DLR Underline Activation

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The Isle of Dogs & South Poplar area is dramatically changing. It will see some of the densest and tallest residential development in the UK come forward over the next 15 years. The area has therefore been identified by Tower Hamlets Approach to Regeneration as one of the main areas in which change should be carefully managed to secure the delivery of social and environmental benefits for the local communities while growth happens.

The DLR in the Isle of Dogs & South Poplar is an important piece of infrastructure not only as it keeps the area connected but also as the space under the tracks holds the potential to be developed as public open space for the benefit of existing and incoming communities alike. An improved space under the DLR would link the area at pedestrian level while activating it with new uses such as cultural events and social activities.

In the face of the opportunities and challenges identified within the area, plus the opportunity to activate the area post-COVID, the Council’s Regeneration Team has created the DLR Underline Activation project. The project aims to test how the space under the DLR can be used in more creative ways for the benefit of all. It also aims to raise the profile of the site and set a precedent for its potential longer-term activation, whilst celebrating the area and its people.

The Underline Discovery Sessions are the first of series of temporary interventions to test the potential of the space to host more diverse uses. These will be a series of small events held as part of the Open House Festival 2021 on the 11th and 12th of September, exploring the site’s architecture, heritage and public realm. More information about these events can be found in the project News Feed below, and bookings can be made via the Open House website.

The Isle of Dogs & South Poplar area is dramatically changing. It will see some of the densest and tallest residential development in the UK come forward over the next 15 years. The area has therefore been identified by Tower Hamlets Approach to Regeneration as one of the main areas in which change should be carefully managed to secure the delivery of social and environmental benefits for the local communities while growth happens.

The DLR in the Isle of Dogs & South Poplar is an important piece of infrastructure not only as it keeps the area connected but also as the space under the tracks holds the potential to be developed as public open space for the benefit of existing and incoming communities alike. An improved space under the DLR would link the area at pedestrian level while activating it with new uses such as cultural events and social activities.

In the face of the opportunities and challenges identified within the area, plus the opportunity to activate the area post-COVID, the Council’s Regeneration Team has created the DLR Underline Activation project. The project aims to test how the space under the DLR can be used in more creative ways for the benefit of all. It also aims to raise the profile of the site and set a precedent for its potential longer-term activation, whilst celebrating the area and its people.

The Underline Discovery Sessions are the first of series of temporary interventions to test the potential of the space to host more diverse uses. These will be a series of small events held as part of the Open House Festival 2021 on the 11th and 12th of September, exploring the site’s architecture, heritage and public realm. More information about these events can be found in the project News Feed below, and bookings can be made via the Open House website.

  • Open House Festival 2021

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    LBTH are pleased to present the Underline Discovery Sessions, taking place as part of the Open House Festival 2021, on the weekend of the 11th/12th September.

    The Underline Discovery Sessions are the first of series of temporary interventions to test the potential of the space to host more diverse uses. All events will be held on site and will provide opportunities for the public to explore the area through activities such as: contributing to the recording of a podcast about the area; responding to the site by writing poetry; highlighting what is of community value by sharing photographs online; capturing the built environment with sketches and drawings; joining an past-to-present themed guided tour; walking along an historic audio trail; or just coming along to discuss the context of the project with some of the Borough’s officers.

    The following events will be taking place over the weekend:

    Underline Discovery Sessions - Info Desk

    Open to: All

    Date: Saturday 11th Sept 2021

    Times: 11am-1pm & 2-4pm

    Description: Conversation with Tower hamlets regeneration team officers who will be on site to discuss project aims and context. We will also share information capture feedback about the events happening this weekend,

    Capacity: 2 small groups of people at a given time.


    Underline Discovery Sessions - Insta Isle of Dogs

    Open to: All

    Date: Saturday 4th through to Sunday 12th September 2021

    Times: All week, all times

    Description: Open online picture competition capturing the DLR structures as well as what is valued in the area which could be brough to the Underline space. Winning image(s) will be used to advertise the project subject to agreement with owner. Instagram #DLRUnderline.

    Capacity: No limit.


    Underline Discovery Sessions – Isle of Dogs Guided Walking Tour

    Open to: All

    Date: Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th September 2021

    Times: Saturday: 2-4pm; Sunday 11am-1pm

    Description: Walking tour with blue badge guide talking about the past, present and future of the area.

    Capacity: 25 per session.


    Underline Discovery Sessions – Resident Frequencies

    Open to: All

    Date: Saturday 11th September 2021

    Times: 11am-1pm & 2-4pm (in 20 mins. slots)

    Description: Interviews and environmental sounds recorded on site with guests and residents who would like to share their knowledge of the site and wider area.

    Capacity: 1-2 people per slot.

    More about this event:

    Social Broadcasts will be tuning into to the sounds of the DLR Underline and the people that inhabit the space via a mobile podcast recording studio. A DLR Underline podcast will capture the area through sound to create a record of time and space. Participants will have the opportunity to voice their observations, hopes and fears about this rapidly developing area.

    Social Broadcasts, developed by Lucia Scazzocchio combines community engagement, co-creation, audio production and broadcasting techniques to create unique insight into specific communities and environments. These audio formats are collaborative and immersive, creating interactive environments where the public are invited to share and record their own experiences and stories. Social Broadcasts works alongside design / research teams in areas undergoing change to develop projects in collaboration with local people so that they see themselves reflected in the spaces they inhabit.


    Underline Discovery Session - Geopoetry

    Open to: 16+

    Date: Saturday 11th September 2021

    Times: Saturday: 4-6pm

    Description: Literature workshop to explore and respond to the site with poetry or small pieces of work. Materials and refreshments provided.

    Capacity: 15 people per workshop.

    More about this event:

    This writing workshop led by Fieldnotes will explore the Underline using techniques such as concrete poetry and psychogeography to engage the participants with the site’s architecture, narratives, communities, contingent histories and possible futures.

    Fieldnotes is an experimental literature publication edited by Bella Marrin. This workshop will be produced in collaboration with Dr. David Anderson (Fieldnotes contributing editor, Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, researcher on London writing, speculative & fictional topographies).


    Underline Discovery Sessions – Sketch Crawl

    Open to: All

    Date: Saturday 11th September 2021

    Times: 11am-2pm & 3-6pm

    Description: A moving workshop along the DLR Underline capturing the spaces and surroundings through a series of drawings and sketches. Materials provided.

    More about this event:

    Sketching our local townscape is the best way to visually connect with our city. This communal drawing project led by Benedict O’Looney will aim to help identify opportunities for urban improvement whilst developing the observational and drawing skills of the participants. Participants are encouraged to bring their own sketchbook and drawing materials but there will also be some materials on hand to share.

    Benedict O’Looney is a Peckham based architect, architecture history lecturer for New York University’s London programme, architectural drawing teacher at Sir John Soane’s Museum and he also leads Thames architectural boat tours for Open-City. In addition to demonstrating sketching techniques, Benedict has been following the development of the Isle of Dogs for many years.


    Important information related to all events:

    Please note these events will be held in publicly accessible open space.

    Please book all events via the Open House website.

    Please note that events are subject to changes due to unforeseen circumstances / covid restriction changes.

    Please contact lbth.regeneration@towerhamlets.gov.uk for clarifications or further information on any of these events.