Posts Tagged 'empty spaces network'

The Pop-up Pro: Dan Thompson

Photo courtesy of Dan Thompson

At 13, Dan Thompson helped his local youth theatre transform an abandoned theatre and since then he’s continued to bring new life to empty spaces.

Founder of the Empty Shops Network, he initiated the use of shops to form “high street community hubs” and has helped communities around Britain put their vacant spaces into creative use.

Dan began all of this about ten years ago when an artist he was working with used her skills as an estate agent to use empty shops as temporary exhibition spaces. When the recession began, he set up a network to help people to use the same skills to fuel their own projects.

“Pop-ups add interest and variety in communities. People will always be curious to what is going to be in a new space,” he says.

Dan has worked on many pop-up projects through out the years, and has seen them used for an array of purposes and executed in different ways. His favorite project always tends to be the last project he finished.

“I love the project we just finished in South Kilburn, but this Ministry of Found one has been great too!”

Of course his wisdom over the temporary space take over is pretty infinite, which is why he wrote a toolkit that gets downloaded about 500 times a month. As for advice for pop-up planners he says:

“The hardest part is physically being in the shop. It’s amazing how people forget.”

Follow Dan on twitter: @artistsmakers empty shops, church halls and other useful spaces for arts and community projects across England.)


What’s poppin’ now?

Until July 9 We Make London: Summer Pop-up The Oak Studio, 8 Perrins Court, Hampstead, London, NW3 1QS

Until July 30 Piccadilly Community Centre Hauser & Wirth Gallery, 196A Piccadilly London W1J 9DY

Until August 3 Ellesse Pop-up shop & Coffee House 77 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ

Until August 14 Pop-up Urban Physic Garden 100 Union Street, London, SE1 0NL

Until September The Dishoom Beach Bar Pop-up on London Southbank, in front of the Southbank Centre

Until September The Terrace Garden Pop-up Bar at The Langham The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, GB W1B 1JA

Until September 30 Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-story carpark 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST

Until November The Summerhouse Restaurant 60 Blomfield Road, W9 2PA