Pitfield Estate

Pitfield Estate Tenants Management Organisation & Hackney Homes

About the Project

We were commissioned to work across a housing estate with 445 properties to raise awareness about the possible change in management on the estate and to engage people of all ages in conversations about what this would mean for them. We fabricated simple voting placards to gather people’s opinions & made moving props in the form of a tea trolley, model and children’s games.


6 full day mobile engagement activities in September 2009 and a full report on findings before holding an open meeting to drive new membership in October 2009.

Our Tools & Approach

The premise of a conversation about changing the management approach to an estate can seem very dry so we wanted to bring a component of fun whilst distilling what the shift in management might mean in a very tangible way.

We made a mobile engagement stand to allow us to move around the estate and set up a strong presence in a range of places. We set up adjacent to busy footpaths, inside the launderette, outside the corner shop, outside main entrances and in green spaces to ensure people had as many opportunities as possible to encounter us. We used a bold colour scheme across all of our props and used the same aesthetic on all materials and leaflets explaining what a Tenants Managagement Organisation(TMO) is and what it might mean.

We had activities for children to encourage families to engage and planting for people to take home to embed the message that a change in management could allow for more personal touches. We wanted to capture whether, once we had explained the premise, they thought yes or no to the question ‘Should our estate have a TMO?’. We used large voting placards and photographed people with their chosen response. This made it feel fun and personal, and attracted attention from passers by and neighbours.

Alongside raising awareness of management structures we wanted to recruit new members to the fledgling TMO. We collected the responses and created a report and summary newsletter which was distributed to all households to share findings and invite people to a special gathering to bring new members together and set out the next steps. We wanted to continue to break from the norm and make activities fun to engage a new audience and the existing membership so that Pitfield TMO had enough capacity to turn their vision in a reality.