Archive: Entreprise Centre for the Creative Arts 2005

The Enterprise Centre for the Creative Arts, now known as Student Enterprise and Employability for UAL, was one of our first weekly contracts and was exactly the type of venture that Thinking Flowers? aimed to collaborate with, bringing together our fields of interest – creativity and business. ECCA gave its users the opportunity to innovate and supported them through mentoring, funding, seminars and practical business workshops.

In 2005, having noticed the beautiful glass corner office they had, located inside the London College of Communication building, I pitched with them for a regular table top floral installation. We thought it would be a great opportunity for our designs to be widely viewed and to create a positive impact for the staff and students.

The contract allowed deep critical thinking around the design, aesthetics and influence of the environment on our installations – ie. site-specific designs. In addition we could think about the purpose of flowers in our work spaces and how we could combine our installations with the ethical practices that embodies Thinking Flowers?.

While a decade ago the idea of ethical practices that involved both social and environmental concerns may have seemed out of place in the business world, and were perhaps a little wacky at the time, Marice Cumber, who was the director of ECCA at the time, nevertheless gave us a chance. We were nominated for the ECCA’s Best Social Enterprise of Ethical Business Award in 2010.

The images below are a selection of some of our favourite table top installations.

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The space being quite clean and open allowed for a lot of experimentation. We were going through quite a green period and used tall elegant green goddess calla lilies and steel grass to form layered textures in different hues.

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Green Thistles, Ivy, White Roses, Steal Grass, fountain grass, Hypericum, Veronica

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Gloriosa Lily, Bottle brushes, Grevilla

The office interior was sleek, modern and with colourful highlights, yet remaining somewhat industrial. Reflecting this in the above design, the use of the black vase suggested black ink in the context of an office environment and contrasted with the bright gloriosa lilies which bring light and colour to the room. The use of inky blue gervilla fitted with the wispy language of the emu grass (asparagus fern) and bottle brushes.

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Tropical plants such as heliconia and anthurium were common in our designs at the time and we still love to use the Rainforest Alliance for these, for example in at the V&A Fair Trade Floral Design workshop that we curated.

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Spring Culture Series at the House of St Barnabas

The House of St Barnabas is an exciting venture to ensure sustained employment for homeless people by creating revenue streams through venue hire and hospitality that provides work-related experience and jobs. If you haven’t had a chance to check out HoSB, please do make an effort to enjoy this beautiful space. Its fantastic history and aesthetics have made many a magical event. As a precursor to HoSB becoming the first social enterprise members club, it has opened its doors for a mix of banging music events and stimulating discussions. Please do go along to one of their Spring Culture Series events. We were lucky enough to be commissioned to provide the floral installations for last month’s soirée – ‘A Mighty Big If’, hosted by magnetic Richard Strange, who said to us, “Ooh, they’re lovely flowers! What are they thinking?” The event was jam-packed, with words from Brian Cox and David Coulter captured by HiBROW TV

We are providing the flowers for their next event: HoSB and Moshi Moshi present Martin Creed, Slow Club and Sweet Baboo. The event will be hosted by Turner Prize winner and musician Martin Creed, which has Lauren very excited, particularly as he has created a poster especially for HoSB – a beautiful watercolour of the saint’s face.

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Our brief from HoSB was to keep this amazing piece in mind but also be fairly elaborate. The new decor for the venue is pretty top secret so let’s hope we can get some pictures in situ for you this time.

There are plenty of events coming up for which you can still get tickets. We are looking forward to The Secret Meaning of Shoes with the ever-knowledgeable taste-maker  Ekow Eshun, Miranda Sawyer (our lovely and local journalist) and, of course, Mark Hare (we like that pair). It’s only a tenner – get in there!