and community groups as well as Kingston University students and staff.

Project Credits:
Project Architect: Inigo Minns
Graphic Designer: Naho Matsuda
Project Assistant: Thomas Marriott

The Stanley Picker Creators Academy would also like to thank Natalie Kay and Joseph l’Anson for their collaboration and contributions.