Hackney Town Hall Square Ideas Forum
Name Of Project
Hackney Town Hall
Square Ideas Forum
Urban | Public
The ‘Ideas Forum’ was an intense, three-day public forum held in a translucent marquee in Hackney Town Hall Square. Fluid curated the ideas forum on possible futures for the town hall square and the surrounding ‘cultural quarter’.
The process acknowledged local people as experts and accommodated them in a stimulating and open environment enabling them to participate at a number of levels, and yielding a huge range of ideas and thoughts.
A mapping table, a big ideas model, interactive computers, a ‘vox pop’ video and canvass cards captured local thinking in a number of ways. For example the canvass card contained direct questions on perceptions and desires for the square but they also asked for definitions of ‘culture’ and played a word association game triggered by the word ‘happiness’.
Attention was drawn to the event via an interactive laser projection across the square from the town hall projecting cultural images with the help of punk artist Jamie Reid and linked to movement sensors in the square. This allowed people to alter things just by being there. A ‘culture treck’ around the area led by historian Joe Kerr drew out the area’s hidden history and its political connections with key ‘New Labour’ figures.
The end result was a brief for the square’s ‘regeneration’ summarized in a publication called ‘Infomax’. Landscape Architects Gross Max were subsequently commissioned and a full schemer was drawn up by them.