Producing Future Homes and Communities

A partnership between Chelsea Local and Artfield Projects, this five-day project took place at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern (London, UK).  Staff, students and alumni from University of the Arts London (UAL) collaboratively delivered an experimental programme exploring future homes, communities and ‘production’.

Producing Future Homes and Communities: Utopias, Dystopias, Heterotopias and Other Spaces | Tate Exchange | 6 – 10 February 2018

With funding from the University of the Arts London Teaching and Learning Fund

Co-curated by Interior and Spatial Design Programme tutors Marsha Bradfield (Artfield Projects) and Shibboleth Shechter (Tate Associate) the programme stemmed from the conviction that shared sustainability depends on cultural and other forms of heterogeneity. Communities are not something we can take for granted. They must be produced and reproduced in response to diverse conditions and considerations.

Producing Future Homes and Communities convened a community-of-communities that considered the significance of museums and other cultural institutions while grappling with the materiality of community and how it is shaped through structures, systems, networks and other relations. Through a series of public workshops it considered the future to better understand the present: smart cities, climate change, generative and other materials for urban expansion and renewal, as well as so much more.

At the centre of Producing Future Homes and Communities was a large-scale collaborative experimental build using recycled materials from Tate Modern and beyond. With input from tutors from across UAL including Emma Hunter, Sadhna Jain,  Peter Maloney, Matt Schwab, Takako Hasegawa and Wilfried Rimensberger – a community activist and Director of Millbank Creative Works the programme reflected on the changing importance of the home to consider the broader contextual relationship of ‘the domestic’ to the world – the relationships between public and the private spaces. These projects and collaborations culminated in a large scale Community Market, where students transacted alternative futures through a non-commercial community market showcasing creative practices from disparate points of view that variously propose utopic, dystopic and a medley of other scenarios.

Producing Future Homes and Communities also advances projects realised by Critical Practice and the Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School through practice-based research into value systems beyond the monoculture of money.

Programme – Producing Future Homes and Communities

Tate Exchange, 5th Floor, Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern


Future Archiving – led by Marsha Bradfield and Shibboleth Shechter

Souvenirs: memories of the past, objects for the future –  led by students from MA Graphic Design Communication (Chelsea College of Arts)

Space Detectors – led by Takako Hasegawa

Constructing Architectures and Infrastructures for Community Engagement

Constructing the House of Daydreams – led by students from Interior and Spatial Design (Chelsea College of Arts)

A Community Market

Featuring the following stalls: #Barter: Narrative Exchanging Station | Affordance | Artshoes – Walk Your Way | Community Days of Future Past | The Continuum: An Architecture for a Conceivable Future | Drawing Life-Map of Future | Future Archive: Legacies | A Game of Impression And Imagination | Gel Dancing with Open Systems | Gestural Dictionary for A New Community | Give, Take, Make | Is Digital a Killer Virus for Community | NSC – New Sky City | Reinterpreting the Aqal| Those Bloody Stairs | Space Detectors Workshop: Remnants | Outcomes from Souvenirs: Memories of the Past, Objects for the Future

Shock City: Resilience and the Anthropocene

Shock City was a series of events, including an exhibition, practice exchanges, a ‘day of doing’ (with walks and a workshops), and an international conference on Resilience and the Anthropocene.

Shock City | Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) | 28 – 29 October 2015

Events launched the Year of Resilience (YoR) – a programme run by CCW Graduate School during the academic year 2015–2016 – a the wide-ranging discursive educational programme that aimed to present new cultural discourses on ‘resilience’.

Resilience can be understood as the capacity of a bounded network – a person, bacterial culture, a forest, a city or an economy – to deal with change and continue to develop. It is a response to shocks and disruption, like an infection, financial crisis or climate change that spurs creative practice and encourages renewal. Resilience is a means of taking action and creating sustainable ways to co-exist within our biosphere.

Framed by later events, such an unravelling Brexit, a Trump-dominated so-called ‘free world’ and with hurricanes and natural disasters displaying climate change’s impact, this 2015 call for resilient practices is more prescient than ever. Archived here (via the UAL website) is a community of artistic practitioners producing an emergent understanding for the potential of resilience in an attempt to accumulate a shared ethos that we hope will continue on into new, unexpected and divergent practices.

