the city talking: sheffield — issue 04Back
The City Talking
The people featured in this issue are the inhabitants of a dreamy, futurist Sheffield where all those silly rules about space and time get thrown through a first storey window on Devonshire Street, while a Kate Bush record revolves on the Dansette turntable.
We start our journey at a plain single doorway. Press the buzzer, head up the staircase, take a seat in the leather-bound chair and you’ve made an ascent through a portal to reach Kojo&Lee. “I think it’s this place that’s made Kojo&Lee come to life,” says owner Nikki-Lee Hampton. We talk to her about the room in a grade II listed building in Sheffield that inspired her business, and the chair that has transformed what a good hair cut feels like.
We head upwards again, closer to the sky, to Nick Bax’s office in the refurbished Urban Splash block on the Park Hill Estate. Nick leads the team at Human Studios, a creative agency designing the future from a building that’s trying to claim a future for itself in the city. “People who never liked the building began to have a lot more affection for it,” says Nick. “For a lot of people it’s like discovering a new quarter of the city.” Nick takes us on a guided tour through Park Hill all the way to Tokyo and back again through the world of virtual reality being developed from his office.
Dan Cook photographs mountains in the Lake District that look like fifth-century Chinese landscape paintings, and then transmits them all over the world from his iPhone. “There’s something about mountains that makes you feel like you’re exploring,” says Dan.
We’re safely back on the ground at Site Gallery where we talk to business coach Auriel Majumdar, the person that’s keeping the creative folk in Sheffield from getting stuck somewhere in the present. “My general philosophy of life is that people are fabulous,” she says. Auriel takes us on a journey through her past into the future of the city — a future with twenty million stories, where things will be better, livelier and more interesting.
And there we are, back in time again. Back in time with Tim Nye, retired police detective, inventor of footgolf and co-owner of Marmadukes Cafe Deli. “Cafes are just an amazing place for chat,” he says, and so we take his advice and ask him to tell us a story. He starts twenty-five years ago in a nightclub in Derby before we head back to the future, and the bear and the bicycle tattooed on his wrist.
The City Talking: Sheffield Issue 04 is available now, in the time-warped spaces in Sheffield you already love to get lost in.