Design for civic engagement

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Open Works by Lambeth Council

The Open Works was an experiment by Lambeth Council to see how they could create more opportunities for all citizens to participate in public life, and actively shape where they live in real and practical ways. The idea was to test these ideas and to see if these new networks of activity can benefit everyone and help us to bridge some of the social and economic divides. The types of experiments it looked at included:

  • Can we connect with each other more, through everyday activities such as working, eating, learning, making, growing  and cooking, rather than doing many of these things alone?

  • Can we do this as an intergenerational community of peers, working together not as consumers, but as creative and open citizens?  

  • Can we work collectively across institutional and governmental boundaries to build a new system of spaces and activity that are sustainable and shape a positive future?

  • Can we design new types of inclusive and generative local projects that have multiple effects - working to improve individual and collective health, education, safety, employment, wellbeing ... ?

  • Can we create more equality of opportunity for people to grow their ideas, whether for community projects or to start a business ... or even invent new livelihoods which might be a mixture of both?


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