Immerse yourself in the local community as you take a seat in one of our bespoke ‘Data Deckchairs’

Inspired by the lives of people in Elephant & Castle

If you’ve been along to our new park recently you may have spotted the colourful deckchairs. Did you know though that these are not just any deckchairs? They are in fact ‘Data Deckchairs’ uniquely designed by London College of Communication (LCC) graphic and media design graduate Lauren Vaughan, to celebrate the opening of the new Elephant Park. Design students and graduates were challenged as part of the S*PARK Exhibition at LCC for the London Design Festival 2017 to invent activations for the new park, Central London’s newest green space.

What is a ‘Data Deckchair’?

The five ‘Data Deckchairs’ were created from research interviews with community members who live and work in Elephant and Castle. Every deckchair holds unique chromatic and numeric data relating to a specific local person’s country of birth, languages spoken and relationship to the area. All of this adds up to inspire the colours that make up the stripes on each deckchair.

The data representing these life events was created with the kind co-operation of Katherine Zuleta Gil, Shamin Uddin, Andy NG, Sola Rowe and Zhixiang Yuan: the five community members that agreed to be interviewed. Their data was extracted and organised using a precise data key stripe system created specifically for this project by Lauren Vaughan. This complex and intricate system combines variations of colour and stripe thickness, relating to each individual’s personal story.

Inspired by the seaside

Following her final year degree project, which was inspired by the colours and traditional designs found at classic British seaside resorts, designer Lauren jumped at the chance to be involved in this ‘Data Deckchairs’ project.

“For me traditional deckchair stripes echo a strong cultural symbol for Britain and its seaside heritage. This exciting project gave me the chance to merge my design focus and interest in data visualisation to redesign and generate a new symbol and meaning to the iconic British
deckchair; making the object personal and unique to the individual’s existence” comments Lauren.

Diversity and community

Elephant and Castle has been described as ‘Super-diverse’ in a report by the London School of Economics, and this collaborative project celebrates diversity whilst embedding an iconic object – the deckchair – as a symbol for a community that is united through its social mix and uniqueness. The deckchairs act as timelines of individual lives and are a tribute to the Elephant’s vibrant community.

All of the deckchairs have a special place in Lauren’s heart as well as the individuals who they were created to represent. “I’ve had some great feedback from people who were fascinated to know how they were created. Andy NG is so well-travelled; he’s lived in lots of different countries and speaks four languages making his deckchair so diverse in its colour scheme and I personally love the colours in Katherine Zuleta Gils” says Lauren.

A bright future

“Elephant and Castle has a bright future ahead”, according to Lauren, who has a bright future ahead herself, as she is about the embark on a Masters in print and design and has been inspired to explore data visualisation further.

If you would like to come and see and sit in one of these unique deckchairs, why not come to one of our events in the park? See here for more information.