CaffA at the Albany (2017)
Co-design workshop, public consultation, interior design, project management and production of CaffA, for Studio Raw, commissioned by the Albany.

CaffA is a community cafe located in the Albany, an arts venue driven by cultural diversity in South East London. The project brought together management, maintenance, staff and customers to re-design and renovate the brand and interior of the cafe. Working for Studio Raw alongside graphic designer Alex Green, I devised a process of collaborative design amongst those involved and led its re-design and renovation.

The project was commissioned by the Albany, a performing arts centre in the heart of Deptford welcoming all to a programme of music, theatre and spoken word, as well as an array of participatory projects. The cafe sits at the heart of the Albany building, overlooked by balconies and intersected by corridors, it provides a free and welcoming space for the community to use in an area suffering increased symptoms of ongoing gentrification.

I devised a collaborative process to address issues of use and perception within the cafe and to understand both ‘why’ and ‘how’ it is used and managed. The process combined a participatory workshop with a three month interactive consultation to speak with customers and collect their thoughts. Through this tailored process we shared in discussion and decision making to collectively redefine the future of the cafe. 

The resulting space presents a welcoming and cohesive space with a clean and simple aesthetic. It was produced using materials, services and products all sourced from within the Deptford area. The locality of the project and its production not only allows us to support local businesses but ensures the existing community remains part of the change and transformations happening within their area.