We have spent three days hanging out in the WYP front of house area, chatting to staff and visitors, over consuming the coffee and generally getting a feel of the space and how people engage with it. As an experiment we have plastered some games and thoughts throughout the space, how people have responded will help us to inform what we end up creating for next week.
There is nothing inherently wrong or broken about the front of house space here, it's light, it airy and there's free wifi. The things one might find fault with are often for its users positives, the airport hangeryness (sic) is in actuality suitable for a great deal of the people that use the space, either large groups or those wanting conversations that aren't overheard in the general hubbub. It is a safe area for mums and kids and can suit a multiple of purposes, a design intention I'm sure. In fact in asking what most people dislike about the space they tend to struggle to articulate anything tangible.
What has surfaced is the feeling of what happens in there not being manifested out here, and not in a 'bring the plays into the foyer' way, but a less obvious but more telling lack of anything that really suggests this is a building which produces art. There is very little that hints at the spectacular creativity going on behind the scenes and on the hidden stages. As one person said "there is nothing to inspire creativity out here".
Over the next week or so we are going to try and prototype something physical that we hope is playful, engaging and encourages people to have ownership of the space and reflect the fun stuff on the other side of the wall.