Housing, Feminism and Urban Change

Making Space is a project by Soft Fiction Projects, that will be developed during a month-residency at Guest Projects London, on July 2019.  

The project will focus on the particular history of feminism, housing and urban change in Hackney during the mid 1970’s. 

Re-visiting theoretical research and publicly funded social projects developed by the Matrix Feminist Design Co-Operative - authors of the book ‘Making Space: Women and the man-made environment’ - this project will explore the origins of a community of women who moved in squatted houses in the Hackney neighbourhood, in the late 1970’s, and the historical importance of this community in providing an opportunity for women to live autonomously, connected to wider feminist politics in London, and take control over their immediate build environment.

As part of our joint residency at Guest Projects we will use the gallery space as a forum and set within which to host a series of talks and public debates around the socio-political context of the current social housing crisis, inviting local civil-justice groups and activists to join the conversation. Over the duration of the month we will host a series of public events, screenings and a public forum with a range of guest speakers from local social justice and activist groups, to generate a discussion around wealth distribution and housing provision in the current socio-political landscape .

The residency will culminate in a small printed publication with a limited edition run of 250 copies and will incorporate the research generated over the month and act as a lasting document of the conversations generated as a result of the project.

More info here.

Research Images 1 and 2: credits ‘Making Space: Women and the man made environment’ by Matrix Design Studio, Pluto Press London 1984; pag.43: ‘urban obstacle courses’

Research Image 3. Source: Wall, Christine, “We don’t have leaders! We’re doing it ourselves”, Field Journal, Vol 7(1), page 137. Image credits: Architects Mary-Lou Ascott and Susan Francis, one of the founder members of Matrix, setting out a floor plate.