City of London Libraries and Made By Play
This project aimed to engage the community with research on the concept of ‘bumping spaces’ as an antidote to social isolation by encouraging informal, playful interactions that might spark connection. They also wanted to encourage people to think of the library as a bumping space.
The library team worked with research by Dr Roger Green from Goldsmiths University. The project was inspired by Dr Green’s research into social isolation in the City of London and his concept of ‘bumping spaces’ to reduce this.
The library team worked together with interactive installation specialists, Made By Play. Zoom workshops engaged local people with the research and project aims and asked what might make a successful bumping space. Following this, playful installations were created and placed outside in the local area so that people could interact with them.
This project promoted the importance of public libraries and their unique role as a valued community resource with the public and partners. Participants reflected on what is meant by community and many were spurred to become more active or just more friendly as a result of the project.
The library team learned about the importance of design in promoting public engagement with installations and also learned about how to make public libraries better ‘bumping spaces’.
Goldsmiths, University of London