Thamesmead Urban Pioneers

27 September – 6 October 2014

From 27 September to 6 October 2014 The Architecture Foundation's Urban Pioneers programme was in Thamesmead.

We were working with a group of eight local young people aged 17 - 19 who are aspiring architects, cultural managers, engineers, designers, photographers and artists. Through a series of free creative workshops with well-known architects, artists, writers and a videographer the group are investigating the local built environment and the challenges it faces. Their investiagtion and findings have been made available to the public through a collaborative short-film exploring their perspective of 'living in Thamesmead’. 

They investigated different perceptions of the area represented in architectural accounts as well as those shown in media and popular culture. They considered the estates conception as a 1960’s urban utopia, and its immediate visual link to youth violence as setting for the 1971 film ‘A Clockwork Orange’, its local reputation as gangland and its connection to more recent conversations surrounding issues of regeneration.

Drawing on the plot of the 1974 ‘Living at Thamesmead’ film, the group decided to make a film showing 'a real local young persons movements around Thamesmead today', including the sounds they hear, the famously cheap chip shop that is now rubble, the picturesque lakes they still hang around, a decanted home and the monastic ruins they played in as children.

Made by the Thamesmead Urban Pioneers:
Abdallah Ahmed, Cathy Phan, Frankie Martin, Tega Ege, Mehrdad Fathy, Naumi Ononiwu, Wan Teng Teoh, and Zoe Tang

In collaboration with:
Alan Cusack, Aislinn White, Benji Fox, and Henrietta Williams

With thanks to: 
Alex Forrester, Cherry Kent, Laura Smith, Lee Gant, and Ricarda Vidal

You can find more information and follow the groups progress on their own project blog.

For further information please contact Aislinn White.  

The Urban Pioneers programme is sponsored by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

With extra inkind support for Thamesmead Urban Pioneers from Trust Thamesmead

Image: Courtesy The AF