On Saturday we opened up our doors and shared mews in Finsbury Park as part of the London Festival of Architecture. We thought this year’s festival theme, ‘act’, was a great opportunity to celebrate the act of community making. After moving to the neighbourhood a few years ago and working through the pandemic in our siloes, we created a vibrant meanwhile space to bring people together and encourage everyone to get to know their neighbours.
Visitors and passers-by were encouraged to help create, build and transform elements in the mews, learning skills and building relationships. Workshops and activities ranged from hair braiding, movement, printing, sculpting and cooking seasonal foods, to pottery, football skills, planting, drawing and even puppy play time.
Over 30 organisations based in and around Thane Works contributed to the action-packed day – a representation of the abundance of voices and creativity that this area has to offer. We might specialise in different crafts but it was very clear that we share the same drive to celebrate our neighbourhood and make it work for the people who live, work and visit here.
We installed five trees throughout the mews and asked visitors to tie ribbons to the branches as they responded to questions on how they experience the local area – the colour of the ribbon corresponding to the theme of their answer. We learnt that connectivity is our favourite feature of the local area, with community and variety in second and third place respectively. More than half of respondents don’t feel part of the changes that are currently going on in Finsbury Park and almost half of people would like to see more greenery if they could change something. Two of our collaborators, My Place and the local Neighbourhood Forum, will work with us to establish how we can ‘act’ upon these findings.
Many of those taking part in and attending the event have expressed the desire to develop this into an annual festival, so hopefully see you at #ThaneWorks next year!
The team at AFTV captured the day in a wonderful short film which you can find below.
Thanks again to all of our collaborators for bringing this incredible event to life: