Peace Garden
Designing-out Knife Crime





— Researching the Role of Landscape in Fighting Knife Crime


Context & Location.


Age Groups and Ethnicity Affected by Knife Crime in London, UK (2017).


          A place for all to come together to reflect, relieve and resolute – a garden for people affected by knife crime. Designed together with the local community, council and the Mayor’s Office through design thinking, co-design, co-creation and participatory design methods, it’s a place to escape the day-to-day societal problems.

           After many years of declining levels of knife crime, 2016/17 saw a sharp increase across London, with Southwark experiencing the highest volume of knife crime within the capital. The Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police and Local Councils are actively implementing a wide range of initiatives to tackle the problem.

           The Southwark Peace Garden is a leading example of this, conceived by a local church and community member Abdulrahman Musa-Johnson, who regularly provides emotional support to people who have been affected by knife crime. Abdulrahman recognized the need for a safe space in the local community for people to seek support and took the initiative to establish the Southwark Peace Garden.



This research project is based on the Co-creating & Inductive model to enable a learning process that involves the designer to learn from and innovate with the community and develop solutions for shared needs.
The boundary between the expert and non-expert in this model was interchangeable, and both, the user and the industry partner were dependent on each other to educate the designer and influence the design outcome.



             Using the Inductive & Intuitive model, a design proposal originated from this research entitle Our Garden (Qudus Patrick, Joshua Welch and Malachy Safsaf), which proposes an environment co-designed with the local community that allows all age groups to come together, grow and rehabilitate.

            Key words:     Knife crime;
                                   Landscape design;
                                   Social intervention


Peace Garden Strategy.

Peace Garden Plan.

Peace Garden Entrance View.
Peace Garden Exit View.

Peace Garden Wall.
Peace Garden Bench.

Peace Garden Entrance View (as built).


Co-creation Workshop.
Local Apprenticeship Builders.

Peace Garden Inauguration.


Organisation + [Credits]
    Ravensbourne University London, [©Idrees Rasouli]

Role + [Team Size]
    Research & Design Lead, [18]

Date + [Duration of Involvement]
    2018, [5 months]

Partner + [Project Location]
    Southwark Council, Metropolitan Police, Royal College of Physicians Creative Ken, and Methodist Church, [London, UK]

Status + [Project Type]
    Research, [Design-led Solutions]

Brief + [Challenge]
    A Place for All to Come Together, [Design for Future Needs]

Collaborators [Research & Design]
    Project Collaborators (Kate Sedwell, Ken Creative); Project Team (Qudus Patrick, Joshua Welch, Malachy Safsaf, Matthew Smith, Holly Freeman, Yulia Bykova, Thomas Vercoustre, Thomas England, Ellen Maughan)

Collaborators [Construction]
    Southwark Construction Skills Centre



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Mark