A Designer Talks of a Home / A Resident Talks of Home (I)

00:00:00    we spend 87 percent of our lives inside buildings


00:00:34    I was conceived within these walls in ’87


00:01:09    how they are designed really affects how we feel


00:07:53    the wallpaper was here before me, I don’t claim it


00:01:43    how we behave


00:08:13    Mum says this is a good home. When I was little I used

                  to peel the yellow from the wallpaper


00:01:56    design is not just a visual thing; it’s a thought process


00:12:12    once I swallowed an apple pip & a guy from the 12th

                  floor told me


00:02:20    it’s a skill . . .


00:14:02    an apple tree will grow out from my belly


00:02:39    design is a tool to enhance our humanity. . . a frame

                  for life


00:15:45    don’t that mean I will be the first treeboy on the estate?


00:02:50    putting the human experience at the beginning of

                  the process 


00:17:39    the guy said trees live as long as boys do here that’s

                  why we have concrete


00:03:32    tactile memory


00:18:01    at the back of our block there is a wall full of RIPs . . .

                  a thousand unlived lives of boys & trees


00:03:46    empathy is the cornerstone of design


00:18:50    y’know the architect that designed this estate killed



00:03:53    it’s all about showmanship and theatricality


00:19:20    Mum reckons that’s why they covered the rot with



00:04:01    it’s about how things feel & smell as much as how

                  they look


00:20:15    ’cause concrete smells like a siege . . . when it rains

                  I like to


00:04:23    imbue people with a sense of wellbeing,

                  empowerment, gentle joyfulness


00:21:09    pretend I live


00:04:56    translate the future life of a building into design



00:22:23    on the 19th floor you can see everything but the future


00:05:03    those great long corridors reduced people


00:23:59    we see the same view even when we’re not looking,

                  we’re usually not looking


00:05:25    to see that a building could have such an impact

                  on the way people felt, on the way they interacted


00:25:48    at the scene we know who did it . . . keep our

                  mouths shut when boydem come with their


00:09:13    it’s about interrogation and empathy


00:26:03    [laughter]


00:09:58    materials are the things that tell the truth


00:27:29    if these walls could talk our ears would bleed.


00:10:17    humans are naturally drawn to the material


00:28:32    is fire a material?


00:13:03    we discover the world through our senses


00:29:10    some animals only map the world through one

                  sense . . . & so can survive smoke


00:13:54    our materials speak to us


00:30:02    concrete makes me feel safe . . . when I leave my

                  block I don’t feel safe

© Caleb Femi, from Poor (Penguin, 2020)

from Poor
by Caleb Femi
(Penguin, 2020)

Caleb Femi

Raised on the North Peckham estate in South London, Caleb Femi is a poet and director. He has written and directed short films for the BBC and Channel 4, and poems for Tate Modern, the Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC, the Guardian and more. He has been featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. From 2016 to 2018, he served as the Young People's Laureate for London. He recently wrote the liner material for Kano's 2019 album Hoodies All Summer.