Shock City Programme

The conference included presentations by invited speakers and practitioners from CCC Head in Geneva (an educational programme that develops new vocabularies for articulating the political and social implications of a changing world). Following the themes of YoR – ‘Empathy and Proximity’, ‘Making and Repairing’ and ‘Community and Resilience’ – the conference included practitioners working in the CCW Graduate School as well as others, from those working in architectural performance in Warsaw to the impact of culture on policy-making in Geneva. Together, participants and speakers created a multifaceted community response to the broader changes shaking the foundations of cultural production, including art and design education at that time.

Conference papers

Opening remarks – Marsha Bradfield, Chelsea College of Arts and Design (UAL) / Artfield Projects

Introduction – Malcolm Quinn, Associate Dean of Research and Director of Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School


Proximity to Workers in the Network – Charlotte Webb (chair)

More than One Way to Get Somewhere – Edwina Fitzpatrick and Geraint Evans

Towards the Proximity of Collective Action – David Cross

Artistic Research Impacting Policy – Hannah Entwistle


Haptic Tiles and the City – Aaron McPeake (chair)

Inheriting an Existing Circumstance – Ken Wilder

Pointing the Finger: Architecture of Abandonment – Natalia Romik

Who Looks After the Boat? – Robin Jenkins


Finding a Model for a Resilient Society – Ezio Manzini (chair)

#TransActing: A Market of Values – Marsha Bradfield

From the Classroom into the Community – Patricia Ellis and Andrew Graves-Johnson

Creative Practice Cycling Tours

Andreas Lang from Public Works. Photo: Artfield Projects

During two separate day-long tours, groups of UAL students met with artists, designers and others, who discussed experiences setting up successful and sustainable professional practices.


Creative Practice Cycling Tours | London | 16 & 18 June 2014


Tracking transitions over these cultural and artistic locations, participants on the tours were introduced to multifarious and unique ways of organising and structuring working processes, gaining detailed knowledge of the practical and conceptual skills required to make professional projects happen.

More specifically, the tours identified and mapped successful tactics for making together and inhabiting shared spaces, tracing strategies from one discipline to another, in order to provide a learning context in which participants could step outside the parameters of their normal frames of reference, learn from one another and cross-pollinate ideas.


The Good, The Bad & the Ugly

16 June 2014 | Peckham > Deptford | 9.30am – 18.00pm

With the title The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, the first tour explored the attributes needed to make it as a creative practitioner today, with guided insights from some of London’s most exciting creative practitioners working in south east London, who discussed the skills, values, behaviours and knowledge – good, bad, and at times problematic – that give them an edge.

From artists and architects to designers and cultural entrepreneurs, no matter what the creative discipline – each must make complex decisions about the commercial status and organisational structure of their work. For some, the development of an identity is key, while for others, a mastery of the art-funding system is essential.

Studio hosts

Cockpit Arts was founded in 1986 and now run social enterprise centres in (Central and South) London, which provide premises to over 170 small craft-based artists and studios. Maria Hatling, a designer supported by Cockpit Arts and Ellen O’Hara, then Head of Business Development discussed how the organisation ‘incubates’ and supports crafts practitioners in starting, growing and developing their businesses.

Claudia Firth is an artist and cultural theorist, currently based at Birkbeck University London. A member of Critical Waves Radio, she discussed her PhD research project, for which she is writing a short non-linear history of three moments of post-economic crisis (the 1970s, the 1930s and the present). Using Peter Weiss’ historical novel The Aesthetics of Resistance as a model, her research explores the specific conditions of political economy and how the terms history, aesthetics and resistance interact with and correspond to them.

Torti Hoare is a furniture designer who founded the Tortie Hoare Ltd in 2010. This studio creates exclusive, high quality handmade furniture. Each individual piece is carefully crafted with natural aesthetics and sustainability at the forefront of design-process, with the studio finding new ways of using natural materials.

NX Records is a collaboration between Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records and the Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London. Participants on the tour were joined by Simon Deacon and Ruthie Woodward from the project, who discussed how each year NX Records creates a pop-up shop in a university owned building on New Cross High Street in South East London, with the aim of celebrating and supporting independent labels and artists.



18 June 2014 | Hackney Wick > Stratford | 9.30am – 18.00pm

On the second tour, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL participants learnt about experimental approaches that use art, design, architecture and socially engaged practice to meet the needs of climate change.

