Social engaged art project
Interested in the recent developments in the high streets in the UK, Smeeing initiated the art project Future of the High Street. The project tried to re-imagine the potential uses of vacant retail spaces in the local high streets. Not driven by profit or a commercial agenda, Smeeing wanted to critically respond to the current developments in the high street and act upon a pure social curiosity. His project explored what a more inclusive alternative to the redevelopment of the high street could be. What models of economic development are possible, when social value is placed at the heart of the project?
After testing and developing of the project in various locations in London, Smeeing approached the art organization Made Public with a project proposal to prototype the Future of the High Street. Made Public was at the time responsible for vacant units in the Quadrant Arcade as part of a regeneration programme in Romford and offered Smeeing a 6 weeks residency and a vacant retail unit to develop, test and present his project.