work blog about search
 
 

Word in Progress

826_nyc

A while back (well, just over two years ago actually) we posted about the brilliant 826 programme - a series of after-school writing centres set up in the USA by the author Dave Eggers, each of them fronted by fantastical retail spaces, including the original Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco.

While we were out in New York last week, we popped along to the local branch, 826 NYC. The centre is fronted by the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a shop that stocks everything the modern day super-hero could need, from capes to tins of anti-matter, from secret-identity kits to vacuum suction cups.

There's a capery, where you can try on your cape; and when you make a purchase, you must recite aloud the Vow of Heroism:

"I [your full name], also known as [your superhero name], promise always to use my superpowers for good. I promise that I will use the items I've purchased here today safely and in the name of justice. I promise to remain ever vigilant, ever true."

826_nyc_interior

826_antimatter

One of the shelving units doubles as a secret door, which opens up to reveal the writing centre, a brilliantly friendly space that feels more like a cafe than a classroom, where kids can come along to work with professional writers, either on school projects, or on 826 projects - creating their own 'zine, or putting together a literary mash-up. Check out Alistair's Flickr set for more photos.

826_nyc_workshop

At the time of our original post, we asked if anyone in London was thinking of setting up something similar. A few people got in touch, and things bubbled along in a gentle kind of way for quite a while.

Word_in_progress

Recently though, thanks largely to the efforts of Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne, things have started heating up, and a London version of 826 looks like becoming a real possibility, with some initial funding secured from the Arts Council. Lucy and Ben are working with a team of associates to put together the pilot version, and We Made This is helping out.

You can find out more at Lucy and Ben's blog, Word in Progress. If you'd like to get involved, or can think of anyone who would, drop Lucy a line (especially if you know how to get hold of some retail space...)

posted: 16 April 2010
categories: Events
 
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as we have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Creative Review
Covering design and advertising, CR has been running since 1981, under the editorship of Patrick Burgoyne since 1999. Essential reading.

Daniel Gray
Dan writes a column in Creative Review, and this is his consistently entertaining blog about design and suchlike.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Grafik
Grafik is the brilliant online magazine about all things graphic design, from writers Caroline Roberts and Angharad Lewis.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.

Kottke.org
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Lecture in Progress
An invaluable collection of wisdom from a range of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers et al. From the team that brought you It’s Nice That.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.

Styling and Salvage
Rupert Blanchard is a mate of ours, and makes great furniture. This blog covers his projects, interests, and life in Margate.

Subtraction.com
Brooklyn-based designer Khoi Vinh has been writing insightfully about design, technology and culture since the turn of the millennium.

The Ride Journal
A glorious mix of the very best writing and illustration about all types of cycling. On an indefinite break now, but you can download past issues for free.