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Turning Anti-Homeless Spikes into Sleeping Spaces

Turning Anti-Homeless Spikes into Sleeping Spaces
Arts & Culture

A group placed a mattress and a bookshelf on top of metal spikes on London's Curtain Road to neutralize their 'otherness'

Emma Hutchings
  • 23 july 2015

In the last few years, metal spikes have started appearing on ledges and doorways in London. These “anti-homeless spikes” have been widely condemned by the public and now a group has decided to take a stand against them.

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They installed a sleeping and seating area complete with a small library on top of a set of metal spikes on London’s Curtain Road. This area was chosen because of its history as the center of a growing artistic community, which produced tastemakers in the visual and performing arts.

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The group’s Anti Anti-Homeless Spikes intervention transformed them in an effort to turn “travesties of urban design into hospitable spaces.” The blue mattress helped neutralize the spikes so people could sit or lie down and a bookshelf was stocked with various tomes on subjects such as the housing crisis, inequality, gentrification, place-hacking, and poverty.

People were encouraged to read the books and then leave them behind for others. ‘Space, Not Spikes’ was born out of a feeling of anger over public/private space inequity. On the group’s Tumblr, they write:

Living in a city, we bumble along from place to place in tightly martialed lines. We’re told where we can walk, where we can sit, where we are welcome but only if we spend money. Or have it. It makes us neurotic and engenders a deep sense of ‘otherness’ in anyone who chooses to or simply cannot buy in to what currently passes for society and leisure.

Anti-homeless spikes are part of that invention; nothing says “keep out” to a person more than rows of sharpened buttplugs laid out to stop people from enjoying or using public space.

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You can check out the group installing their sleeping and seating area on the metal spikes in the video below:

Anti Anti-Homeless Spikes

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