Birth of Cool

Jump in the Octavia Tardis and travel back in time to the 1950's for The Birth of Cool, our Digital Media Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

For Ages 13 - 25

The Birth of Cool explores what made the 50’s to 80’s such a unique period of time on the Kings Road and surrounding area, allowing young people aged between 13-25 to develop digital media and software skills through dynamic weekly sessions at the state-of-the-art Reed Centre, in North Kensington.

The project includes training in:

  • Fashion
  • Film-making
  • Photography
  • Drama & theatre 
  • Historical story-telling 

This is provided by media experts and professionals from film, culture and fashion including Amber Butchart, Bani Mendy, Claire Barrow, Jayne Robinson, Nina Manandhar, Terry Jones and Suzie Zabrowska. 

Young people are learning about the creation of digital fashion designs, video editing, as well as about the use of industry-standard camera and sound recording equipment, participating in unique and innovative research-based activities.

Through this inclusive educational programme, Octavia seeks to involve young people who have an interest in developing their media skills or have a love for style, fashion and history, helping them with discovering and interpreting history, structuring and telling stories from the information gathered.

By the end of the project, they will be able to produce their own broadcast-standard documentaries, digital fashion designs, site-specific plays and oral histories, building up creative portfolios that could also help them build towards a potential career within the arts.

Partners on the Birth of Cool project include: 

  • V and A 
  • Tate 
  • RBKC Library 
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
  • SPID Theatre

Read about the Punk Road documentary here