Shopped Out

An exploration by young people from Southwark into future retail spaces in Elephant & Castle and Canada Water.

Key Project Information

Partners: Supported by Southwark Council
Participants: Young people aged 13-16 from the Latin American Group in Elephant and Castle and the Odessa Street Group in Canada Water.
Format: 2-day workshop

Project Overview

‘Shopped out’ was a programme for young people from Southwark that explored and presented their ideas about existing and future designs of their local shopping centres. The programme used the New London Architecture Exhibition ‘Shop – New Retail Spaces for London’ as a starting point for young people to investigate issues, needs and aspirations for retail environments. Following this, young people used video to explore the retail spaces of Canada Water and Elephant and Castle and interview young people, traders and developers about the regeneration. ‘Shopped Out’ offered a unique opportunity for young people to explore ideas and raise issues which may impact on the economic/social success of the Southwark retail projects.


Shopped Out aimed to find out young people’s views on and priorities for future retail spaces.

The project also aimed to:

  • Develop alternative ways of engaging young people with their built environment
  • Use a variety of methods to ensure young people’s views are communicated in a way they feel comfortable with.
  • Inspire young people to take an active role in the future development of their city
  • Empower young people by ensuring their concerns and ideas were profiled and valued

Project Detail

Young people’s ideas for future retail developments in their community were developed through mind-mapping activities, an on-site visit to the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, video journalism and visual collage activities.

Video Journalism: Young people interviewed shoppers and retailers to find out how they felt about the shopping space and how they thought the regeneration would impact on young people and the area at large.

Exploration and Mapping: Through exploration and collage activities based on the SHOP exhibition booklet of New London Architecture (NLA), young participants expressed their ideas for the future Elephant and Castle retail space. Through mind-mapping activities young people outlined what they would like for the future Canada Water public realm.

Participants were hard to reach young people aged 13-16 from the Latin American Group in Elephant and Castle and the Odessa Street Group in Canada Water. Considerable resource was expended to ensure that young participants from both areas had the opportunity to participate in and contribute to this important piece of community work.


Shopped Out has enabled  Southwark young people to have a say about the future regeneration plans within their community. They have been able to explore and communicate their ideas about the retail spaces, and raise their aspirations for their future built environment.

Young people’s understanding and vision of Elephant & Castle and Canada Water shopping spaces illustrated the need for future work with young people around the subject.

The high-quality short film that was produced illustrated the effectiveness of using film-making as a key tool for exploring and communicating young people’ s ideas about the existing shopping centres. It also empowered young people  to feel a sense of ownership in the project as their own footage was included and professionally edited for the final verison of the film.

Follow this link to watch the Shopped Out shortfilm

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