For many artists today, issues of sustainability have become a central preoccupation in their work. Energy scarcity, climate damage and industrial consumerism are increasingly explored in art and design projects that test and trial new responses to ecological crises. Such practices implicitly question what it might take to move towards a post-carbon society; and it is these issues that will be investigated on the second tour.

In the newly formed post-Olympic landscape of east London, this tour tapped into cultural climate issues at a time when rampant cuts to public funding and precarity were writ large. By getting up close and personal we gained valuable understanding of some of the ways practitioners and arts organisations are making themselves more resilient through sensitive forms of practice taking energy scarcity, industrial consumerism and urban regeneration into account.

The second tour concluded with a ‘manifesto session’ led by artist and activist David Cross at Stour Space in Hackney Wick. Over tea and cake participants reflected on the day’s twists and turns – the sometimes surprising approaches to being environmentally conscious that surfaced. These reflections were developed into a set of guidelines that aim to highlight some of the skills, values, behaviours and knowledge that future-forward practitioners need to not only survive but also to thrive, in the rough and tumble world of cultural production.

Studio hosts

ASSEMBLE are a collective working across art, architecture and design to adapt and re-design reclaimed urban spaces. Embracing a DIY sensibility, their projects are conceived in tandem with the communities who use and inhabit these environments. They were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2015 shortly after the Creative Practice Cycling Tour visited them at Sugarhouse Studios on Stratford High Street. Assemble conceived and built Sugarhouse Studios (a studio and events space) in 2012, in collaboration with the London Legacy Development Corporation. This project uses the concept of a public building as a way of finding private practices (space for research, design and construction).

Richard Brown is Research Director at the Centre for London, an independent think tank and charity. Brown discussed his experiences as Strategy Director at the London Legacy Development Corporation, where he planned the transformation of London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 games and the regeneration of the surrounding area, including Hackney Wick. He also previously worked at the Greater London Authority, in the Architecture and Urbanism Unit amongst other positions, which promoted architectural and urban design excellence in other policies and projects in London.

Ross Butler is a ‘culturepreneur’ who founded Butler’s Gin in 2012. Discussing his experiences as a designer and brand developer, he introduced this unique brand, which adapts an originally Victorian recipe, connecting with London’s East End both historically and today, based in Hackney Wick.

Public works is a critical design practice set-up in 2004 and based in Queens Yard. As they discussed during a session in the Yard Theatre, as well as buildings, they create discursive events and undertake research, planning campaigns and urban strategies, as well as participatory art and architecture that aims to occupy the terrain in-between architecture, art, performance and activism.


Training for Exploitation?

Written and collated by the Precarious Workers Brigade (PWB) this workbook is a critical resource pack for educators. As a tool, it emphasizes employability and work-based learning as core aspects of an educator’s ongoing ‘professional practice’.

Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education | London/LA/Leipzig: Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press | 2017

For many years the members of the Precarious Workers Brigade have been developing insightful analyses, tools and actions questioning wageless and other exploitative forms of labour in the arts and education sectors. With a shared commitment to developing research and actions, this collaborative political project involves developing tactics, strategies, formats, practices, dispositions, knowledges and tools for making this happen. They seek approaches that are practical, relevant and easily shared and applied.

This publication provides a pedagogical framework that assists students and others in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy. Training for Exploitation? includes tools for critically examining the relationship between education, work and the cultural economy. It provides useful statistics and workshop exercises on topics such as precarity, employment rights, cooperation and solidarity, as well as examples of alternative educational and organising practices. Training for Exploitation? shows how we can both critique and organise against a system that is at the heart of the contemporary crises of work, student debt and precarity.

The PWB is a UK-based group of workers in culture and education whose employment and existence is ‘precarious’ – calling out to those also struggling to make a living in the climate of instability and enforced austerity.

Design: Evening Class

Foreword: Silvia Federici

ISBN 978-0-615-59011-0

Order / download for free

The Millbank Atlas

An exhibition and public events programme co-curated by Marsha Bradfield (Artfield Projects) and Shibboleth Shechter (Chelsea College of Arts, UAL) exploring the lived experience of the Millbank area in London.

