Hackney Wick is a post-industrial area that has become a thriving hub for the cultural and creative industries, with the densest concentration of artists’ studios in Europe. At 115-117, a key site within the Hackney Wick Central Masterplan, a new cultural and creative hub is proposed by East London Regeneration Ltd, with affordable workspaces, retail space and 49 apartments above.
Ahead of a detailed planning application, an exhibition for consultation with local organisations and residents was planned, which would play an important role in ensuring widespread awareness of the proposals and strengthening community involvement in the planning process. Our brief was to design the brand identity and campaign of the temporary public exhibition, in order to promote the event to the local community, and attracting maximum attendance. The design idea was to reflect the local character and residents, by using a branding that rejects the conventional visual language of planning consultations and instead advertises the exhibition as a cultural event. Inspired by Hackney Wick’s transition from an industrial centre to a creative community, we developed a flexible and responsive visual identity that draws upon the bold repetitive colours and typography of the plethora of music posters found throughout Hackney and East London.
While consultation graphics may sometimes be calm and standard, 115-119 Wallis Road’s striking colours and font generate far more intrigue. This musical visual identity also complements the architecture proposed; robust brick facades with deep reveals and a rhythmic order. The visual identity encompasses all collateral, exhibition graphics and materials, advertising campaign, posters and website. As an extension of the idea of active and responsive design, the exhibition was curated for a mobile-trailer, rather than a rented space in an attempt to further enhance the notion of the consultation as a pop-up event.
The pre-application consultation process was instrumental in developing the proposals for 115-119 Wallis Road. The design approach, branding the exhibition as a cultural pop-up event, succeeded in generating maximum attendance – more than 100 people attended in the short afternoon available for consultation with the public. As a result, the designs have responded directly to feedback received at the exhibition, giving residents and businesses the opportunity to inform the evolution of their local area.