The Showroom

Communal Knowledge

Communal Knowledge is a programme of collaborative projects where artists and designers are invited to work with community groups, organisations, schools and individuals from The Showroom’s neighbourhood.

Set up in 2010 and led by Louise Shelley our Collaborative Projects Curator, Communal Knowledge has responded to numerous local, social and political shifts. Through conversations around shared interests and concerns, projects aim to generate playful and experimental avenues for critical reflection on issues at stake locally.

The Church Street area, NW8, is bordered by the Edgware Road, Regent's Canal, Lisson Grove and the Westway, and is known for its distinctive and diverse communities from across the Middle East and Africa. Culturally and community rich, the neighbourhood also has the fourth lowest median household income of all the wards in London and 50 per cent of children live below the poverty line.

Much of the emphasis is on finding ways to re-think or ‘unlearn’ established norms, values, codes, roles and relations, to create visibility, and to produce an alternative body of knowledge gained through communal activity and experience. Projects can take the form of commissions which develop through a year-long series of workshops and research, culminating in a presentation or event in the gallery space; or they can function as long-term collaborations, some of which are off-site, embedded within the local community.

Our approach is unique in the way in which we build strong relationships through projects developed over the long-term, and in how we regard each and every person involved in them as a collaborator. Trust and a conscious awareness of process and the impact a project can have beyond its existence, are key to our way of working. Some groups and individuals are now starting to get involved in projects within our broader programme, or in some cases are taking on a more proactive role within artistic productions.

For more information or to get involved please contact Jenny Cooper or phone 020 7724 4300.

Local groups and organisations

Ada Court
Church Street Neighbourhood Management
City of Westminster College
Fourth Feathers
Independent Workers of Great Britain
Justice for Domestic Workers
King Solomon Academy
Marylebone Bangladesh Society
Marylebone Project
Penfold Community Hub at 60 Penfold Street
Portman Early Childhood Centre
Pursuing Independent Pathways [PIP]
Quintin Kynaston School
The Cockpit Theatre
The Migrants Resource Centre
The Prince's Trust
The Seymour Homeless Art Collective
Westminster Adult Education services

Communal Knowledge is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, John Lyon’s Charity, and Garfield Weston Foundation.


  1. Rbinconvo
    Event Ricardo Basbaum in conversation with Chris Dercon and Massimiliano Mollona.

  2. Point8
    Event Point 8 event

  3. Walk
    Event Difference as an Arithmetic Exercise, Walk

  4. Event Difference as an Arithmetic Exercise, Seminar

  5. 01538
    Event Point 6 Reading Group

  6. E6small
    Event The Showroom Reading Group 2013

  7. E5-1024x679
    Event Seymour Art Collective NBP diagram walk

  8. E5-1024x679
    Video re-projecting (london): Seymour Art Collective – Walk

  9. E4
    Event Sirens Taken for Wonders

  10. E4
    Video Sirens Taken for Wonders

  11. Front_page
    Text Ricardo Basbaum: re-projecting (london)

  12. E1small-1024x767
    Event Church Street Neighbourhood Lunch

  13. 01537
    Event The Walking Reading Group

  14. 01508
    Exhibition Kathrin Bohm: I am a shop

  15. 01509
    Event PIP on Church Street Market

  16. 01511
    Event Talking Shop

  17. Silentuniversityopenday
    Event The Silent University Open Day

  18. 01289
    Event Work Like This

  19. 01178
    Event Werker 3: Bilderkritik 2 with Justice for Domestic Workers

  20. 01200
    Event Survival Strategies for Cultural Workers Meeting

  21. 01084
    Event ASK! cleaning action with Justice for Domestic Workers

  22. Gdr_exhibit_2012_image_2
    Exhibition The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON

  23. Gdr_exhibit_2012_image_5
    Event The Reading Room

  24. Event Book Launch: Andrea Francke and Delta Arts

  25. Event Read-in with Annette Krauss, Laura Pardo and Marina Stavrou

  26. Event Film screening with a women's organisation

  27. Event Workshop: Matthijs de Bruijne and Justice for Domestic Workers

  28. Event Presentation of Futures Plan

  29. Event Workshop: Quintin Kynaston school and Annette Krauss

  30. Event Church Street Neighbourhood Management Networking Lunch