We live in challenging times.
In the past seven years we have seen the world change. Every political action seems to be marked by a new word that has become ingrained into our very consciousness and fed into every sector of our lives – recession.
This intangible concept has impacted us socially, culturally and psychologically. We have seen people taking to the street and using their bodies to occupy spaces in protest. We have seen riots and we have seen a decline in the value of social support. We have seen the monetization of our services and a property market spiraling out of control. The city, which once took us in and gave us a home, feels somewhat distant; our sense of belonging skewed by fear of the rent rising or loss of employment.
I say this not because I hate London. I love London and could not imagine living anywhere else. It is a city full of creative inspiration; full of opportunities to re-make yourself on a daily basis without fear of social pressure or judgment. It is a place of discovery. Of education and culture, a place of history but also a place of technology and innovation. It is a place, which flourishes in spite of it all, where markets ebb and flow like the tide of the Thames popping up across the city and creating temporary communities; farmers markets, craft markets, Christmas markets, pound-a-bowl markets and many more.
Markets are vital to human societies, as they allow us to exchange goods and services between us, rather than every individual having to produce and do everything for him or herself. As a result, the marketplace becomes an arbiter of value, ‘discovering and representing the desires of society’. This is why the idea of the free market can be championed as a moral cause, because it represents people’s freedom to obtain what they want in life.
However, this idealized vision of the marketplace is not the reality we are currently living in. Real estate and business in London are currently driven by a worldview, which sees money not as a measure of value, but as, in itself, the ultimate value. It is very easy to make this mistake, since money acts as a proxy for something that is a constant variable – i.e what is important in life and society. However the effects are serious, since it is leading to the marketization of every aspect of society and to a conception of the market, which is very narrow and prohibits the many other kinds of exchange and interaction that might be possible.
Making London is a design-led event, which encourages you to step away from your workplace and see things with fresh eyes. It aims to bring together a community of designers, cultural movers and shakers, local businesses & charities, policy makers, planners et al. Using design methods, this workshop based event will take you through the process of considering the things you value about living in London and the issues you face. These will be collaboratively explored and built upon with the aim of developing some group insights into potential projects for social change and creative interpretation.
It is in essence a social hackathon, exploring, through design and making new approaches to collaborative problem solving.
To attend this event, register at: https://makinglondon.eventbrite.co.uk
See our E-flyer below, click for further information!
This event is organised in collaboration with The XDs (experience design group). The XDs are an experience design collective with 200+ specialists, an eclectic bunch of creatives, psychologists, data scientists and designers.
Other people & groups who are doing work in this area include: