Brickfield Newham was a multi-disciplinary community research project that drew local attention to historical brickfield sites of the borough, their labour histories and their role in shaping our present urban and domestic infrastructures.
Brickfield Newham was an invitation to couple the humble brick and its pervasive presence in our environment to the soil under our feet and to reconsider how our lived urban experiences are underpinned by this mundane but overlooked object. The project was a collaboration between University of East London, Brickfield (Cornwall), and the V&A museum (VARI and V&A East) encompassing the disciplines of design, performance, history, traditional crafts and urban space.
Communities, university students, artists and scholars worked together through brickmaking, design and performance workshops; the building and firing of a traditionally built kiln; the presentation of performances engendering discussions on the contemporary built environment; and conversations with local planners, architects, journalists and ceramic historians.
The social and physical nature of the project immersed participants in tactile, environmental and dialogic activities alleviating some of the stresses posed by the isolations of the pandemic. It was created by Lynne McCarthy (UEL), Georgia Haseldine (V&A) and Rosanna Martin (Brickfield).