Common gardens are places where communities nurture, replenish, and socialise. Such collective practices maintain local ecosystems, promote local agency, and challenge how we relate to each other and our environment.

London’s Common Gardens aims to upscale and exchange community knowledge on urban sustainability. It draws on a year-long collaboration between London South Bank University and Loughborough Farm. The project offers two public events within the London Festival of Architecture.

Common Gardens: Dialogues
Common Gardens: Dialogues is the first of a two part event series between Loughborough Farm and London South Bank University. The event will feature a panel discussion between farm members, community activists and researchers, and an exhibition of student work.

Charlotte O’Connor, Loughborough Farm
Marco Veneri, lecturer and researcher
Callum Campbell, Nooma Studio
Anne Poole and Joseph Griffiths, Public Practice
Tom Dobson, Public Works

Common Gardens: Practice
Common Gardens: Practice is the second of a two part event series between Loughborough Farm and London South Bank University. The event will include a series of workshops, providing participants with practical knowledge on and around urban gardening.

Practice Workshops:
Loughborough Farm Tour
Laughter Yoga with Zeenat
Composting Workshop with Incredible Edible Lambeth and Trueque Collective, Costa Rica
DIY Renewable Energy Workshop with Seb
Children’s Seedlings Workshop
Remaking Workshop with Remakery

The Design Component
To stage the events, the project includes a small-scale design intervention. This will feature the design and construction of lightweight modular elements by LSBU students and farm volunteers. The units were designed to be easy to move and install, considering recycled and regenerative materials and techniques. They can serve as seating and planting elements, and when assembled, they can form a small-scale event space. The project was developed using a co-design strategy, involving the farm’s volunteers in the design and assembly process to ensure a participatory approach and offer practical skills for all participants, with the potential for creat- ing future revenue streams for the farm. The prototype of the unit will be developed as an open-source blueprint based on CNC cutting technology. This will enable the creation of new structures, events, and activities. The final design outcome will remain on site to host the event and work as a prototype to support the exchange of practical knowledge.

Student Team:
Emily Kajdi, Lillian Bartella, Steve Jell, Rhys Riddle, Aimie Cheetham, Dylan Finch, Rory Ward, James Kernot

CNC Consultant: Jack Theobald, Design & Modelling Technician

London Festival of Architecture
Loughborough Farm


London South Bank University
Landscape Research Fund
Brixton BID

Ioana Petkova/Valerio Massaro
Lecturers in the Division of Architecture, London South Bank University

Research Project

London’s Common Gardens

LSBUxLFxLFA, 2022/23

Common Gardens: Dialogues at Borough Road Gallery, Image: Ivan Matvejevs

Common Gardens: Practice at Loughborough Farm, Image: Ivan Matvejevs