House of Annetta: ︎


Spitalfields; where the east end meets the city of London has for centuries been a site of friction for the tectonic forces of capital and human life, a historic site of organising and people trying new things. In amongst this history sits 25 Princelet St, a large and beautiful Huguenot house built in 1705 that for the past 40 years has held an extraordinary story.

In 1980, artist and activist Annetta Pedretti came to live in the house, inhabiting it as a space for her experimental way of learning and organising community resistance. Annetta’s special area of interest and exploration was cybernetics, the study of self-regulating systems. Annetta was working with cybernetics in her beekeeping, publishing, art-making, political activism and day-to-day conversation.

At her death in 2018, Annetta’s house was gifted by her family to the Edith Maryon Foundation in Switzerland who appointed the architectural collective Assemble to develop a future for the semi-renovated building. Assemble are working in collaboration with the research organisation ab__ to develop the project into a centre for research, arts and solidarity work towards transformative systems change.

Today the house is continuing the threads Annetta wove, exploring  approaches and ideas for the ways we reproduce the world through our daily lives.

EASA ︎ is Europe’s longest running decentralised architectural education system. Re-forming annually for over 40 years, it gives different countries in Europe the opportunity to host international events at the cutting edge of architectural discourse.

In 2023, the annual gathering was held in the Sheffield City Region, under the theme of Commons. EASA Commons was jointly hosted by the EASA England and EASA Ireland teams who are some of the founding members of AB__ .  They explored the social, material and theoretical implications of commonly-held resources and space. Forming contemporary forms of commons in the context of a northern English city currently facing urban regeneration.

Workshops and live projects were held both online and in person throughout 2022 and 2023, culminating in the main two-week long event in Sheffield, England.

All of the projects, activities and discussions took place during the event built up a shared understanding on the theme.
ouse of Annetta: ︎


Spitalfields; where the east end meets the city of London has for centuries been a site of friction for the tectonic forces of capital and human life, a historic site of organising and people trying new things. In amongst this history sits 25 Princelet St, a large and beautiful Huguenot house built in 1705 that for the past 40 years has held an extraordinary story.

In 1980, artist and activist Annetta Pedretti came to live in the house, inhabiting it as a space for her experimental way of learning and organising community resistance. Annetta’s special area of interest and exploration was cybernetics, the study of self-regulating systems. Annetta was working with cybernetics in her beekeeping, publishing, art-making, political activism and day-to-day conversation.

At her death in 2018, Annetta’s house was gifted by her family to the Edith Maryon Foundation in Switzerland who appointed the architectural collective Assemble to develop a future for the semi-renovated building. Assemble are working in collaboration with the research organisation ab__ to develop the project into a centre for research, arts and solidarity work towards transformative systems change.

Today the house is continuing the threads Annetta wove, exploring  approaches and ideas for the ways we reproduce the world through our daily lives.

Vsesvit ︎

Following the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Mariia Pastukh and Valentin Rajenkov set up a Donation center at the independent library Biblioteka in Peckham.

We were collecting, sorting, and sending to Ukraine medical equipment, first aid kits, and critical injuries consumables to support paramedics and hospitals.

In 9 months, we raised over £41,000 in collected aid. We then expanded our approach to organizing fundraising events.

In January 2023, we launched Vsesvit, amplifying our efforts to provide crucial support in Ukraine and establish a community network in London.

Researching the sonic environments in Accident and Emergency

Hospitals can be loud environments. This is known to reduce staff performance and well-being at work. Poor sonic environments in hospitals have been found to ‘impede the recovery process’ for patients. However the sonic landscape of hospitals is often overlooked, or not prioritised in hospital design. This creates environments which are not supportive for or conducive to care or healing.

We are exploring the sonic environment of A&E to gain a deeper understanding of how and why the sonic environment might affect people's experiences in A&E.

We are carrying out a sonic ethnography of an A&E in Manchester using deep listening methodology.  Listening as a research method is rarely used in hospitals, even when studying sound.

Part of this process involves training a group of 10 healthcare staff in the practice of Deep Listening to a basis for conducting a sonic ethnography of the A&E at Manchester Royal Infirmary. We will ask our group to keep a listening journal during the two week period and will meet with them for a reflective meeting in the middle of this period. After the two weeks, we will host a half-day conversation where we will draw out themes from the listening engagements.

In the long term we want to design and test tangible interventions into the soundscape in A&E. We also want to produce a public-facing creative output in the form of a multi-channel sound installation that structures elements of the conversation for reception in a public gallery setting. We hope that our work will demonstrate the importance of sound design in hospitals, provide practical suggestions for sonic interventions and provide a case-study for the use of sonic ethnography methods in health research.

Researching the sonic environments in Accident and Emergency

Over the past year a queer crew within ab__ have been working with the campaign group Friends of the Joiners Arms towards building a new LGBTQ+ community pub in East London. A week of workshops developed the delivery method in response to our past individual experiences of architecture and construction. A zine was produced illustrating initial ideas for a delivery process that would critically approach the reproduction of power dynamics in technologies of drawing and professional roles. We have been working together since to identify a site where we can build the space centering accessiblity as its focus.

City of Sanctuary

Over 90 people per day visit The Sanctuary during its opening hours to attend English classes, take part in creative and social activities, use the IT, or simply relax with a cup of tea. We have carefully designed and ‘enacted’ the space listening closely to the community of people seeking sanctuary who use the space so it feels like their home. This is an iterative process. Challenges remain and the development is ongoing. Yet, after a recent intensive redesign and two years of ‘living’ in this space we have clearly seen the transformative effect that thoughtful spatial design and careful ‘enacting’ of a space can have. # Institutional Accommodation Accommodation, a place to live, sits at the heart of asylum policy. Its provision is weaponised, its delivery privatised, and its realisation institutionalised to such an extent that our collective discussion is never of providing a home.

This study, a joint collaboration between ab_ and City of Sanctuary Sheffield, sought to map the journey taken in institutional accommodation by people seeking sanctuary through on the ground research in Sheffield.  Coupled with ongoing work to build The Sanctuary, a space of safety in Sheffield, it shines a light on the two extremes. In doing so, we ask questions about the world people seeking sanctuary are currently forced to live and the world we want to build.

**Output** As our major output we created a thoroughly illustrated visual presentation that shared the steps within the U.K. asylum system in detail. This contains original material derived from both primary and secondary research. This was a simplified visual document to make legible the 40 pages of research notes we took during the analysis.

Systems Research in Practice

***How can we understand and transform systems?***
Systems RIP (Research. In. Practice.) is a summer program being supported by ab__ using House of Annetta as a platform and departure point observing, understanding and taking action in the systems we reproduce in our daily lives. Over 80 people and groups answered the open call with desires and proposals to inhabit 25 Princelet St. Groups and strands of work have been focused on the intersecting systems of care, food, land, resources, body and racial justice. Researchers, artists, community groups, organisers and activists have woven new conversations and cultures together, feeding into the social and organisational architectures of the house.