For three months in the summer of 2015, we engaged with an enthusiastic group of local residents, pressure groups, traders and local creative industries to envision the future of public space at Peckham Rye station, in south London.
A previous proposal for the site had been met with intense local opposition. In this new exercise, people involved volunteered their time to participate in events, workshops, walkabouts, model-making sessions, questionnaires and interviews. Our final report, which was accompanied by a website, captured the evidence we had harvested in live interviews, comments and visual material. We summarised the findings in an Atlas of Aspirations, which set out 30 key pointers for making Peckham Rye station a better place.
Ash Sakula has developed strong body of experience of devising and running imaginative and innovative presentations, launches and workshops that involve people in the design of the places that matter to them. We are particularly skilled at engaging with hard-to-reach groups, including young children, people with learning difficulties and minority ethnic groups. While we avoid set-piece routines and procedures by re-inventing our techniques for to each situation, we find that thoughtful provocations are a way to push a process forwards and prevent it going nowhere - just putting something out there for people to argue against and hone their thoughts and opinions.
We’ve learnt that conversation breeds conversation and that chance remarks and off-the-cuff comments can turn concepts and ideas into meaningful community places. Our practice of filming consultation events enables us to build on previous discussions and construct an ongoing dialogue out of what might otherwise be fleeting interactions.