“Nothing is too good for the ordinary people”
Architect, Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990) believed that architecture could inspire people towards social emancipation. The Dorset Estate’s gardens, library, social club, pub, in addition to the actual homes, are a testament to his hopes. Three of the high rises show his architectural prowess with majestic spiral staircases, winding their way through the central axis: he saw these elaborate constructions as devices for connecting people. Over fifty years have passed since the completion of the Dorset Estate in 1957. Has this utopian social housing ideology translated into the reality of life in the building?
‘No Spitting’ is a community-focused arts event that will take place from 23-30 July 2011 at the Dorset Estate, Tower Hamlets, London. Through artworks, performances, workshops and community activities, it will animate one of East London’s most inspired Modernist housing projects. This project is an attempt to strengthen the Dorset Estate community through shared participatory and artistic experiences. The main aim is to create activities which use the arts as a catalyst for interaction between the wide variety of locals living in the Estate and beyond.
The project takes place at the Dorset Estate, in consenting residents’ flats and around the staircases. The title ‘No Spitting’ was inspired by the now obsolete prohibitive signs found in the entrance halls of some buildings within the estate: the intention is to playfully alter its associative meanings.
Venue: Dorset Estate, Tower Hamlets, Columbia Road London E2 7QJ
Dates: 23 July – 30 July 2011
Support: Tower Hamlets Homes, London