Tag Archives: Creativity

The Paper Architect touch

29 Jul

by Maria Zherebtsova

When was the last time that, as a grown-up, you have been touched by magic? Well, it happened to me last Thursday at exactly 9pm, when I, together with a rather scared looking group of people, not more than 10 people in total, were ushered into a room made completely out of cardboard. Then, the lights went out and after two minutes I no longer remembered that I was in Leytonstone Library, but already somewhere far away. Curious thing – the mind!

The Paper Architect Leytonstone review

The Paper Architect Culture

The Paper Architect is a story of a creative person never being quite alone despite his worldly solitude and asceticism, of the infinite power of the mind to challenge the reality of what you “see”. It is a play about the fragility of this process and of the dangers of “real” life for someone with the power of imagination so vast that we can really make static paper objects come alive.

It is pure alchemy going on in front of your eyes. It is your own private magic.

The play touched me incredibly, to tears actually and not because it was incredibly sad (which I suppose it was), but because I really felt like a kid. They were the tears of awe.

Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award

Davy & Kristin McGuire

The Paper Architect


Flower Workshop for Kids

7 Feb

Kids love to create, to imagine and to dream. This is both their natural skill and a rightful activity, which comes as a perk of the age group. So what better way to let their imagination run free, than inspiring them with real stories about invention and creation.

Catiouche Academy of Big Dreams was created by Lana Berglas, Creative Director of luxury brand Catiouche London, to encourage kids of all ages to ‘dream big’ by attending regular events with people-Inventors, Entrepreneurs and those who can teach kids creative skills, but most importantly show them a world of ideas.

The first workshop by the Catiouche Academy is on Sunday 10th February, called ‘My Beautiful Bouquet for My Beautiful Mummy’. It’s designed to get kids to learn about the world of floral design and to inspire them to look to nature for ideas. Led by Natasha Van De Minkelis of Flower Fashion, it’s a really fun way to see flowers in a new light and to get creative.

This Sunday’s workshop has been fully booked within hours, but do look out for future events and updates from the Catiouche Academy on their Facebook Page: Catiouche London or email info@catiouche.com

Catiouche Academy of Big Dreams Flower workshop

Five fun facts about flowers for kids in the meantime!

Catiouche Academy fact number 1: Broccoli is a flower as well as a vegetable.

Catiouche Academy fact number 2: In the 1600s in Holland, a single tulip bulb could cost more than a house.
Catiouche Academy fact number 3: in the tropics orchids grow high in the trees rather than on the forest floor
Catiouche Academy fact number 4: Bamboo can be a fast growing plant, some types can grow almost a metre in just one day!
Catiouche Academy fact number 5: The  blooms of the roses are edible and have the flavors of green apples and strawberries.

Kid of the Week gets Gold

16 Mar

One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.
Claude M. Bristol

The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Get gold, be a Hero!

Enjoy the sun this weekend!

Scarlet M

To be Free or not to be Free?

8 Sep

On a global scale the question of good education is still a loud one. What do we need to teach our kids, and most importantly, how do we do it creatively?

The dilemma of Free School still stays – can Toby Young, take on the mantle of his father’s legacy? …or should he stick with ‘Loosing friends and alienating people’ – something he is actually good at.

The driving concept of this school, approved by the legislation only last July, is to build an education institution funded by the government, but founded (what a difference a letter makes) by private individuals; in this case by local parents. The school, scheduled to open this month, had 500 bright young applicants fighting for 120 places in the year.

The old-fashion curriculum of the school has attracted a lot of mixed opinions. Toby Young intends to employ tutors without official qualification, teaching a curriculum of classical subjects including Latin, philosophy and politics to a class of, on average, 11 years old kids. The contrast of traditional and modern approach gives this venture an interesting angle and most importantly a lot of potential.

Yet, the lesson plan does not favour any technical subjects, with computing or IT nowhere to be found on the timetable. In the era of the IPhone ruling and Facebook addiction I find it disturbing that kids are being pulled further away from their ordinary lives to be spoonfed with dusty information. What is the point, when they grow up with technology as their nanny anyway. Shouldn’t they learn to combine the intelligence of the past and ‘Tweet’ it into the future?

Sir Ken Robinson, in his speech on TED.com, famously said “We are educating people out of their creativity,” referring to the uneven appreciation of subjects in schools. He argues that it is not the lessons that we need to worry about, but the approach and the techniques we teach to our children in schools. He gives an example how Dance lessons should be taken as seriously as Maths, simply because you don’t know if the next Silvie Guillem is sitting in the front row of your class.

Young’s school is one of many Tory government is planning to build. Similar concepts have already opened its doors to children all over UK including Reading, Camden and Birmingham. But the fundamental difference these schools have over their  traditional rivals is an opportunity to listen to the local communities of parents and accommodate their needs. For example in Norwich parents have set up a school, which fits around their working day and, in Lancashire, kids will be taught transcendent meditation – priorities do vary!

When I was growing up my grandmother has once told me ‘The only free cheese is in the mouse trap’, so when I heard the Toby Young is giving up his day job as a journalist and setting up one of the first ‘free schools’ in West London I couldn’t help but wonder – what is the catch?

Scarlet M

extra links:



Article ‘Free schools open against the odds’ in the The Sunday Times by Jack Grimston.

The Tate Modern in Colour

1 Sep

On the weekends at Tate Modern you are issued with colour pencils, pens, paper and the vastness of the Turbine Hall to let your imagination go wild. You can draw, paint, build, smudge, rip, make, jump, and run around to genuinely let you creativity take over in one of the most famous museum of contemporary art.

…now, let me think, was I writing that for the kids or for the parents….

Remember the world is your playground!…

And if you need some more inspiration, here are some great links to entertain the kids in the meantime, courtesy of the Tate Modern:

Tate “Inspire me” Games: http://kids.tate.org.uk/games/

Tate Kids Create (online and offline material) http://kids.tate.org.uk/create/

Tate Kids blog: http://kids.tate.org.uk/blog/

Photography courtesy of Anna Tsurkan

Scarlet M