- Words and images by Quincy Haynes
Goal & objective
Responding to Hackney’s disappointingly low voter turnout, the House of Common-ers aims to inspire a new generation of informed and politically engaged citizens to shape the future of the borough. This will be achieved through a programme of political education, formal and informal discussion spaces, and blending old and new.
Through the careful insertion of educational and public arenas within the existing fabric of the Town Hall, the project creates a series of spaces for local schoolchildren and residents to engage in the political process. Through deconstructing and subverting the existing political process, local people are brought into civic spaces to inform political discourse.
Hackney truly becomes a ‘Place for Everyone’ as local policy is reformed based on the needs and hopes of residents. Residents and their children over time develop and curate critical thought on how their local area should be governed. Political drive and capital investment will be redistributed and allocated in areas that residents feel need focused attention. Deep-rooted negative perceptions of the political process will, over time, change as local people are encouraged to participate and share their views through a variety of ways.
The aspiration is that over time other local councils will adopt similar strategies of inserting an education programme within their civic spaces – eventually becoming a London-wide strategy. The project hypothesises a new future for London’s democratic process, placing people at its core.
Hackney Town Hall, London Borough of Hackney, E8 1EA
35,790 sqft / 3,325 sqm
Hackney Council/People of Hackney