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the opportunity

the opportunity

The Walls Have Ears - Hackney Wick 2012

4y ago


We are a design collective living and working in Hackney Wick, beside the London Olympic Park. White Post Lane is a main street leading from the station and looked vandalised, unloved and quite unwelcoming; local businesses and the council were continually whitewashing the walls. Our suggestion was to contact the local community to gain their views on Hackney Wick to create input for stylised murals to be painted along the walls of the street. Following various workshops, interviews and research, we decided to focus on the industrial history of Hackney Wick, which has shaped the area. In order to avoid generic statements, we chose specific landmarks or things that related to Hackney Wick that locals would recognise, or that would intrigue passers-by to find out more if they did not. For example, ‘Parkesine’ is a man-made plastic, reportedly invented in the area and ‘Mint creams’ remembers a well-known a confectionery company. (See the website for more explanation of each word.) The style of the murals was inspired by the large-scale, traditional typography on old factory buildings nearby, as well as canal-boat lettering etc. We also used some more updated typefaces to give it a modern twist. All the lettering was hand-painted and the paint was sourced from the Forest Recycling Project (FRP) in east London. We are really pleased with the response from the public and residents, we’ve had literally hundreds of messages, emails and encouraging comments, we’re really glad that so many others care about Hackney Wick as much as we do. We also really enjoyed the painting experience and the opportunity it gave us to meet so many different people in the Wick. Supported by the London Legacy Development Corporation. To find out more about the project please see: