Happy birthday Sydney Smirke

Crazy socks and outlandish bowties

Published 3 March 2014

A special late opening of ‘Sensing Spaces’ as part of our attRAct programme.

  • attRAct provides opportunities for A-level art students to connect with fellow artists from other London schools, and to learn from the RA through participating in creative workshops, exhibition tours, studio visits, mentoring sessions in the RA Schools, visits to other galleries and exhibitions, and careers and portfolio advice.

    Over a three month period, nine attRAct students curated the event for young people from London gallery youth programmes. The students reinterpreted themes and ideas of the seven architects in the exhibition and inventively planned an evening of activities and fun, taking the experience of ‘Sensing Spaces’ to a new level. With a dress code of crazy socks and Sydney Smirke-esque bowties, teenagers filled the installations, dancing the Macarena in Li Xiadong’s maze and participating in experiential drawing in Grafton’s Light installation.

    The event took place on 18 February to celebrate the 216th birthday of Sydney Smirke, one of the architects who designed our beautiful exhibition galleries here in Burlington House. As well as a DJ set from Patrice, hula hooping, and enormous birthday cake, guests enjoyed DIY granitas in all manner of elaborate flavours – hay, pine, pear and more – courtesy of food design studio Blanch and Shock.