What do you say to New Cross-ifying Goldsmiths? Recently we had a chance to do just that: get more of New Cross into Goldsmiths.
As you may remember from this post, Goldsmiths is working on a new masterplan, and the college’s imposing presence on the high street means their plans will affect our community. We have ideas to get our community to affect their plans.
So it was great when we heard that Goldsmiths had asked James Dixon, of the architecture and urban design firm John McAslan and Partners (contracted to develop the masterplan) to meet with us earlier this spring to discuss New XING’s many ideas for the area.
High-priority plans we discussed include encouraging Goldsmiths to open up Deptford Town Hall (including us helping them to provide disabled access) for community concerts, performances and meetings. Another simple step to a better relationship will be making the college’s nature reserve open to the community as well as students.
The college has ambitions to build a new building at the corner of St James and New Cross Road. We proposed designing a structure with an open-air ground floor (ie a building on stilts) to give New Cross a much needed town square where citizens and students can gather for conversation, exchange and performances. Of course we also talked about the light projections on Goldsmiths buildings and the great X pedestrian crossing across the A2.
Our proposed creative interventions could make a big impact on the New Cross community and the synergy bewtween the college and the community so we were glad that James was enthusiastic about the ideas. When the college presented their Masterplan in a public consultation during April, they included a board showing our ideas (see below).
Getting our ideas in front of the planners gets us a bit closer to getting our ideas put into practice.
What do you think? Do you have any ideas about how Goldsmiths can impact New Cross? Feel free to comment on this article and join the debate.
1459 CONSULTATION BOARDS A1 community-1
20 cms tall and counting….
The sunflowers are making a brave appearance during this often chilly, rainy spring! Here’s a shot of some in our care. We’d love to see any that you’re helping grow. Tweet your pics to @newxing whenever you can!
There’s still time to have your say – exhibition is in the refectory of the main old building (on Lewisham Way) . Poster display including New X ING ideas. Get along and be heard. This affects all of New Cross.
The Lewisham Local History Society has had a chance to showcase a few choice pieces from its fascinating trove of treasures stored at New Cross Learning. They have been working in partnership with the Goldsmiths Collection during the Shared Histories exhibition in April/May.
We were excited to introduce the exhibition’s curator Jenny Doussan to the society so that artefacts of New Cross’s manufacturing past (including Twinings tea, a box of Turkish Delight and the air meter pictured above) could reach a wider audience.
A small kitchen table laid for tea suggested daily life in Lewisham in years past while an iPad detailing the history of the items at all four exhibition spaces reminded viewers of more modern technologies. With Goldsmiths contributing a range of art pieces, including 19th century etchings, early 20th century paintings of local activists, and contemporary art from its graduates alongside Lewisham Local History Society highlighting the area’s more practical creativity, the exhibition connected Lewisham’s rich and varied histories.
Image: Vane Type Air Meter, model C.4, circa 1980, Lowne Instruments, Ltd., Lewisham
Where might you find a thousand sunflowers turning their heads towards the sunshine—the French countryside in high summer? Or the A2? One of southeast London’s busiest, grittiest thoroughfares may seem an unlikely spot but it’s true thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between local schools, shops and community groups initiated by New X ING and funded by Grow Wild. In addition to brightening the A2, the flowers will provide much needed foraging for bees in one of the only places in the country with a growing bee population.
Starting this week, one thousand sunflower seeds will be planted and nurtured in pots in schools and homes across New Cross with a vision to bring growing sunshine to the A2 this summer. Local volunteers from Grow Wild, Greenshoots, Common Growth, New Cross Gate Trust, New Cross Learning, Goldsmiths, local schools, shops and homes will be watching over these small seeds in pots and in beds along the A2 and by the entrance to Sainsbury’s next to the petrol station.
Those plants growing in schools and homes will be transplanted over the next few months, with support and maintenance shared among the community. We hope to explore unusual sites for the sunflowers—billboards, roof terraces, windows, balconies, in shop windows and on the pavements—to create an urban wilderness of sunflowers
By late summer, there should hopefully be a landscape of sunflowers, culminating in a Harvest party in September. We’re excited about making the A2 grow wild, grow beautiful.
If you want to help out let us know (email Artmongers.firstname.lastname@example.org)! Next community planting session is Saturday 27 Apr 1-3.30pm by the entrance to Sainsburys. Or join the seed planting session at New Cross Learning baby bounce session Tues 30 Apr 11am-12pm.
Anna Furse, head of Performing Arts at Goldsmiths talks to Patricio Forrester of Artmongers about the dynamics of a small stage spanning the space between Goldsmiths and the community / street. Art over Noise.
See this short interview with Julie Taylor, Head of Enterprise at Goldsmiths