Millbank Atlas | Cookhouse Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts | 20 – 28 January 2017

The Millbank Atlas is a collaborative project that brings together researchers, students and local residents to trace the neighbourhood surrounding Chelsea College of Arts. It convenes staff and student researchers based at CCA with local residents and others. Core to the curriculum of Chelsea Local (one of seven studios) on BA Interior and Spatial Design, the Atlas has unfolded as a collection of maps that trace and retrace the surrounding neighbourhoods of the College through diverse 2D and 3D cartographic experiments. Chelsea Local specialises in design for community engagement through participatory practice-based research, exploring social and other forms of resilience for tackling natural and man-made upheavals. The studio considers robust communities to be an essential building block of a resilient society. Chelsea Local holds that Art and Design can and should play a role in shaping these communities, addressing and solving global problems as they are manifested locally.

For this project, students on the BA Interior and Spatial Design used practice-based research to create maps and other cartographic experiments to identify distinguishing characteristics of this part of London. At stake here is a better understanding of Millbank as comprised of reciprocal relations between the College and surrounding businesses, residential blocks, civil society groups, transportation links and other amenities, infrastructure and further aspects of this built and natural environment.

With support from Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School

Tea Exchange

Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, Souped Up Tea Urn and Amp / Teapot (Dartford) 2004. Photo: TATE collections

As part of the inaugural programme of the Tate Exchange, students and staff from the BA Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) moved their studio into this new space, which occupies an entire floor of the new Blavatnik building (also known as the Switch House) at Tate Modern, Bankside.

Tea Exchange | Tate Exchange, Tate Modern | 22 February – 3 March 2017

Exploring and expanding upon the name of this new initiative, visitors to the museum were invited to share this studio space, taking part in workshops, talks and presentations as part of a curated programme involving with students, tutors and critics. Over the course of the week, participants designed and constructed eight full-scale cardboard teahouses. Exploring themes of social and ritualised behaviour as well as the architectural and cultural significance of tea, these structured considered tea as produce and commodity. Participants drank tea and exchanged ideas, discussing the historical, cultural, social and political significance of tea.

When the teahouses were almost complete, architect Rain Wu performed tea ceremonies that fuse fuse traditions of East and West, using a tea set designed as part of his 2016 artist residency at the Design Museum (down the river). The programme also included a guest lecture by Masayasu Tamiya, exploring the Japanese Way of Tea. On the final day of the Tate Exchange students were joined by a guest critic, who reviewed the Tea Exchange followed by a performative lecture by ISD tutor Marsha Bradfield – Steeped: A Legacy of Tea on the history, culture and politics of tea.

What Happens To Us

Participants, What Happens to Us. Photo: Ben McDonnell, 2017

Curated by Amy McDonnell and Marsha Bradfield, this exhibition examined democracy as a system of community formation.

What Happens to Us | Wimbledon Space | 15 November – 9 December 2016

Communities don’t just happen, they’re made

The exhibition unfolded in the long shadow of the UK’s referendum about whether to stay in Europe or not, as well as the threatening prospect of Donald Trump leading the so-called free world, which compelled many at that time to ask, should we ‘just say no’ to democracy? What if the philosopher Joseph de Maistre was right: people really do get the governments they deserve?

What Happens to Us takes as its departure the exhibition Democracy by the collective Group Material (1988–9), which was determined by round table discussions on the (still) pressing issues of AIDS, cultural participation, election and education. Today, we might add climate change, mass migration and economic disparity to this list. At What Happens to Us we ate together, made decisions and researched collaboratively, and built the exhibition and its ethos over time, hosting daily workshops, talks and screenings in four, weekly phases – ‘Build’, ‘Elect’, ‘Use’ and ‘Account’ to explore the politics in our communities.

With participation from

Acts of Searching Closely, Francesca Baglietto, Manuel Batsch, Brad Butler, Jaya Clara Brekke, Helen Brewer, Georgia Brown, Elliot Burns, Ève Chabanon, Cinzia Cremona, Carla Cruz, Neil Cummings, Neil Farnan, Michael Freedman, Sharon Gal, Naomi Garriock, Alison Green, Isabelle Gressel, Gabriele Grigorgeva, Mark Herbst, Karem Ibrahim, Helen Kaplinsky, Pippa Koszerek, May Project Gardens, Rosia McGinn, Zoë Mendelson, Radical ReThink, Susan Rocklin, Susanna Round, Scott Schwager, Barbara Steveni, Neil Tait, Jessica Tanghetti, Jennet Thomas, Binita Walia, Wright and Vandame

The full programme and archive of the project can be found at