here am i

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here am i is a provocation to developers to incorporate both the achievable and aspirational. Whenever a housing estate is constructed, tenants receive a handbook from their new landlords which outlines their responsibilities to the estate. here am i reverses this traditional hierarchy.

The Haggerston Estate has a rich and complex history exemplified in the recent installation i am here. The artwork has proven to be more than mere window dressing. Since it has glared defiantly to others outside, residents within no longer feel estranged from their own sense of place. They share a collective identity and inspiration to imagine and intervene. They have reclaimed a sense of ownership and pride over the last remaning courtyard of the estate. It is not about social inclusion or community participation, being active or passive, but egalitarianism. Everyone now has equal opportunity to intervene. Free to reinterpret and reuse the space as they wish.

The majority of residents eagerly await their new flats. The consultation and design process is open and inclusive, but not ambitious enough. And as a result residents fear some the implications of the future development. That open spaces will be too predetermined, whose functions are already closed off. That their actions and behaviours will be too controlled, no longer free to express themselves outside of the confines of their flats. That corrosive anonymity may return to the estate and become all the more visible and palpable.

The maps included here allow residents to identify their values and desires. To highlight precisely what is missing from the plans now, and speculate what could be.
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