A&J

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. The first branch of Assemble & Join was set up in October 2012 operating in and around Lower Marsh, SE1 for eight months. Early in 2014, A&J Bristol saw a series of Speed Racer Derby events with NHS staff at the Frenchay and Southmead Hospital. We have subsequently used the birdbox product for other engagement events such as at Trevenson Park, in Cornwall. ‘HTA’s co-ordination and delivery of the Assemble & Join project in Lower Marsh has been an extremely positive experience for Waterloo Quarter BID – both as a delivery partner, as well as in our role as a membership organisation for the local business community. Waterloo is not an easy area, with a plethora of interest groups and competing voices in a part of London that is changing rapidly. Through HTA’s leadership of the project, Assemble & Join has brought together these different groups to achieve remarkable consensus within the local community, a genuine sense of local ownership of the project and – very importantly – a high quality end result.’ – Helen Santer, Chief Executive, Waterloo Quarter BID.