As Clerkenwell Design Week kicks off, Library of Things supplies the tools for GCSE pupils to build the 'Future of Design' pavilions. An apt moment to remember the importance of community involvement at all stages, says Library Co-Founder Emma Shaw.

There’s no better way to feel part of your neighbourhood than getting involved in making it.

When homes, streets and neighbourhoods are created by the people that live there, they become much more than just a built environment. They become the places we call home, shaped by the stories and memories we make along the way.

Whether we’re planting flowerbeds in disused bus stations, fixing up bookshelves at home or throwing a street party for our neighbours, these small acts of creativity give us the permission we need to turn that place into our place.

Easier said than done, of course.

Practical tools can be difficult to come by. Things like electric drills, belt sanders, power washers, sewing machines and lawn mowers, are essential but expensive. Even when we do have the tools, sometimes we need a hand to get the work done.

Library of Things is a community space where people come to borrow useful items and learn how to use them. Just as a library lends books, our members can borrow everything from power tools to sound systems, tents to digital cameras – things that let them create a beautiful home and neighbourhood, enjoy the great outdoors, cook up a feast and host special occasions, without having to buy anything.

Rooted in the community, we run practical classes in activities like furniture making, batch cooking and food growing, giving local people an excuse to come together to borrow items, learn new skills, and meet their neighbours.

Library of Things has been working with Scale Rule to inspire the next generation of architects and engineers those that will shape the places we live and work in years to come. Sharing our insights into community building and sustainable sourcing, we’ve lent our tools, hands and knowhow to the construction of the Pavilion in Clerkenwell Green, to help bring the students’ designs to life.

Whilst you can’t see or touch it, the story of the Pavilion’s making is etched into its fabric. From the sketches and models created by students, to the materials that journeyed through suppliers and processors, and even the splinters we encountered during the construction. It’s as much the way in which it was built that makes this Pavilion a beautiful place to sit and admire the surroundings.

Follow the progress of the build via #CDW2016.

 

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