I recently met with Jing Lu, Director of Black Country Atelier, a creative business moving into Mary Street. We met for coffee because Jing is
keen to understand how things are shaping up in the JQ and our website provided a conduit for just that sort of enquiry. The recent coming together of various bodies in the JQ to form the JQ Development Trust, including our own Neighbourhood Forum, has enabled us to move toward being one JQ family, with none of the silo mentality of “that’s nothing to do with us, we’re residents/business people/jewellers” [delete as per your own prejudice]. To coin the much abused phrase, ‘we’re all in this together’, and if we can attract innovative, exciting businesses like Black Country Atelier to the JQ with a warm – and united – welcome, then let’s do it.
Black Country Atelier is 3D prototyping workshop, architecture & design studio and Jing is in charge of the workshop and design development. Before setting up BCA, she worked for the Royal Institute of British Architects, Building Futures, and Sou Fujimoto Architects in Japan. Jing holds a MA in Architecture, and studied at the London Metropolitan University and the Royal College of Art. She also holds a MA(Oxon.) in Mathematics from the University of Oxford. She is currently a visiting lecturer at the Birmingham School of Architecture.
Jing describes their outlook and reasons for moving to the JQ like this:
“We’re a design company running hands-on workshops for members of the public in soldering, metalworking, and new technologies like 3D printing and scanning. Our philosophy is to get people making again. The reason we’re moving to the JQ is because of the area’s tradition of making, which ties in closely to our approach.”
So, welcome Black Country Atelier, Jing and her colleagues, and thank you for expanding the opportunities for business people and residents alike to extend their skills. With a respect for design and making, and an inclusive can-do attitude, BCA will soon be part of the JQ family.