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University lecturers and market stall holders trade places for arts project

Loughborough University lecturers and local market traders are swapping places this month as part of an innovative arts project.

Over three days, traders will leave Loughborough market and set up their stalls on the University campus, whilst University academics will migrate to the market place to conduct their lectures in the town centre.

The project, called ‘Market Lectures’, has been developed by design collective Something & Son in collaboration with Charnwood Borough Council, Love Loughborough and Charnwood Arts. It is part of Market Town, a series of commissions developed by the University’s Radar arts programme.

The idea for the project was established after Something & Son explored the relationship between two of Loughborough’s key features – its markets and the University. The designers are shaking up the traditional patterns of trade and academic protocol to bring two distinct locations together.   

Market Lectures kicks-off on 27 April, when the market traders will have their stalls at the ready on the University’s Hazlerigg lawn. Some 20 confirmed traders are set to take part, including Danny Round’s fruit and vegetable stall, Barry’s Eggs, Picks Organic Farm and Brockleby’s pies. There will also be stalls selling leather goods, cosmetics, perfumes, jewellery and scarves. Refreshments will also be available.    

The University Market is being officially opened by Loughborough University's Vice Chancellor Robert Allison and Mayor of Charnwood, John Capleton.

Over the second two days, 28 and 29 April, the academics will enter unfamiliar territory when a series of lectures take place in the town centre. A mixture of lectures are set to take place including student seminar sessions and public talks.

There will be an English seminar on T.S. Eliot, a Business and Economics lecture on ‘what makes a successful career’ and a Drama lecture exploring the history and science behind the reasons we laugh. 

As part of the commission, Something & Son has designed a symbolic structure which functions as both a market stall and a small lecture theatre and will form the centrepiece of both the market and lectures.

Cllr Steve Hampson, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Town Centres, said: “Both the markets and the University are well-known features of Loughborough and it is great to see them working together on this fascinating project.

“Our markets already cater for a wide audience and this project will help broaden that further. Delivering a lecture on our busy market place is also a great idea and we can’t wait to see it take place.”

Market Manager Michael Bird also commented: “I view this exchange project as a marvellous example of partnership working between Loughborough University and Charnwood Borough Council’s Markets team to showcase two very different but equally valuable assets within the town of Loughborough.”

Lecturer Dr Tim Miles said: “Lecturing to the public is inspirational. Some people see the University as an ivory tower and staying within that tower means you can sometimes forget how relevant your work is to real world experience.”

Staff, students and members of the local community are invited to attend both sets of events on the University campus and in town. The University Market will run from 9:30am – 4pm on the Hazlerigg Lawn, opposite Loughborough Students’ Union. Lectures within Loughborough Town will take place at Market Square, opposite McDonalds. All are free to attend. A full list of lectures taking place and booking arrangements are available online.

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