Dia Batal Internship Experience 2009
October 15, 2009 by Giles Lane
My background is interior architecture, and furniture design, which I’ve practiced in Beirut, Lebanon, before coming to London to do my MA in Design, Critical Practice at Goldsmiths in 2008. I am interested in design work that may function as a device which has impact on people’s lives within both the public and private space, in relation to social, cultural, and political concerns.
In my six months internship at Proboscis (supported in part via an LDA Innovation Placement grant), I had the opportunity to explore further ideas which were of importance to me, through working and assisting the Proboscis team in multidisciplinary art projects. One project I was took part in was Sutton Grapevine, where I was involved in the research and production. The project looked at issues like geography, identity, migration and sense of belonging through using story telling as a medium for creating social spaces, a theme which is of interest to me, and was the theme of my work. Cart-og-ra-phy, a research project based in the Palestinian Refugee camp of Shatila in Beirut. It was fascinating to note the differences between working with communities of two different cultures, that of Sutton-in-the-Isle, and Shatila Camp in Beirut, where issues like perception of privacy, ownership and space are completely different. Story telling however is a common art, and working on ways to record those and creating spaces with them is always very intriguing.
The other project I was part of was Sensory Threads, for which I worked on the identity design as well as designing and building the housing for the ‘Rumbler’, a piece used as a medium to experience in vibration, sound and image the journeys of four sensors in a space. It was quite a challenge for me, as I’ve never been involved in working on pieces for technology projects before, and the chance of interacting and working with people from Birkbeck College, University of Nottingham and Queen Mary was a great experience.
Being part of the Proboscis team was my first professional experience in London, I learned a lot, and acquired more confidence through taking part in discussions, idea generating and engaging in different processes to create a narrative. It was a great opportunity for me to work closely with such great people from different backgrounds, leading to an interesting take on projects, where the intervention intriguingly moves across art and design.