The Showroom invited artist and product designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad to develop a number of projects and research actions focusing on the spatial politics within Church Street, using methodologies of collaborative research with groups of locals and interventions into public space.
Working with two groups of students from City of Westminster College Hashemi-Nezhad developed two parallel research groups under the title Interplay:
Interplay part 1
A series of playful and experimental avenues for critical reflection on issues at stake in and around the NW8 neighbourhood, London. Games were devised to temporarily activate abandoned developments in the area. Each game overlays a series of new play rules in relation to the spatial qualities, history, developmental policies, and pending changes specific to the space, whilst leaving behind two permanent plaques; one including the collected and informal research related to the space, and the other, the set of rules for the game devised.
Interplay part 2
'Public Challenge' Games were collaboratively devised within the group and played out as a series of experimental and permissive research actions around notions of public interaction, perceptions of law, and spatial politics in the vicinity of City and Westminster College and Church Street Market.
During the summer of 2011 Hashemi-Nezhad worked with local young people and residents around the possibilities and expansions from a recently installed herb garden in the Lisson Green Estate:
Edible Garden Party
A series of workshops with local young people leading to a one-day event to inaugurate a small and otherwise inaccessible herb garden situated on a small pocket on land in Lisson Green Estate.
A number of recipes were experimented with at the onsite kitchen using the readily available herbs from the garden. Participants included members of Fourth feathers Youth Club, Fisherton Hall Youth Club, 60 Penfold and Lisson Green residents.
These projects were commissioned as part of Communal Knowledge, which is generously supported by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The John Lyon's Charitable Trust.