A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate
During a residency at The White House, Dagenham, Katie Schwab explored overlooked histories of industrial, domestic and material culture in Dagenham. Katie met with local residents, organisations and manufacturers to explore workwear designs, items made from by-products of industry and the costume designs of former White House resident, Hardy Amies. Hardy spent his childhood living in The White House, while his father was overseeing the building of the Becontree Estate. Hardy went onto to become a world famous fashion designer and Still Here takes its name from his autobiography. Katie developed a new collection of functional textiles inspired by materials that have been cut out or ‘leftover’. The collection was developed in collaboration with local manufacturers and makers, and was used at The White House and in other domestic spaces, creating material connections between homes across Becontree.
Katie facilitated a series of workshops in July for local residents to try out techniques such as marbling, natural dyeing, wool stuffing, hand stitching & machine sewing. Together, they created series of bespoke cushions for various community projects across the borough as part of the Becontree estate centenary celebrations.
The White House
884 Green Lane
Katie Schwab’s practice interweaves personal, social, and craft-based histories, often drawing from overlooked traditions of living, making and working collectively. Spanning exhibition-making, design commissions, printed resources and workshops, she works across arts, learning and community contexts to explore histories of domestic, social and civic design.
Commissioned by The White House and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.