Around the Corner
Around the Corner works with young people to understand what public space is and could be. Created in collaboration with Sanaa Asim, it was the result of a 9 month design residency at Challenge Lab.
Public spaces should be for everyone. Teenagers make up one of the most frequent users of public spaces (1) - yet are rarely considered in the design and planning process. In fact, they are actively excluded from the public realm, through language, their lack of spending power and the criminalisation of their behaviour. Rather than criminalising their presence, we thought that working with young people could generate a more exciting and inclusive public realm.
(1) Clark, A. et al. (2009) ‘Learning to see: lessons from a participatory observation research project in public spaces', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 12(4), pp. 345–360. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13645570802268587.
Over the 9 months we worked with 75 young people from across London to understand their way of seeing public space, and develop interventions with them to make it better for everyone. This culminated in a 4 week after school club where a group of 10 teenagers from Southwark designed new public seating, currently being fabricated for installation in Peckham.
Our experience of running the workshops led to the creation of a pack of 6 hands-on design methods for involving young people in the design of public space. These are focussed on enabling participants to use embodied and tacit knowledge about their lived experience of the built environment to collaboratively create sketches, models and prototypes for the build environment. You can download the methods here.
If you'd like to know more about the thinking and process for the project, you can read a short post-project conversation between myself and Sanaa below.