Waste of Space has been a daring exercise in making use of all available space. Not only in a physical sense, by using empty shops in new and creative ways, but also in a political and enterprising sense, trying to weave “meanwhile spaces” into the fabric of local council, estate agents, land owners and retailers.
The notion of the shop is slowly changing whilst online shopping is growing year by year and overall consumer spending on goods and services is down. Experts indicate that retail spaces are rapidly changing function, where once we would go to buy our food, clothes, and meet with other local shoppers, now there is a shift towards café culture, entertainment and services such as hairdressers. But this is not enough to fill the void. 15% of all retail space in England remains vacant, and in many cases, rent and rates remain unaffordable given current trading conditions.
What is the future of the shop? How can we utilise empty spaces in the right way so to satisfy the community, estate agents and landlords? Is there more potential than we can see at first sight? And what impact will these changes have on our social habits?
Join artist Lorenza Ippolito and The Economic Development Team at Brighton and Hove City Council to investigate the nooks and crannies of the empty retail space.