The School of Civic Action is hosting a two week summer school in London, at Tate Exchange and R-Urban Poplar. Under the theme of ‘Prototyping the Civic City’ we’ll explore how artist, design and activist practices can empower citizens to remake the city.

The schools curriculum is centred around ideas of ‘civic action’ allowing participants to develop new skills, strategies and practices to directly affect changes in the city. Core to this is the idea of prototyping open source designs and rethinking organisational structures.

The summer school draws on two test sites; firstly at R-Urban Poplar in East London where we will build prototypes in support of local actions for environmental change such as air quality, food waste and sustainable energy production.

In parallel we will transform the space at Tate exchange on the 5th floor of Tate Modern into a public classroom which brings together activists and practitioners engaged in civic movements (UK Commoners Network, Just Space, Spatial Engagement Network, Umeå School of Architecture). The summer school itself prototyping a collective education platform for civic action, through the building of new networks which share situated and expert knowledge with the public.


We are offering 10 free places for people to join us starting on the 13 July and concluding on the 25 July 2018. The summer school will take place in it’s entirety in London, places on the school are for free but food and accomodation is to be organised by school participants.

The invitation is open to all disciplines and backgrounds, professional or amateur we strongly encourage members from voluntary groups across London to apply. The Summer School is free of charge. In return we expect participants to be committed to the full programme and enthusiastic learners.

Teaching on the course will be made up of a mixture of hands on building and making, alongside discursive seminars, workshops and events. Time will be split evenly between our site R-Urban Poplar (E14 0SP) and the Tate Exchange (SE1 9TG).


To apply please send no more than a 500-word proposal to public works laying out your specific interest in joining the Summer School and if appropriate relevant samples of previous work (no more than five A4 pages), along with a short CV with key information about yourself.

Please send your application to

Deadline for application is 27 June 2018

Applicants will be notified on 29 June 2018


School of Civic Action is a pedagogical experiment that tests situated modes of learning in support of civic city making, while challenging traditional urban teaching and disciplinary restriction. The School of Civic Action manoeuvres across disciplines that complement one another, implementing new ways of knowing and acting. Teaching and learning at the school is symbiotic; by situating its curriculum within live projects, it can mutually provide a support structure back to the local communities, the sites they occupy and for the individuals enrolled.

Umeå School of Architecture is part of Umeå University and was established in September 2009 and is a laboratory for experimental architecture where both education and research are conducted. Here future architects are being trained in a unique environment, based on an integrated approach of the artistic, technical and academic fields. It is part of the newly built Umeå Arts Campus together with Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå Institute of Design, HUMlab-X (digital humanities), Bildmuseet (a contemporary art museum), Sliperiet and a library with literature within the fields of art, design and architecture. Umeå School of Architecture distinguishes itself through the integration of scientific, artistic and professional methods and means of study in an international profile. The intermingling of technology, sustainability and art at the Arts Campus encourages development. The education aims to point clearly towards sustainable architecture and integrated design.

R-Urban Poplar is a community facility to support local groups and promote the ethos of re-use and environmental friendly approaches to city living. It offers drop in sessions and expert lead workshops around urban-agriculture, food, wellbeing, local energy production and making.

Tate Exchange is an experiment. A space for everyone to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art. Whether you are an observer, commentator, researcher, creator, hacker, tweeter or just curious, join artists and organisations to explore the issues of our time. Drop in for a talk, join the conversation, enjoy a chance encounter and learn something new.

Roskilde Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. Every year over 130,000 people come together to create Scandinavia’s largest temporary city - more than 30,000 of them are volunteers. The festival is run by the Roskilde Charity Society, a non-profit organisation for development and support of youth culture and humanities. All proceeds from the festival are shared with charitable organisations and initiatives around the globe. In recent years Roskilde has increasingly been invited by municipalities across Denmark to consult on issues of temporary use helping to spread the learnings and applying them to the way we rethink our cities. For 2016-2018, Roskilde Festival has a thematic focus on equality. In 2018 we nuance the focus on economic equality by exploring the current status of economic influence on society.

Just Space is a network of local and London-wide metropolitan groups campaigning on planning issues – housing, transport, services, environment, rights of minorities but especially of working class and low-income groups. Activists and groups support each other in influencing formal plans and policies at scales ranging from metropolitan, through municipal to local.