According to statistics gathered by the Local Data Company in 2012, nearly one in seven UK shops currently stand empty and neglected. The figure hit an all-time high of 14.6% in April 2012, as the country’s high streets continue to struggle amid economic strife and the rise and rise of online shopping. Stepping into the breach is 3Space, an innovative young charity whose tagline – “Turning empty space into an opportunity” – aptly summarises the positive nature of their mission.
Working in partnership with landlords and leaseholders, 3Space temporarily take over empty commercial properties and make these spaces available for charities, registered community organisations and social enterprises for a range of temporary pop-up projects. They currently have seven such properties across the UK (that figure has been as high as 25) including one colossal building, Audit House, on Victoria Embankment, just by Blackfriars in London. And this May, the vast former Ministry of Justice property (now owned by FORE Partnership) is playing host to a mini-festival entitled Re:THINK, that opens up a 3Space enterprise to the public for the very first time.
Over three days from Wednesday 1st May to Friday 3rd, a whole host of talks, workshops, seminars and exhibitions are taking place, culminating in a big old closing party on the Friday night. Themed around rethinking the ways that we use both our cities and our resources, the festival features an exhilarating mix of community interest activities and ethical approaches to business and creativity.
Highlights include brilliant contemporary artist Julia Vogl discussing self-initiated public art; the lovely Barley Massey on 15 years of Fabrications, her Broadway Market community craft institution; an interactive repair session with The Restart Project; Beyond Green’s Bruce McVean on the future of urban transport; Ed Williams from Secret Cinema on creative pop-ups; Adrienne Attorp discussing herbs and healing; aquaponics advice from GrowUp; interactive drawing with Bettina Fung; a talk by the ladies behind UP Projects; and Elisicia Moore from Petit Miracles discussing the all-important topic of “How to design and decorate your vacant space and not piss off your landlord”. Phew!
In addition, as media partner to the festival, the Journal of Wild Culture are holding our own little series of editorial workshops. Cooking up the Left-Overs sees Editor Tom Jeffreys hosting a series of one-on-one workshops to help writers and non-writers alike get their thoughts out into the public domain. The idea is to revisit and re-evaluate; to make use of all those editorial left-overs. So if you’ve got a half-finished short story on your laptop or a brilliant feature that nobody else wants to publish, then book a slot! Each informal workshop will be followed by editing and advice via email, and successfully completed pieces will be published right here on the Journal of Wild Culture.
Re:THINK is at 3Space’s new hub in Blackfriars from 1st-3rd May 2013.
Booking for Cooking up the Left-Overs is through Eventbrite.
LONDON: This May sees innovative charity 3Space hosting their first public festival, featuring all manner of brilliant events and activities, plus a little contribution from a certain Journal...