Elephant and Castle – Workshop

The workshop was given as a task after our research lecture. It was used to put the methods given in the lecture to good use. Our topic was simple, it was to research something about Elephant and Castle where the London College of Communication is based in two hours. Then we had to turn the information into a sketchbook, first we got into groups of four to discuss what our subject would be.

In our group we began to discuss what it important about Elephant and Castle which is:

  • Travel – the travellers  centre of London
  • Travel – the most dangerous junction for cyclists
  • Learning – History of LCC
  • Learning – looking at the surrounding universities (London South Bank)
  • History – then and now
  • Opinion – the public opinion of Elephant and Castle

We chose to look at the past, present and future of elephant and castle collecting different research. We split up to complete different tasks, Mushi and I got the task of interviewing the public to find out their opinion. The other two got the task of using the library/internet to research the history of Elephant and Castle.

Interviewing people was quite an unusual process and we got a few great answers, most negative towards the area. The first question we asked was “What do you like about Elephant and Castle?” Answered ranged from the view, to the London College of Communication, to the cheap shops, shopping centre and travel. It was a little difficult to coax an answer out of this question, it seemed no one really thought of the positive and only saw  the negative.

The second question we asked was “What do you dislike about Elephant and Castle?” This question had a lot more of an eager response. The public knew exactly what to say about the negative and weren’t afraid to admit it. The answered ranged from the area is too dirty, to no cool pubs, to the dangers outside like the roundabout, night time and cycling.

After interviewing enough people we decided to also go to the library to find some books and websites about this subject. We also thought the subject of the refurbishing project would be interesting. You can really see Elephant and Castle develop and adapt before your eyes.

While looking through the library catalogue I discovered a few different book focusing on Elephant and Castle and the refurbishment project. The first book is called Economy: The Elephant and Castle by Patrick Sutherland. In this book people who live in Elephant and Castle talked about what they liked and disliked about the area, much like what we were interviewing for. In the book people liked the multicultural and diversity. What they didn’t like was how run down and dirty it is. It was pretty much the same response that we received which backed up our findings.

I also found another book called Home: The Elephant and Castle also by Patrick Sutherland. This book had a statement of what is happening right now in Elephant and Castle.

“The Elephant and Castle in South London is undergoing one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe. An area that planners and estate agents describe as “the lost quarter” of London will be utterly transformed over the next decade. Local communities will change radically as council estates will be demolished and replaced by new versions of urban living.”

I found this quote very helpful to understand what is happening, although they are trying to keep the look of Elephant and Castle Urban they essentially are making the are private, removing all council estates. Although the look will be urban it will be modernised and re-imagined for the better.

Mushi also found a great website that explained a lot of Elephant and Castles past and why it has turned in to what is essentially a slum. www.elephantandcastle.org.uk

This short workshop aided me into understanding how to create and layout my sketchbook, however it also taught me how I can find a lot of research and content from various sources easily. We regrouped after and put our sketchbook together. It looked really great and luckily we all had something different to tell, one thing I noticed was that Mushi and I stuck to the writing side of the sketchbook where as the others added creative illustrations to enhance it which we could have also done to improve our half of the book.



Sutherland, P. (2008) Home: The Elephant and Castle. London: London College of Communication.

Sutherland,P. (2012) Economy: The Elephant and Castle. London: London College of Communication.


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