SCIBE – Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment, Bromley by Bow

This project with Peter Morris Architects is entitled ‘Bownanza’ and developed out of an open competition run by SCIBE and the Architecture Foundation. The project called for solutions to improving people’s quality of life in Bromley by Bow at very low cost (given a time of ‘Scarcity’) .

Our project intends to unlock potential ‘wealth’ that already exists within Bromley by Bow and bring it to the fore at very low cost. This is done by concentrating on 2 key aspects of life there – Food and Community.

The SCIBE (Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment) competition briefing document highlighted that despite being a relatively deprived borough, 91% of residents said they eat outside the home on a regular basis, with 31% eating out 2- 6 times a week. Most often they ate fast food. In many cases Bromley by Bow’s homes are densely populated, with people sharing rooms and the living room given over to become a bedroom. The kitchen is often too small to accommodate the residents.The brief also highlighted that 60% of residents were from Bangladesh.

Given these conditions, we asked if there was a way to improve what people eat and at the same create a vibrant street life and sense of community similar to that found in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Our project therefore concentrates on the promotion of street food as an alternative to the more usual fast food offerings. Our aim is to connect the community through communal healthy eating and to use street food as a potential source of employment, and entrepreneurship within Bromley by Bow.

Our approach has been to research in to street food generally and develop a prototype ‘Bownanza Bike’ which would become a recognisable branded street food vending vehicle in Bromley by Bow. Bikes were chosen due to the low cost and green mode of transport.

Bowanza Blog