Temporary School of Thought

06012009791Here’s something Tuttle did for me.

Last Friday, at the first, select, meetup of the year, I got a tweet from @jjsanderson saying that a friend of his was trying to get in but couldn’t find the back door. Typical stuff for me on a Friday. A moment later, Vinay Gupta came up the stairs giggling. It seems Vinay giggles a lot. I suspect it’s probably an important part of his persona as Swami Havabanana too but that’s a story for another day.

So we get talking and it turns out he’s into providing yurts in developing countries; hexagonal yurts built out of 9 rectangular panels (six sides, three cut diagonally in half for the roof) of whatever you might have to hand – a hexayurt if you like, in fact that’s what he likes and it’s his twitter handle.

We get on well, we all have a good laugh. He and @debbiedavies hook up with @jjsanderson over video skype on his acer aspire. Another tuttle win. And so later on I follow him on twitter and check out his blog. Lots of yurt and overseas development stuff. Then on Sunday I see that he’s pinged the Tuttle blog with a post. While he doesn’t say much about his Tuttle experience but he does talk about going to a squat in Mayfair and what’s going on there this week. And then he posts some video. Oooh. Nice. Interesting.

Now I’m back at work really but I’m taking it fairly easy so I resolved to go along today and tomorrow and see how it’s rolling. It’s rolling. I missed the laughter workshop I’m afraid, but got there just in time for a lecture on Polish History (that’s of Poland, not Mr Sheen) which included a participative play about a king who got eaten by mice. I was an uncle, one of three, who were poisoned and out of whose rotting bodies the mice came. Bloody typecasting!

Then we went into another room (it’s big, it’s a bloody big Mayfair townhouse this squat, with servants staircase and everything) for a juggling workshop. Workshop leader, forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought your name was Jacob – could well be but there did seem to be lots of Jacobs – anyway, you got me juggling more than I’ve ever done before, thank you.

Then it got too cold and late and I needed to do some y’know grown-up stuff so I said my thank yous and buggered off. I’ll be back tomorrow when Vinay is giving a talk on erm…. yurts I think.

So yeah, it is in a squat and all of the people there looked suspiciously as if they were at least half my age, but they were all very very friendly and nice and genuinely interested in finding stuff out.

Here’s some juggling:

5 thoughts on “Temporary School of Thought”

  1. Oh I’m so glad you made it over there, Lloyd. They really are a fun crew!

    Tomorrow (Jan 7th) I’m talking on infrastructure theory at 1PM, and teaching meditation at 6. There’s also a thing on the Situationists at 3PM which I think will be great.

    Infrastructure theory, in this instance, is presenting maps which show where the electricity, gas, water, sewage processing and everything else we rely on every day to keep us alive come from. Most of that stuff was developed for disaster relief, but it’s very relevant to sustainable development, economic shocks and… yes… squatting 🙂

    See you tomorrow, enjoy!

  2. Great story 🙂 Reminds me of a squatting community from the early 90’s in Hackney – we had three streets of houses – some had been squatted for over ten years. It was a really creative community and loads of us harldy ever left the area because it was so interesting just hanging out with the different people living there.

    The council tried to get the place demolished and replaced with a sandwich factory, so the squatters organised and instead the place has been redeveloped as an Artists live/work space, with many of the inhabitants doing self build projects to keep their houses.

    Upside of the credit crunch – more creative squatting communities?

  3. Its amazing what can come of one small status update that says I’m off to meet someone 🙂

    Thanks for adding to the ongoing story. Whatever next?!?

    BTW, there are loads of creative squats in London.

    Check out, for example:
    http://www.spikesurplus.org – nearly 10 years but council now got possession order. Sad. Hopefully something magic will happen. I’m fairly confident it will 🙂 do a google on them too, got some nice coverage on bbc and stuff lately.
    http://491gallery.org – been going for years and years, a must visit
    http://circlecommunity.org – often in amazing places
    http://dagallery.co.uk – v similar crowd to temporary school lot, do squat galleries in posh locations
    http://area10.info – think they may have a lease these days

    You may find more here http://delicious.com/uniteddiversity/spaces 🙂

  4. I just posted a comment with a load of useful links in it that I guess ended up in spam, this is just to draw your attention to it in case you miss it 🙂

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