Building relationships

Building relationships is at the core of what we do. Not only do we carefully build relationships with the communities we work with - we also help build them between client and community as well as between community members themselves. We believe that this process is the first step in moving towards meaningful collaboration. We use fun, creative and engaging tools to get people talking and sharing: and most of all, we listen. We have also brought people together to create lasting networks in a place, including friends of groups and management boards.

Built spaces

We love building things and believe that the combination of meaningful engagement, high quality design with hands-on project management, create great spaces. We design specific engagement props for our projects and believe in the power of high quality design to show people we value their input. From brief writing, designing and prototyping through to final installation we make sure that the vision of local people is realised in our physical outputs whilst delivering spaces that raise people's expectations of community led design.

Co-design

We believe in a fully participatory approach to design - whether it's shaping neighbourhood spaces or services. We work closely with communities, identifying needs, aspirations and concerns as well as assets and opportunities in a local area. We ensure that each stage of design is collaborative and responsive, so that public engagement in the process is meaningful. We believe in transparency, so work hard to identify parameters of influence at the very beginning of the process. Through our processes of co-design and other forms of creative engagement, we help people identify, build and grow their skills for application not only in our projects but in the future too, ensuring a positive local legacy.

Local change

We often get involved in projects in which an area or a community are undergoing a process of change. We make sure that people are integrated into the process, encouraging widespread and meaningful local participation in shaping the change - whether it's a new town centre, a new local service or a new way of managing a piece of public space. Change can be difficult but we aim to but people at the heart of change in their neighbourhood to ensure that people are aware and have influence over the changes.

Play and learning

We have a huge amount of experience working with schools and children to co-create exciting, engaging and responsive play spaces and opportunities. We work with parents, children, staff and grounds maintenance teams to expand what we mean by play provision and where we might learn things. We use study trips and workshops to share new ideas and understand what types of experience people would like to see accommodated and how a physical design might accommodate these.

Arts organisations

We value the use of arts practice as a method to build relationships, encourage broad participation and reach audiences who traditionally may not engage with conversations about local change. We use crafts, photography, drawing, mapping and much more to encourage people of all ages to get hands on and imagine what the future of their neighbourhood may be. We develop ideas that have resulted a range of physical and service changes from new artwork in an underpass to landscape features and creative craft club giving neighbours an opportunity to meet and socialise. 
Clients have included Bow Arts, Creative Barking & Dagenham and Arts Council England

Developers

We involve ourselves in development projects to ensure that communities impacted  by new developments have meaningful opportunities to participate in shaping the change and contribute to finding solutions to benefit everyone. We connect clients and their consultants with communities and facilitate an open, productive dialogue. Clients have included Barking Riverside Limited, Aberfeldy New Village and The Santon Group


Housing associations

We work on projects ranging from the design of physical spaces around social housing to developing management strategies for communal spaces. We always bring together partnerships with residents, local authorities, housing associations & management companies to embed change. We look for a solution beyond physical change, as often, it is what happens with support services that makes something really work. Clients and partners have included Hyde Housing and Poplar Harca.

Local authorities & public bodies

Being experts in creative engagement, we understand local authorities and public bodies need to engage with a wide range of stakeholders over many issues. We find ways to get to the core of an issue, gather feedback to shape design briefs that improve the physical environment, tweak or develop new services and hone management processes. We provide legacy and sustain change by finding local champions to carry on a project once we leave. Clients have included GLA, TfL, Southampton City Council, London Borough of Brent and London Borough of Watham Forest.

Schools

We work with all types of schools to develop ideas for how they can use their spaces differently. This might mean creating new learning spaces both internally and externally, or developing lesson plans and activities that support the use of spaces outside of the classroom or transforming classroom spaces. We deliver workshops with staff and students to develop and test ideas to make sure we propose change that lasts. Clients have included Birkett House School, Ashmount School and Belvue School