Assemble & Join, Aylesbury Estate
Aylesbury Estate, Southwark
Notting Hill Genesis
Planning authority
London Borough of Southwark

Originated in response to an open call for proposals for public art, the success of Assemble and Join has seen the project become a positive agent of change in several communities across the country. 

A&J re-imagines the role a high street can play within a community, and in turn the role a community can play in the way an area develops over time offering local residents, school children, shopkeepers, market traders and community groups the chance to collectively research, design and build changes to the public realm to better suit their needs, as well as those of the community as a whole.

The workshop centres around a CNC machine, with the A&J team working with local people to design and build creative additions to the public realm, such as bird boxes, wayfinding solutions, garden planters and bug boxes.

A&J is bringing digital manufacturing to the high street, meaning anybody and hopefully everybody is able to play a more active role in shaping where they live and work.

As part of the public engagement programme at the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark Assemble and Join was housed in two shipping containers. The established programme of designing days and making days resulted in the individuals and groups participating to decide chess tables, signs, skateboard ramps and football targets were needed in the play areas and open spaces. A lot of fun was had by the participants from HTA and local residents.

Throughout its history HTA’s work with a community for that community has repeatedly proven to be successful and rewarding for all involved. Engaging local people in decisions about public art where they live, work and shop, Assemble and Join is an innovative means of public engagement, a simple idea that puts sophisticated technology to use and continues to be popular. 

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