Spotlight on… Standard Practice

Our journey to Festival Square is well underway, and we’ve been working on a series of workshops with Standard Practice. From tile making to stool building, many have attended our free workshops to create something wonderful for Festival Square. We spoke to Jess at Standard Practice to find out a little more.

Who is Standard Practice and where did the name come from?

Standard Practice is a small studio which operates in the overlap between design, fabrication, performance and architecture.

We consult on public spaces, throw neighbourhood parties, and operate urban fabrication facilities – always using design as a catalyst to build communities.

We used to be called OH OK which was fun but perhaps didn’t position us as a credible professional outfit. We want our work to be seen as a serious alternative to more traditional approaches to placemaking; we would like it to become Standard Practice.


How are you involved with MIF19?

This year we are responsible for three mass participatory making projects for MIF19. These projects have seen our studio spaces at NOMA and Mayfield transform into bustling co-design factories.

We have produced over 2,000 unique ceramic tiles with the people of Manchester at our project space Underway (based at Mayfield) which will brighten up the bars on Festival Square.

We’ve produced 100 stools with 100 members of the public through a simple carpentry workshop at The Old Bank Residency at NOMA.

We are about to start making 500 bells in public workshops across the boroughs of Greater Manchester to ring at the opening ceremony, BELLS FOR PEACE by Yoko Ono.

This is our third year working with the festival and our most productive yet!

Can you tell us about your practice?

We take a DIY approach to the built environment.

We are excited by the ability we all have to shape and impact the world around us and we want to bring as many people into this process as possible.  We believe that places work best when everybody is involved in building them.

In September we joined Planit-IE who have been designing public spaces for 20 years and we are now a studio within their studio. Hopefully, you will see us tackling bigger and more ambitious projects with Planit-IE over the coming years.

Collaboration is key to our practice and we are eternally grateful to Jesse Cracknell and Tom Longden who have joined us to help deliver our MIF19 workshops.

What’s your favourite thing about Festival Square?

Chance encounters! Festival Square is a distillation of  Manchester into a village. A really weird, creative, international village. There is nothing else like it.

What else are you working on?

We’ve just completed a project building a prototype playground with children over at Mayfield. Last week we launched a tiny documentary cinema at The Old Bank Residency. We are trialling recipes for our new curry café project and gearing up for a summer of events at Sadler’s Yard.

We’re also researching sustainable architecture and environmentally friendly design for future projects, lessening our impact on the planet and responding to current conversations about climate change.

What are you most looking forward to in the MIF19 programme?

We’re really looking forward to seeing people reunited with the product they’ve created through our workshops, either on Festival Square or during the opening ceremony, Yoko Ono’s BELLS FOR PEACE, and capturing that feeling of being an essential part of the festival.

End of article.