Q&A with Space Play In celebration of the building’s 15th anniversary later this year, Millennium Point has commissioned Digbeth start-up business and creative skills studio, Space Play, to create a 3D framed sculpture. We caught up with the co-founder of Space Play, Jay Rajpra, to find out more about exciting plans for the sculpture. Space Play is well known for creating sculptures honouring some of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings. What inspired you to start making these sculptures? When working on architectural projects we often use model making as a tool for communicating the three-dimensional qualities of a design. Our training and experience has given us skills in representing our designs as architectural work, but what we’re really interested in is how architectural drawings and models can become artwork. Birmingham has some great examples of post-war architecture which are often captured in photography and drawings. And with a number of recent demolitions, we saw it as a fitting tribute to represent some of the qualities of these iconic buildings using our own techniques. With Space Play being commissioned to create the Millennium Point sculpture, what will you be able to do that no one else can? Our work is all about the cross-overs between artwork and architectural design. We have been commissioned to produce a piece of 3D artwork, but it’s really our knowledge and understanding of architectural design that will make this exhibition distinctive. Our processes and methods of design come very much from an architectural approach, which we believe gives us a sophisticated understanding of how the building works. An analytical and methodical study of the building will show us the relationships between the spatial qualities and social activities of Millennium Point, and we will then try to convey this through the development of a physically layered visual language which will form the artwork. Since being commissioned, you’ve worked closely with Millennium Point. What interests you most about Millennium Point and this project? Our initial interests were in the physical aesthetic of the building. It’s a building that we’ve been familiar with for many years and the metallic and mechanical nature of the atrium space still feels cutting edge. The modular construction system has been designed very cleverly to create simple variations in each floor that creates a big impact on the spatial experience. The building is itself an exhibition; showcasing its structural workings and their use in forming some incredible spaces. What will it mean to have your work on display at Millennium Point, and what do you hope to achieve from the project? Millennium Point is a highly prestigious building. It is also a fantastic piece of architecture. It’s very exciting for us to be working on this commission and to be able to display our work within one of our favourite spaces in the city. We see this as an amazing opportunity to showcase our work and to give as many people as possible an understanding of how we work and what we can do, and we hope that it will lead on to further commissions across the Midlands. From your research and from your own experiences, how do you think Millennium Point has helped the regeneration of Eastside, and how do you intend to capture that in the sculpture? Millennium point set the precedent for all new development in the Eastside area. It did a great job in stretching out the city centre across the inner ring road and gave people a real reason to go into the area. Its facilities were a dramatic upgrade attracting further investment and development. Its partnerships with leading educational institutes have also been a catalyst for major changes; redefining the activities and visitors that now occupy the area. The physical form of the building has also impacted upon the spatial planning of the area, setting the patterns for the scale and positioning of any new building. But perhaps most importantly, Millennium Point has become a key connection, providing great pedestrian routes between the north and south of Eastside strengthening links across the city centre. Part of the exhibition will be used to convey this important story. Alongside the sculpture, Space Play will be presenting their existing work during a month-long exhibition. What can visitors expect from the exhibition? The exhibition will be a celebration of Millennium Point. Most of all we want to convey the dynamic relationship between the structural form of the building and the active and exciting programme within it. Our design processes will help us to develop an artistic and abstract representation of this, giving the exhibition a more sculptural aspect to it. However it’s important to us that visitors understand the story behind the making of our work, and so Space Play’s story will also be portrayed through some of our previous work on Birmingham’s iconic buildings. With a growing selection of Birmingham landmarks recreated by yourselves, are you able to tell us what lies ahead for Space Play? Space Play is a platform for us to explore and engage in doing the projects that we want to do. We will continue with our studies and 3D artwork on local buildings, but we’re always looking for collaborations and commissions to continue and expand our work.