DESIGNING THE URBAN COMMONS: Theatrum Mundi
A proposal for Theatrum Mundi and the LSE as part of their Designing the Urban Commons brief. The brief asked entrants to re-imagine spaces in London as places for collaboration, sharing and collective ownership. A competition inspired by the rights to the commons.
The aim of our proposal was to bring people together to informally talk, consult, devise action and share knowledge. Encouraging local people to communicate common everyday social issues, that they bring forward, and to inspire possible solutions.
As we encourage this process in the physical realm, we digitally visualised these previously invisible connections of content, local people and ‘hubs’. We then made this information accessible to the wider community via touch screens erected in public spaces. These screens offered local people a resource that to help aid, or enable further action, behaviour, support and information between different social groups.
Our offer to Theatrum Mundi and LSE was a programme of true community consultation that has the potential to move into different social spaces across London and beyond. This project has sought to identify local hubs (from launderettes to pubs or local cafes) and determine, measure and map the social value that these social hubs generate. By visualising the networks that are nurtured and grown within these hubs, we not only map networks of people but we demonstrate the social value certain local spaces generate. This information can direct innovative future placemaking and help local people reclaim local spaces in their area.
The venture is currently being trialed in Lower Clapton, Hackney and Church Street, Westminster, where we are exploring differing ideas around community and placemaking, looking particularly at issues surrounding redevelopment.
This project ultimately aims to help communities reclaim their area, in a physical and social sense. Individuals from all corners of a community will benefit from being encouraged to pinpoint, reclaim and share social spaces – where they can be in the company of their neighbours to share and discover commonalities.