WE do a lot of living in our living rooms.
We eat, play, watch TV, sit together, talk. We reach out to people in other, distant living rooms via Skype or email. We knit, sew, play music, work, sometimes sleep. We hang pictures on walls and arrange things to make the space feel truly our own. Our living rooms are windows on our intimate lives and a new community outreach project by the not-yet-built V&A Dundee is creating a whole wall of these windows online, as a Pinterest page.
They are real rooms in real homes. Anyone who wants to share their space can post an image of their own room, however small, large, imposing, stylish or humble. Already there are more than 50 pins. Some are also on Dundee billboards and flyposters.
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It was inspired by V&A architect Kengo Kuma's vision for the Dundee museum as a "living room for the city", the title of the project. Some might find this a surprising first project for the museum. Everyday living rooms - the kind that have plastic toys scattered over the floor, family photographs in every nook and cranny and cheap Ikea furniture crammed in its corners - are, after all, not what we associate with the luxury of the London V&A. Yet, as Pamela Roberts, outreach and communities manager at the Dundee V&A points out, in all these living rooms we can find "an aspect of everyday style that we take for granted. We don't necessarily think we're designing our living room, but that's what we're doing when we make choices on what is in there".
Roberts admits this is "an unusual project for a museum to do. We're not sure exactly where that journey is going to take us." Wherever its end destination, it's bound to be comfortable. Whenever anyone talks about their living room the same words crop up: safe, relaxing, secure. This is how those involved with the new V&A want the museum to feel. As Roberts puts it: "We want it to be beautiful, but we also want people to feel at home."
l Pictures can be added and viewed at Pinterest at vadundee/living-room-for-the-city. They will also be displayed in an exhibition in August at the Hannah MacLure Centre, Abertay University from August 16-31. You can also share photos of your living room on Twitter - @VADundee; Facebook - VandADundee; Instagram - vadundee with the hashtag #LivingRoom) or by email to LivingRoom@vandadundee.org