The Paper Garden

About the Paper Garden

Global Generation is thrilled to be working in Canada Water, involving the local community in the future of their area. The Paper Garden is a collaborative seedbed in which to nurture creativity and community.  Young people learn from older people ... older people learn from young people and all of us learn from nature. Ideas grown in the Paper Garden, based in what was the Daily Mail Printworks, will inform parts of the public realm in changing areas of Canada Water.

I’ve seen the Paper Garden grow, develop and change as new people help transform it with new ideas, and I’m immensely excited to see this creative and collaborative way of working develop at  Canada Water  - Gary Alden, Townshend Landscape Architects (Canada Water Public Realm Master Planners)

Bringing the Paper Garden to life – School and Community Programme

Framed within the three territories of I, We and the Planet our workshop programme, led by a multi-disciplinary team,  is both practical and reflective. It is based in the Printworks, in the Paper Garden maker space and Paper Garden food growing area and in surrounding schools and community groups. Soon it will also be in some of the public realm areas. We currently offer opportunities for designing, making, growing, cooking, storytelling and creative writing.

Making furniture out of paper, growing things in paper and telling stories with paper is a way of celebrating the industrial history of Canada Water. Through thinking about the origins of paper, we are inviting the collaboration and creativity of the forest into spaces that have largely been inhabited by the churn and roar of the machine world.

Working on the Paper Garden idea makes me think about the whole area as a book, the different organisations are different pages, but in the same book” 

Workshops often start with a tour of the Press Halls, courtesy of the Printworks London team, we then collaborate with young people in the Paper Garden space where they work on new stories for the Printworks and beyond. We have heard about the values that young people feel are important in creating something new.

"I loved that we were trusted to make whatever we wanted" – St Joseph’s School, year 6, pupil.

"I learnt how to work with others and the outcome in such a short space of time was extraordinary. The creativity spun between us as we really were working as one brain. Not only did I learn how to release my creativity I learnt to work with others" - year 8 participant Bacons College.

“Many of the students in our school feel disconnected and resentful of the changes in Southwark. Global Generation is giving them tohe opportunity to take an active role in creating, moulding and taking ownership of their area and potentially their future.” Garry Meehan, Teacher Compass School