Culture + Commerce – Money Talks: Can we (re)design economic systems to preserve the city as a site of experimentation?

Mon 9 September 2013 7pm

  • The Brixton Pound
  • Something & Son's Barking Bathhouse

What if Shenzhen came to Soho? Can we develop measures to maintain the capital as an affordable place to live, work and experiment? Can the logic of markets be re-routed to help create an economic platform for alternative businesses? Can currency itself be used as an urban agent?

Following projects such as the Dalston Farm:Shop and Barking Bathhouse, Something & Son's future plans for a 'London Free Trade Zone' seek to design a new infrastructure for small businesses in central London. Taking advantage of holes in the urban fabric, they propose to conduct a form of urban acupuncture upon the wastelands of the city, inserting self-build structures into overlooked nooks and crannies to house a network of businesses sheltered from the crippling pressures of rent and rates in the contemporary cosmopolitan city.

Meanwhile in South London, the Brixton Pound has been offering an alternative currency and pioneering a different model of local exchange since 2009. Josh Ryan-Collins will present this new currency's journey, and explore the way financial and monetary systems might be employed to affect change in the urban environment.


Andrew Merrit & Paul Smyth, Something & Son
Josh Ryan-Collins, Director, Brixton Pound / Senior Researcher, Monetary Reform, New Economics Foundation


Dr. Fran Tonkiss, Director, Cities Programme, London School of Economics