Housing, Feminism and Urban Change

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

The project focuses 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. This community had an historical importance in providing opportunities for women (especially queer women and single mothers) to live autonomously, connecting with wider feminist politics in London and taking control over their immediate build environment.

In occasion of the residency’s conclusion, Soft Fiction Projects organised a public event, showcasing a selection of materials which allowed the public to directly engage with the research findings.
An evening public screening expanded on the theme of the residency, linking Hackney housing history with other case studies across Ireland and UK. 

More info about Guest Project residency programme can be found 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.

Image 4-5: Selected research materials showcased in Guest Projects.  

This project is kindly funded by The Fenton Arts Trust.