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New film captures community dreams for the future of Bow

Posted on 2 August 2016

Written by:

Louise Dredge

How can utopian thinking support the creation of better places?

Prototyping Utopias from Glass-House Community Led Design on Vimeo.

This new film by Emma Crouch (i say RAAR) conveys the activities, dreams and reflections of those who took part in the activities of our Prototyping Utopias projects held in Bow, in April and May 2016. An evocative soundtrack of utopian dreams, captured through a participatory sound installation, gives voice to local aspirations and desires and inspires others to think about the future of their own places.

Responding to AHRC’s call for participation in the Utopia-themed research festival, the Prototyping Utopias project created ‘spaces for dreaming’ for local people and organisations in Bow, East London, to share and visualise their visions and ideas about the places where they live, work and play.

Over 140 people engaged in a Dreaming Utopias open day in April 2016 sharing their visions for Bow through interactive, creative activities. People’s contributions were further explored at a workshop in May which led to the generation of prototypes for interventions in the urban landscape that could draw on local resources, skills and relationships.

The project was led by the Open University and The Glass-House, in collaboration with Bow Arts, Bow Church, Bromley by Bow Centre, Poplar HARCA and artists Simon Daw and Paul Burgess.

The film was screened at Somerset House during the Utopia Fair, 24-26 June 2016, part of their Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility programme.