Director Pippa Nissen, Senior Associate Marie-Lise Oulmont and Associates Andrea Hickey and Kate Coghlan of Nissen Richards Studio are leading a new postgraduate teaching unit at London Metropolitan University. The unit challenged students to design a ‘Museum for Now’. Here is one of the responses to that challenge.

The concept of a Museum for Now has been transformed significantly by the events of 2020, which have not only caused shifts in our known social structures, but also createduncertainty around public building use. A proposal created within this context must fully consider this societal volatility and be adaptable to future changes, and this proposal explores this idea through a Museum of Counter-Fashion.

The visitor will explore significant counter-culture movements through the fashions that defined them. These fashion trends have come to be definitive of certain eras, and as their fashion choices transgressed into the mainstream, these groups were forced to adapt and evolve. The exhibitions will investigate this progression, as well as the links between contrasting responses to the same societal influences.

The exhibition sees these groups not as destroyers, but creators of trends, and inescapably associated with the political and social landscape which inspired them. With the whole world currently in the middle of a historic shift, where we cannot be sure of the political atmosphere into which we will emerge, this exhibition will explore the global response through the lens of counter-fashion. This is a museum for now, defined not through our mainstream response, but through those who question the norm. Alongside the exhibitions the building promotes community involvement in social change, and provides advice for people wanting to start or further a movement through the provision of an advice office.