My Village - interactive public workshop Meopham, Kent

It covers over 90% of the UK and is home to approximately 10% of the population but the countryside has become somewhat of a ‘terra incognita’. A fascination with the city and urban condition has captured the focus of architects and allowed the countryside to transform, largely unnoticed.

With a focus on new rural settlements, Electric Edens Studio has spent the last year exploring the economic, social and ecological issues facing village communities. In an attempt to engage the views of an established village demographic, the graduate diploma unit curated an interactive public workshop – ‘My Village’ - and travelled to Meopham to discover its resident’s vision of future ruralism.

The workshop took place at the foot of a beautifully preserved 17th century windmill opposite Meopham Green and nestled between two bustling country pubs. The blue skies bought people out in force with the event attracting both young and old. Providing villagers with a set of 1:50 models, we asked them to arrange the different typologies in a suggestion of how they envisaged their ideal village. Different social drivers provided a diverse collection of village strategies with each providing an interesting platform for debate regarding 21st century ruralism.

On behalf of Electric Edens Studio, I would like to thank Meopham Windmill Trust, and more importantly, the villagers of Meopham who took part in the event.