Chelmsley Wood

In Group 4 we have decided to expand on some of our studio work based in the council estate of Chemsley Wood, near Solihull. Below is some quote from Lynsey Hanley describing her experience of growing up in the estate:

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‘someone … sat on the floor of an
office on day with a box of
fancy Lego bricks and laid out, with mathematical precision, a way of housing as many people as possible in as small a space as could be got away with. And, in so doing, forgot that real people aren’t inanimate yellow shapes with permanent smiles branded on their bodies(Hanley, 2012: 5)

I keep thinking of the same work: square. Square and solid shapes, 18,000 times over, laid out in lines and curves that lead into each other like a maze’ (Hanley, 2012: 23)

‘a Battenberg-cake layer of one- bedroom flats’ (Hanley, 2012: 26)

‘The sameness dives me mad’ (Hanley, 2012: 39)

‘A generation’s worth of council leaders, architects and engineers were handed these great playgrounds to draw us in like numbers. What was their problem, did they not see us?’ (Hanley, 2012: 39)

‘the annual carnival trickled along its main roads and seemed to attract the whole estate to the grass verges’

(Hanley, 2012: 31)

– Grace Mulligan

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