The Public Space Seminar was a weekly meeting developed by designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad with students from Westminster Academy, and held between 2010 and 2011. The Public Space Seminar was proposed as an experiment in how vocational education could be re-tooled as a form of training in critical thought and collective action.
Students on work experience mapped the issues and spaces that were important to their lives, experimenting with group process and developing creative interventions into the urban landscape. The first collective formed around issues of gentrification in the Church Street Neighbourhood. Through a series of performed research-actions, Public 10 tested their ideas in practice, asking local residents how they felt about proposed changes to the neighbourhood while, for example, carrying their groceries for them. Their final event saw the creation of a market stall on Church Street Market, at which they served tea and conversed with visitors about their findings.
Public 10 was produced using the online archive and publishing tool edgwareroad.org, created by Bombay based media collective CAMP while in residence on the Edgware Road. It is part of the series, Studies on a Road, in which groups who took part in the Edgware Road Project from 2008 – 2016, have shared their studies of the area and reflections on the stakes of the project.
The Possible Studies imprint was developed through the Edgware Road Project. Initiated by Serpentine Galleries in 2008 the Edgware Road Project links local groups and international artists with people living and working in this area. The itinerant project base for the project is the Centre for Possible Studies, home to screenings, events, a publishing imprint and an ongoing project archive. From 2016 the Possible Studies imprint will be housed at Church Street Library on a specially commissioned shelf dedicated to the local area.
Hello, we are PUBLIC10. We are an independent research group of students and residents of Church Street. We have focused our attention to the Church Street area, its planned regeneration, its possible demolition and its pending change.
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad (b. 1979) is a designer based in London. His varied works cover the design of domestic and public spaces, recipes, games, interventions, product and image-production. He is interested in developing methodologies that actively engage the public within design processes and notions of defamiliarisation as a design tool. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and regularly teaches at Central St. Martins and Kingston University in London.
Selected exhibitions and commissions include: Edgware Road Project, Serpentine Gallery; Mapusa Market, British Council, AHRC (both 2014); Open School East, Barbican (2013-14), Futurist Library, Liverpool Biennial, Survival Kit, LCCA, RIGA, Telling Not Reading, muf architecture/art (all 2013); The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON and Communal Knowledge, The Showroom (both 2012).