The Booth Community by Léa Hobson, Lucie Le Bouder
Our design has been inspired by the available space left from disused phone booths in London. Our proposal suggests to revive these empty public spaces and create a network of new booths with different functions to facilitate collaboration, production of resources for and by the community and connect around common places and passions. We have chosen an area of east london (Hoxton) as an example of how the process of commoning could take place.
An online platform, key to this proposal, would enable commoners to get involved, find out more about diverse activities taking place, work together and sustain the network. The function and location of the booths would be decided by commoners depending on the activities surrounding it and the community’s needs to make sure a network is created with local businesses, parks and institutions. The online platform would help people meet, share interests and skills, and help one another.
The opening of the booths and the activities taking place, as well as the maintenance would rely on the commoners, who could volunteer, book slots or organize events through this platform. Each booth would be maintained and powered by renewable energies.
The proposal would need a financial input to build the booths, which could be co-created through participatory workshops with local schools such as Hackney Community College.
The proposal with its small flexible and adjustable scale ensures an easy and durable use. Examples of booths could be a « seed garden shed », linked to local parks, a bike repair annex linked to a repair shop, a library booth or an art&culture booth linked to schools, local libraries or galleries. The needs and passions of commoners will dictate where they are located and what happens in them, which could evolve over time, ensuring their full responsibility and ownership.
Léa Hobson is an architect, who has previously worked on various architectural participatory projects. She believes in the importance of reusing existing spaces to help communities connect. She focused on the design of the booths, their functions, maintenance and the how commoners could engage with them.
Lucie Le Bouder is a visual artist whose work is strongly inspired by architecture and urbanism. She is interested in connections, routes and networks in cities and what brings people together. She studied the chosen area, its current state, activities and disfunctions, and suggested a new network. She also thought of a variety of artistic and cultural collaborations which could take place in the booths.
Léa and Lucie have worked together in the past and deeply believe in cross-disciplinarity to think, create and understand urbanism, architecture, and design.