The context of scarcity: a very brief introduction to bromley-by-bow

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SoftGrid in association with AESOP and IFHP
Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) is a 3-year collaborative research project with teams in London, Vienna, Reykjavik and Oslo. In London, the project looks at the potential of creativity to intervene in the processes that trigger, maintain and reproduce scarcity with a special focus on Bromley-by-Bow, east London, one of the UK’s most ‘deprived’ communities. Instead of inventing or appropriating pre-defined issues around scarcity, we designed our research to bring out what kinds of scarcities are experienced by people in ‘deprived’ areas, where, we assumed, scarcities of all sorts should certainly be present. Our aim was to develop a non-instrumental ‘design brief’ which should serve as the basis for work with selected designers (architects) and other creative design and planning professionals. In the hope to understand what scarcity means in the context of a ‘deprived’ east London ward, we photographed and observed, asked 105 residents to take part in a survey and more than 30 to contribute their own photographs and to tell the stories behind them.
Architecture & Planning in Times of Scarcity : Reclaiming the Possibility of Making. 3rd AESOP European Urban Summer School 2012, Manchester
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