The British Art & Design Association, or BADA, is a space that aims to help establish new projects in London by providing a unique platform for independent thinkers and creative doers.
Based on 70 Paul Street, a stone’s throw away from Old Street Station, the space has brought to life six diverse and exciting pop-ups in the last eight months: Parallax London, Porridge Cafe, Oshun Cafe, Maps, Look Like Love, and the current tenant, 1.N.1 Project.
As it’s one of our favourite East London spaces here at We Are Pop Up HQ, we caught up with Heidi Baletic, one of the directors, about the ethos of BADA, the eclectic mix of pop-ups it has hosted, and what to expect next from this springboard for new creatives and emerging designers
We love following the progress of some of the amazing pop-ups that started off in your space and are going on to do great things. Who has been your favourite tenant and why?
That’s a difficult one – we have had so many projects and they have all been so different! Maybe one of the most surprising pop-ups was the Porridge Cafe. They did amazingly well, had a fantastic marketing campaign and the pop-up was a great success. Now they’ve gone on to open another cafe near Victoria Station.
What do you look for when it comes to choosing which tenants you approve for the space?
We always try to look for start-up businesses because we know it’s so difficult to find a space in London with it being so expensive. For the first six months we proposed a special offer for tenants, and for one tenant we provided the space free of charge. It was a group of young artists who wanted to showcase their work – this is the kind of project we like to support; new designers who can offer something interesting and exciting.
Is there anything challenging about running a space that is purely dedicated to hosting pop-up projects?
Hosting pop-ups in the space is fairly straightforward, but one of the most difficult aspects is juggling the dates. We had a very quiet January but by March we were fully booked for the year! It’s very busy but great to see so many projects working in there.
What is the most rewarding thing about hosting pop-ups in the space?
The main thing we want to do is provide opportunities for people and support those who can’t afford the high London prices. Shoreditch is changing – it’s becoming more expensive and difficult to find space. We want to keep our prices down and provide a standard that gives emerging talent the opportunity to showcase their work.
What’s really rewarding is that we are able to support a wide variety of different artists and creative people. It’s great to see such a mix of photographers, fashion designers and artists using the space in such different ways.
What’s next for BADA?
Over the past year there have been lots of changes to the layout of the space with different projects needing different set-ups, but for the next step we’ve been thinking about securing another space in Shoreditch. It will have the same idea behind it of supporting new talent by providing an accessible space – we want to reach out and provide even more opportunities for those without somewhere to grow their creative business concept.
How have you found using wearepopup.com? What has it meant for your business?
When we first started thinking about renting the space we started to look for what kind of options were out there. We came across We Are Pop Up having already seen some others, but we looked through the profiles of other landlords on your site as well as the tenants and thought ‘We can definitely see ourselves using this!’
Using the We Are Pop Up platform has been extremely successful for us. We’ve had so many requests from so many different types of people and projects. We found We Are Pop Up very quick and easy to use. It has enabled us to reach out to a number of artists, designers & brands with great concepts. Thank you so much for all of your help making We Are Pop Up so accessible!
> Read more about BADA tenant New York-based photographer Ricky Chapman in an interview we took during his exhibition Parallax last November.
> We met the duo behind the Porridge Cafe and found out how it came to being when they popped up in BADA earlier this year.