Common Grounds

Project Leaders: Lou-Atessa Marcellin, Edward Hill

Number of participants: 20

Duration: 5 days


Based in the confinement of a community garden, we will approach this week under the umbrella of ecology and ‘the common’. How can we think of ecology as a collective and collaborative process? How can creative processes be used to build a sense of community through the exchange of skills, knowledge and personal histories? Bringing a group of 10 students into a South East London community garden, we would like to spend the week exploring various creative and collaborative processes and discuss the concept of community to build new sustainable ecologies.


Day 1:

For this first day we will meet at the RCA in the morning and introduce the planning of the week to students. This will be followed by a series of quick group activities to give to everyone a chance to introduce themselves and learn about why they decided to take part in the workshop. In the afternoon we will make our way to the community garden to meet its members and take a tour of the site. We will spend the rest of the afternoon with the community group and students to discuss ideas to co-design a new structure for the garden.

Day 2:

This second day will start with a research field trip, visiting another community garden and taking inspiration for our design challenge! In the afternoon, back at the RCA, we will organize groups and run a series of activities focusing on collective making. Students will have the afternoon to come up with designs for the structure taking in account their discussion with the gardeners and the materials available to them.

Day 3:

This third day will start with the presentation of the different designs. We will discuss the potential problems before voting for two ideas to presenting to the community in the afternoon; the selected idea will be built the next day.

Day 4:

Building day: students along with community members will join forces to build the new structure. (All materials and tools will be provided on site)

Day 5:

This last day will be spend in the garden, starting with a talk on the ideas around common grounds and the use of space in the urban environment. The talk will be followed by a communal lunch in the garden with produce from the garden. The afternoon will be dedicated to gardening; lead by a member of the community garden, students will be introduced to principles of permaculture.