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Fenham Pocket Park: a holding ground

Lookup NU author(s): Armelle Tardiveau, Dr Abigail Schoneboom, Daniel MalloORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Architectural Humanities Research Association, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Fenham Pocket Park (FPP) is a community-led urban space, founded in 2016 in a context of austerity imposed by the British Government. Beginning as a University-third-sector collaboration, the project transformed an undefined soulless space between a swimming pool and a library into a place for exchange, dwelling and celebrating. It also gave rise to a residents’ group, the Friends of Fenham Pocket Park (FFPP), who became custodians of the space and committed to developing it further. Six years on, the area has suffered further from the impact of austerity and retreat of public services, and the FFPP group has experienced setbacks and a lull in participation. This study documents, through student journals and participant observation, the role played by BA Architecture-and-Urban- Planning students in re-charging the project through playful creative practice interventions and dialogue with residents. It explores the entanglement of civil society with students in a process that is framed by Freire’s critical pedagogy and recent scholarship on lively materials. Here, making is theorised as a vehicle through which pedagogies of hope can embed themselves in the community. The paper thus meditates on the agency of emplaced student-led making in (re)kindling community action, creating collectively shaped social and climate futures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tardiveau A, Schoneboom A, Mallo D, Webster M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Climate Collectivism: Architecture After the Anthropocene

Year of Conference: 2022

Online publication date: 17/11/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 30/11/2023

Publisher: Architectural Humanities Research Association