LIMITLESS – A Festival Without Rules

LIMITLESS – A Festival Without Rules
LIMITLESS – A Festival Without Rules

A year of young people’s creativity will be celebrated at LIMITLESS, a two-week festival, running from noon until 9pm, every day this week and until Wednesday 13 December.

Taking over the former Argos building in Lowgate, Hull; the festival is a showcase of work undertaken by children as part of hundreds of activities during the city’s tenure as UK City of Culture.

’s ground-breaking No Limits learning and participation programme has run alongside the artistic programme with the goal of motivating and mobilising the next generation of innovators and radical thinkers in Hull.

By commissioning a series of projects and initiatives that focus on children and their individual creative expression, No Limits has unleashed a new level of artistic ambition in classrooms and communities across Hull. Students became artists and through the No Limits programme developed new works of art in close collaboration with a collective of local and national creative directors.

Starting with the city’s youngest residents and journeying right through the education system, No Limits has brought creative opportunities for all; with teachers fully immersing themselves in creative projects this. As we look forward to the legacy of Hull 2017, the festival also acts as a platform to explore what creative learning could look like after the UK City of Culture designation. Visitors will be asked to reflect on the opportunity for the city to use the years that follow to match the heightened aspirations and expectations of the generation who grew up in 2017.

Ian Read, Head of Learning and Participation at Hull 2017, said: “Along with being a great opportunity to see some of the projects that children, young people and teachers have taken part in over the year, LIMITLESS will also explore bigger questions about using learning and creativity as a driver in transforming a city. Through culture, creativity and disrupting some of the existing models of education, we can realise the collective potential of a generation.”

The forward-thinking programme has already been a huge success, with the acclaimed Made in Oakfield project, being replicated at a primary school in London’s Tower Hamlets. The result of courageous and sensitive planning between Hull 2017, and Oakfield Residential School, Made in Oakfield saw pupils working with architectural educationalists Matt + Fiona. The young people, aged between 11 and 16, came up with the design and then built it over seven intensive days.

For some from the school, which caters for students struggling in mainstream education, it is the first time they have a dedicated space of their own, that is tailored to their needs.

Also on display at LIMITLESS is Pipe Dreams – an incredible project saw pupils at three of the city’s schools working with artist Dom Heffer to reimagine the pipes and cables that make up the fabric of their buildings as conduits for their hopes and dreams, rather than electricity and water, before making their own sections of pipe that contained visual representations of their aspirations.

In addition, No Limits has included large outdoor events, companion projects to help young people engage with highlights of the artistic programme, teacher resources and workshops with master-craftsmen, architects and much more.

Visitors to LIMITLESS will be asked to consider how Hull can build on the No Limits programme in future years to champion the development of life skills in young people that are sometimes better explored in an informal learning setting or through the everyday running of a city. From wellbeing, to our role in society; how to create, experiment and collaborate; and ultimately understanding our place in a rapidly changing global world.

As part of the festival, ideas of what a learning environment should look like will be challenged too, from whether the physical premises should be purpose-built buildings for education to take place on a single site, or whether learning could be designed to bring together industry expertise, equipment, classes and ‘experiential’ learning in a series of ‘institutes’, each with a different focus (Earth, Making, Social Relation, Body, and Mind), in close proximity to each other.

Prototypes of these five institutes have been established at LIMITLESS, with each hosting a range of activities and workshops for visitors to learn and explore more about the themes. Organisations will inhabit these spaces to carry out their creative day to day businesses, modelling that learning can be ‘everyday’ and not a specially created product.

The Institute of Earth will feature a café; the Institute of Making will be used as a creative workshop space; the Institute of Social Relation will have a cinema screen showing films about the No Limits programme, along with hosting speakers; the Institute of Body will be home to a studio for use by dance and theatre companies; and the Institute of Mind will have a library.

Ian continued: “We’ll ask whether learning in a city should still be based solely on age, or whether there are potential benefits in utilising shared spaces where young children and older people come together, potentially with community groups or businesses.”

LIMITLESS will question whether it is possible to build new partnerships around a shared social agenda, utilising the city’s ‘hidden’ abundances – spaces, time, knowledge and other resources to make the whole of Hull a de facto ‘School without walls’?

LIMITLESS is free to attend and will be open at the former Argos building in Lowgate from 12pm until 9pm, every day until Wednesday 13 December.

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