RCKa was commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to work with the local community and design a new mixed-use workspace and community food hub within the Edward Woods Estate. The Nourish Hub replaces a vacant post-office to provide new community facilities where learning about healthy eating and cooking food – as a common, social and community activity – can connect diverse cultures, teach meaningful skills and bring people together.
A planning application for the new centre, which is funded by the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, was submitted to the council and the Hub opened in the summer of 2021.
The Hub offers a number of opportunities for residents from every background to get involved and to help build local skills and knowledge; from employment in the catering industry to volunteering opportunities, skill-sharing and cooking classes. UK Harvest, a not-for-profit charity that collects quality excess food to provide nutritious meals, will be responsible for running Nourish Hub for the first three years, after which the space will be handed over to the community.
RCKa’s ambition was to involve local people from the very outset and to empower residents to take ownership of the project in the long term. The first challenge was to generate awareness of the Nourish Hub project within the local area; to let people know funding had been secured, that a new community space was coming forward and to invite them to get involved in the project.
To help raise awareness of the proposals we held a community paint & planting day, during which the tired security shutters were given a new lease of life. RCKa worked with graphic designer Bandiera to design a colourful mural for the shutters, with local people helping to apply this to the vacant shopfront. The activity on site encouraged passers-by to stop and speak with the team, providing opportunities for conversations with local residents and helping make contact with the wider community.
Having built awareness of the project we then invited local residents to join us for a day of cooking lessons, food education and food. In exchange for a free meal and freshly sourced herbs, we asked local residents to fill in both a recipe card and questionnaire. Respondents were asked to record their favourite recipe, providing a snapshot of the local food culture and diverse background of residents. These are now being used to develop a visual identity for the project that reflects the community and will be published within a recipe book to help embed local identity in the developing project.
In partnership with a local youth centre we put on two branding workshops during which the basic principles of graphic design were taught to young people from the local area. Ingredients corresponding to the recipe cards were sourced from the local Shepherds Bush Market and participants were asked to create a face, repeating pattern and letters of the alphabet using the fruit and vegetables available. The designs that the young people created were used to create graphic identities for the interior of the Nourish Hub.
LB Hammersmith & Fulham
New London Awards Community Prize 2021
The Mayor’s Prize 2021
Inner Circle Consulting
Francisco Ibanez Hantke