Benjamin Franklin House

‘The Hewson Clinic’

We were commissioned by the Red Velvet Curtain Club to come up with an idea for an intervention in response to this London building's rich and dark history. A heritage ‘gem', it is the world’s only remaining home of Dr Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the United States and more. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775 he lived at 36 Craven Street, which is now a dynamic museum and educational facility.

During conservation work over a thousand bones, both human and animal, were discovered - the remnants of an anatomy school run from the house by William Hewson, son-in-law of Franklin's landlady, with links to bodysnatchers.

Inspired by this wonderfully dark discovery, we devised a playful participatory event where visitors could play a reconfigured  ‘Operation’ game and create their own ‘Toybrids’ by cutting and splicing together an assortment of cuddly and plastic toys.