The Alternate Showroom Project
In collaboration with Émilie Loiseleur

The Alternate Showroom Project was born from a desire to better understand spatial politics and how it is embedded in the makeup of the city. Established in 2017, we aim to explore new ways to read spaces and navigate their complexity, whilst advocating for a greater understanding of material culture and how it can impact our future cities.

Materials bear witness to the tension and spatial inequality of the built environment. They are signifiers of the obvious and invisible power networks of ownership and agency.

Making connections between the abstract decisions, processes, lines and projections that happen externally, and impact upon physical spaces, we reveal the narratives that lay hidden in plain sight. This feeds into wider conversations about the way we attribute value to things. Our aim is to activate dialogue between communities and decision makers.

Take A View Now! The Alternate Docklands Showroom

The Isle of Dogs in East London (E14) is the first project site. Situated in the
borough of Poplar, the area is currently undergoing a new period of change, as office blocks are pulled down and replaced with residential towers; a microcosm of the way London is developing.

We have extracted evidence of a constantly fluctuating present: mapping the site, excavating data, navigating the virtual trails of access permission and investigating the sales tactics which reveal the conflicting realities that exist in the area.

Our research is revealed in the Alternate Docklands Showroom. Using the
language of the museum and abstract forms of reproduction and representation,
we aim to highlight elements of the built environment that tell a story, are hard to identify, or are often overlooked.

Yeah, the whole thing, the docks were desolate really. The port of London authority that run the docks, said to the museum of London, docks are all closing, we want you to take anything you want, in the various docks, and take it from there, put it in the museum.

Interview with Brian Grover at the Docklands Museum
March 2017

Showroom costume designed as part of a collaboration with Yusra Makhdoomi and Charlotte Derby

Costume moodboard by Yusra Makhdoomi

Ephemera from Westferry Gate

Foam cast of Samuda Estate mound

Still from 'Take A View Now!'

All images © Grace Crannis and Émilie Loiseleur and Yusra Makhdoomi