We expected change when we launched in 2019, but no one was expecting that.

The pandemic gives us an opportunity to pause, reflect and reshape our future. Things might naturally go back to normal, and there’s certainly groups with deep pockets who want to force back the status quo, but we think they’re unlikely to succeed because what was ordinary now feels other worldly.

Taking a flight or even crossing a city for a basic introductory meeting, being in a festival crowd, a daily commute in a packed train if the other end is a screen you already have at…

One-day Workshop for the Rooftop Planning Experiment

Terrace house rooftop extensions by Lipton Plant architects via Architect’s Journal

For the past three months, Alternative Camden [Alt.Cmd] has been running experiments to address some prevalent issues Londoners are facing. These four experiments were built around combined results from the ideas and citizen labs, which took place earlier this year. Using the borough of Camden as a testbed, we are working up potential solutions that can address pressing inner-city issues such as bad air quality in streets, mitigating uncomfortable levels of noise in densely built-up areas, and expanding on the notion of crowdsourcing to find alternative funding models which encourage citizens to take…

We’ve been a little quiet of late, but we have an excuse. We’ve been busy figuring out how to get going with the full list of ideas that came out of our first meet ups. Things like decarbonising a whole street, or taking over Camden with a sci-fi festival…in augmented reality.

Ok so it’s not an excuse, but it is time for an update.

Using the early principles we came up with here (down at the bottom) we whittled down to four ideas, which we’re calling experiments. The aim is to test how a new way of working as an…

Testing a new type citizen conversation

What is this post about?:

  • Why we need more complex public conversations — not consultations;
  • What we came out at the citizens lab on April 6th;
  • What we found during the research & what that means for alternative camden;
  • Why we think that’s important and what comes next.

When it comes to the big problems we face — inequality, climate breakdown, unaffordability, hyper consumption, data surveillance — we have a fairly impoverished idea about what you can and can’t discuss in public. About the level of complexity your ‘average person’ can handle.

These problems are inherently complex, subjective and systemic — and they demand a…

tl;dr —A group of people joined us on Feb 9th to design and pitch ideas for a future Camden (all of which you can find here). It was pretty fun, and if you fancy joining next time, let us know, or tweet us @altcamden #alternativecamden

One of the ideas from the ideas day was to run an AR arts programme to test both new ways of learning in and around Camden, whilst at the same time to understand what ethical standards and regulations could look like for augmented reality — Photo by Kevin Jarrett on Unsplash
  • People got into groups to take on four different topic areas; finance, data, governance & economy.
  • We came up with around 50 ideas — some wild, some spot on.
  • Below are some ideas where we think could we actually get started.
  • We want to keep this an open a process as possible — so if…

Update from the first Alt.Camden ideas workshop

Last Saturday (9th Feb 2019) we ran our first Alt.Cmd Ideas Lab at the Camden Collective. The purpose of the event was to give people the time, space and expertise to flesh out and develop ideas that are too often talked about but not often enough executed. To do this we invited a small, motivated group of people who we thought would help get the ball rolling.

There was 28 of us in the room, and we started with 4 themes:

♻️ Alt. Economy — We need to change our current economy. And fast. Our current city is wasteful, polluting…

(Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash)

We need an alternative vision for the future of our cities.
We need an alternative vision for Camden. For London.

Growing digital monopolies, the creeping surveillance and monetisation of our personal lives, and algorithms making decisions in ways most of us don’t understand. Technological innovation seems increasingly focussed as a means to operationalise and control us. This leads to some uncomfortable questions — for each of us as individuals, and for the future of our cities.

The time to shape an alternative is now.

An alternative in which we don’t see new technology as a threat — but as an…

Alternative Camden

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