Meet the Place-Makers: Caring for Carers

By Claire Mead

City Co-Labs Re-Making Place Exhibition
16-22 September, New Wing, Somerset House
London Design Festival 2019

Makerversity’s Civic Hacks addresses the big social issues of our time. We create new collaborations between makers to radical solutions to social problems.

Our Re-Making Place Civic Hack explored the future city via the way we use and design its public spaces. Makers worked together on new ideas reimagining the function of urban public space. This September, 16th-22nd in G16 of New Wing at Somerset House, our exhibition part of London Design Festival presents this Civic Hack’s outcomes.

In partnership with the Northbank BID, it drew inspiration from plans to pedestrianise the Strand-Aldwych area. This was our starting point to develop new dialogue on public city spaces in London and beyond. Come discover our three final team proposals and vote for your favourite concept. The winning team will develop their idea in a 6-month Northbank BID residency at Makerversity.


Meet the Caring for Carers Civic Hack team!

Tajwar Aziz is currently an MA Design student at Goldsmith’s studying Expanded Design Practice, specializing in Innovation and Service. She has a background in graphic design, user experience and innovation. 

Alberta has a background in business administration and law. She works as a maritime solicitor and in her free time volunteers in the fields of art and education. Her final University project explored the evolution of a cultural institution in her hometown, Venice, and its role within the city.

Jheel Kankaria is currently a MA Design student at Goldsmith’s studying Expanded Design Practice, specializing in Spaces and Participation. Her past practice was in Product design but her main focus has been in Furniture.


How can we account for the needs of people with access needs and caregiving responsabilities in a public space?

 

“Caring for Carers focuses on public space users with specific access needs and the lives of unpaid carers. Through our pop-ups in public space we hope to start a conversation about the need for breaks for unpaid carers and use this space to discuss how public transport can be made more accessible to them and the people they care for. The current construction and organisation of public space, and that of public transport does not acknowledges the needs of carers and of cared for in the same way as of the other categories people.”

“Living in London, we use public transport on a regular basis. We spend a lot of time on trains, buses, tube and the river bus service. We therefore have first-hand experience of the limits of the public transport system, and this has inspired us to do something about it. We then tried to consider the same issues from the perspective of people with specific mobility access needs, and by observing them and the carer’s that accompany them on public transport we realised that they need more support.”

We are seeking to address the needs of unpaid carers, we seek to design a pop-up public space to be used by them as a place of resting and relaxation. It also serves as a place for contemplation and discourse around their accessibility needs. This is however twofold as through their needs we hope to address the needs of individuals with mobility issues.”


What was the Civic Hack process like?

“During the weekend of the Hack we appreciated the mentoring and direction we got from the facilitators and the rest of the cohort. Over the summer, the process has been challenging in between getting in touch with carers, our target audience, and formulating our design question. Within this challenge there has been learning in terms of team work and setting short-term and long-term goals.”


What do you hope to acheive via a residency at Makerversity?

“Being offered a 6-month residency at Makerversity would help us take our proposal to the public. Our aim is to partner up with a carer’s organisation to take this pop-up to the public and take it to various locations and community spaces to get individuals to interact with it. During our 6 months we hope to make the pop-up mobile, to enable us to transport it easily and have it set up within a public space.”

“We believe that the values that inspire our project are in line with the ones of many Makerversity members.  During the residency we would get the opportunity to learn from other makers that have addressed similar issues. In the initial stage of this project, we have already liaised with other members and their support has been invaluable and incredibly generous. Obviously, we cannot thank enough Makerversity for the mentoring provided already.”


Join us 16th-22nd September at Somerset House to discover how you can become involved and collaborate to co-make the city of the future. Come give your own ideas on ways to improve London’s public city spaces and vote for your favourite Hack idea! All details here.

Join us to re-make place!

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Posted By Claire Mead