Alternative Camden - Ideas




What is it?
Expanding the notion of a “Men’s Shed” to create a network of inclusive making spaces, which use waste materials to improve the public realm.

Why is it useful?
Men’s Sheds have been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression and improve general wellbeing of those using them. There are now over 400 across the UK, with more in development. We could leverage these foundations to create a network of “sheds”, coupled with a platform that identifies waste or excess material within the local community.

These “sheds” could then provide the equipment needed to transform the waste material for improving public spaces. Not only could this tackle social isolation but it could help bridge the digital divide and concurrently contribute to urban development.

Who would need to be involved?
  • The “Men’s Shed” network
  • Camden residents
  • Camden Council
  • Waste & recycling services
  • Community training schemes

Where do we start?
  • Connect with the “Men’s Shed” network and identify where improvements could be made.
  • Hold a workshop with “Men’s Shed” network, Camden Council and community representatives to identify if/how a local material platform could be beneficial.
  • Design and prototype a material logistics platform that integrates with the making sheds.
  • Work with insurance experts to develop the public liability and insurance framework for public realm improvements.
  • Co-develop integrated prototype for the material logistics platform, making shed network and regulatory framework and test at small scale in Camden.

Some thoughts…
  • Could the existing “Men’s Shed” movement be made more accessible and inclusive?
  • Could the initial trial make use of and connect existing product and material sharing platforms like Gumtree, Freecycle or Library of Things?