Gale force winds and torrential rain didn’t keep visitors away from the galleries yesterday, and perhaps even encouraged them to stay longer than they might otherwise have done. It was interesting to meet a mixed group of people who had all come to the De La Warr Pavilion with different agendas on Saturday. Some had come to look at the sea being whipped up by the storm, others were there for a day of culture and entertainment – lunch, architecture, Heritage Orchestra and Beardyman.
During our walk through the exhibition we thought about ways in which we explore spaces using all our senses, touching the cold smooth surfaces of the marble used in Tony Fretton’s British Embassy and the De La Warr’s brass bannisters, imagining the smell of old wood on the staircase at Clouds House, the breeze blowing around the square of the Economist Plaza, the sound of footsteps echoing through the vaulted spaces of St Marys, Wellingborough. I remember how blind friends have told me of their strategies for getting to know their way around buildings by counting their paces between rooms, by listening to changes in the sound of their footsteps or feeling variations in texture under foot and hand.