Ioana Petkova & Valerio Massaro, London South Bank University & Loughborough Community Farm

Community farms are places of care, for each other and the environment. This project aims to promote and upscale local strategies of care developing a landscape as an infrastructure for learning and knowledge exchange. It draws on existing activities of the Loughbrough Farm as a local hub for well-being, growing and connecting. It emerged from an ongoing collaboration between the farm and London South Bank University.

The project will stage two public events as part of the London Festival of Architecture under the theme, “In Common”: a panel discussion, connecting farm volunteers, academics, activists and also a series of workshops at the farm, including lessons on self-care and care for each other and the environment.

The project will design and build a participatory landscape involving both students and farm volunteers which will create a together two landscape features, addressing the different types of knowledge – modular planters and a stage, in the area pictured below. The planters will provide the farm with flexible elements to run practical workshops for diverse groups, including children, elderly and families. The stage will provide a unique event community space that can host talks, classes, performances, as well as yoga classes, debates and workshops. These structures will be the beginning of a Wildmind Yard, a mindfulness educational space. It will complement and host the existing space and activities of farm volunteers and local residents, which include caring for vulnerable groups, such as elderly residents, social prescription patients and asylum seekers.

It will explore how a collaboration between academia and local community groups can catalyse urban transformations and to create an inclusive landscape of care in a polluted brownfield (situated next to a rail track polluted by lead and heavy metals)

The Loughborough Junction Farm is a community-driven imitative which was established by the Loughborough Junction Action Group to enhance the safety, infrastructure and well-being of local residents. The farm serves as a socio-ecological hub and a community centre, a place for collective haling and community-led citymaking.