The ‘Database (e)State’ project is the product of PhD research undertaken by myself (Tom Keene), a researcher, artist, designer and programmer. The project was prompted by Lambeth Council’s proposed demolition of Cressingham Gardens Estate (CGE) in South London where I have lived since 2006. I am part of the Save Cressingham Gardens Campaign which formed shortly after Lambeth Council included CGE within a borough wide regeneration programme. The project explores how ‘housing databases’ are complicit in the demolition of residential social housing estates in the UK. It aims to elucidate how databases produce some of the bureaucracies and politics that emerge within residential regeneration schemes. And shows the social and technical entanglements of databases, government, activists, and residents facing demolition of their homes.
The things documented on this website act as vehicles to research and discuss the political, social, and cultural implications of the housing database as it performs its work. This body of work should be considered ongoing, speculative, and incomplete, rather than definitive assertions. The approach to this project has required a multi-disciplinary approach that intersects art, design, housing activism, urban planning, housing management, government, law, software development, computer science, and philosophies of technology. The project has been deeply informed by the extraordinary level of expertise that emerged from the Save Cressingham Campaign and residents of Cressingham Gardens Estate - thank you to everybody involved.
The project is supervised by Alex Wilkie, and Graham Harwood. Hosted by Department of Design, at Goldsmiths University of London. And funded by the AHRC as part of the Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training.