Dreaming and crafting a better neighbourhood together

The London Regent Estate dreams drawing factory


This post is a review of the Regent Estate Dreams Drawing Factory, a community-led art installation organized by The Pink Pony and Clear Village with the residents of the Regent Estate in East London throughout March 2014, and I hope an inspiration for all to dream and craft a better way of living together in our communities!

The event was part of the community-led global art project ‘The Big Laundry’ (translation from french ‘La grande lessive’).

Answering the call for dreams launched by the ‘Big Laundry’ organizers, during the month of March, The Pink Pony has been working with residents and kids from local schools to make drawings of their dream for their neighborhood. The drawings were then exhibited in an installation in situ on March 28 & 29. The aim of this project was to foster dialogue, conversations and active participation in this overlooked neighborhood at the heart of the trendy East London.

I have a dream for Regent Estate

Collective crafting helps to overcome fear, to facilitate conversations and to dream BIG

Loving making stuff myself, I had discovered through community events I had organized before that making things with other people facilitates dialogue, as it helps to break the ice, overcome shyness and fear of talking to each other.

Throughout March, we run drawing workshops with the local residents and encouraged them to make drawings on a shared topic: “I have a dream for Regent Estate”. We’ve tried different techniques to actualise the resident’s vision of an ideal neighborhood, like sketching, drawing, painting or 3D making. We found that drawing and making a 3D model of a dream is a first step towards achieving it. Collectively crafting inspired interesting conversations amongst the residents about what would make a better nieghborhood, and how to start making it better.

Dreaming of a global neighborhood

In parallel, I had posted on the creative network GOOD an invitation to help the residents of Regent Estate to dream and draw a better neighborhood. And we were amazingly surprised to receive drawings from GOOD members all around the world giving shape to the resident’s dreams. We even received help from an entire group of people in transition from homelessness in St. Louis USA, and from friends of the Pony in France, Finland and Switzerland!

This gave us faith in the possibility for meaningful interactions and dialogues amongst a community crossing geographical boundaries and cultures. And in the possibility to share a same dream from different hands of the world!

In situ installation in Regent Estate

Encouraging meaningful interactions with our neighbors

By showcasing the dreams drawn by local residents and the interpretations of those dreams sent from across the seas by other dreamers, our ephemeral installation widened during two days the frontiers of our local neighborhood! And fostered dialogue amongst the members of this ephemeral community, whether they lived next door, in London or at the other hand of the world.

A massive thank you to the wonderful GOOD members Alessandra Rizzotti, Nick Tobier, Francesca Lyman, Katrina Mitchell, Con Christenson and the people at Art in Place at Labre Center who helped us to make the dreams come true in their beautiful drawings! A special thank you to the ‘Big Laundry’ team for reminding us to dream amways! To the Free Cakes For Kids Hackney for their beautiful cakes baked with love, to all friends of The Pony for making inspiring drawings, to Molly and the residents of Regent Estate for their help and participation!

Let’s keep on dreaming big and creating meaningful interactions within our communities over the world ☺

Marie & the Regent Estate Dreams Drawing Factory team


The Pink Pony works with individuals, communities and business organizations to unleash their creative potential while making good. Wanna take a tour with the Pony? www.mariethepinkpony.com