File Note 45: DIY Regeneration - Camden Art Centre

Essay by Andreas Lang



DIY Regeneration Images References Quote Biography Credits

DIY Regeneration

The King’s Cross redevelopment area is one of the largest inner city regeneration schemes in Europe and in common with many such projects confronts residents and visitors with significant changes which are often the result of top-down politics. During June, July and August 2009 art and architecture collective, public works roamed King’s Cross on the look out for activist residents, workers and commuters engaged in making a difference to the area themselves.

The DIY Regeneration project was interested in these small scale, self driven initiatives, motivated by a local need or desire. Over the three months, public works talked to individuals who have a direct, active involvement with their community and on a daily basis contribute to and change the area in which they live. Each of these encounters resulted in a hand made poster which captured the tips and advice offered on the best ways to get involved and start taking ownership of your neighbourhood.

DIY Regeneration used the Folk Float, a customised milk float, as a mobile workshop space, billboard, archive and on-site office. The posters which document the tips, advice and slogans collected on site, were also displayed on the roaming float and online at A final selection of posters has been printed and fly-posted across the King’s Cross area, spreading the advice back into the community which produced it.


Peter Blundell-Jones, Doina Petrescu, Jeremy Till (Eds.) Architecture & Participation, Spoon Press (2005)

Nicolas Bourriaud Relational Aesthetics, Les Presses du Réel (2002)

Michel de Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life, University of California Press (1984)

Suzanne Lacy (Ed.) Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, Bay Press (1995)

Henri Lefebvre The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Oxford, Wiley Blackwell (1991)

Doreen Massey For Space, SAGE Publications (2005)

Jane Rendell Art and Architecture, I.B. Tauirs & Co Ltd. (2006)

Katherine Shonfield ‘The Lived and the Built’, in Rosa Ainley (Ed.) This Is What We Do: A Muf Manual, Ellipsis (2001)

Pages 173–178, chapter ‘Social Sculpture’ in Jane Rendell Art and Architecture, I.B. Tauirs & Co Ltd. (2006) 

Clare Cumberlidge & Lucy Musgrave Design and Landscape for People, Thames and Hudson (2007)

'Involve people in an idea. Community is the theme.' Alan, Charlton Street, 18.08.2009


public works is a London based artists’ and architects’ collective.Current members are Kathrin Böhm, Polly Brannan, Torange Khonsari and Andreas Lang, who have been collaborating in different constellations since 1999. public works’ projects include participatory public realm design schemes, interdisciplinary debate and publications. Ad hoc design plays a central role in producing immediate change on a small scale, and presenting and testing 1:1 proposals for the longer term and larger scale.


Andreas Lang is an architect and member of public works.

Bloomberg, Welcome Trust and Egremont Regeneration.