Greenwood Stories

Greenwood Stories

Greenwood Stories is an art and design collaboration between Central Saint Martins and users of four day centres: New Shoots, Mayford, Peperfield and Highgate.

Through the project, students studying on the MA Narrative Environments course worked directly with day centre users and their carers and families, reflecting the character of Greenwood’s future users and finding creative multi-sensory ways of telling their stories.

Students presented their designs in front of the Deputy Mayor of Camden, including:

  • Wall-mounted flexible displays to showcase day centre users’ artwork
  • A multi-sensory storytelling kit and story wall
  • Posters and a video raising awareness of the possibilities for communication with people with multiple learning difficulties.

Janila Castaneda, who worked on her project with Mayford day centre said, ‘what began as a college project soon turned into an opportunity to get to know and understand a wider diversity of communication possibilities’

Francesca Roca, another student, added ‘Working at New Shoots I’ve learned that words are just a way to communicate but not the only way. Dean’s eyes, Desmond’s smile, Rosy hugging, Paul thanking us to have been there: these are all alternative but not less meaningful ways to communicate.’

The winning concepts and designs will provide opportunities for users of the new Greenwood Centre to continue telling their stories, providing a space where they can express how they are feeling in exciting and creative ways.

Emma Pretti, who completed her project with Highgate day centre said, ‘working on this social design project, I have realised how much little adjustments can improve someone’s life’.

These creative spaces aim to benefit service users, and also Greenwood’s staff in how they understand their clients’ needs and the activities they provide them.

The Greenwood Centre is a new, purpose-built day centre in Kentish Town for residents with additional needs and their carers. Funded through Camden’s Community Investment Programme, the new centre, which is due to open this September, will house support services for people with learning difficulties, autism and mental ill health to promote wellbeing, independent living and a better quality of life.