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the City Makers’ Meeting

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The third and final annual conference event to be held at Hive Dalston is the City Makers’ Meeting on the 16th November. This event is predominantly for socially-minded developers, architects, councillors and planners to learn more about the ReSpace Projects’ system of reuse, which takes empty buildings, volunteers and wasted resources, and turns them into projects such as the Hive Dalston, Craftory Newham or the Cultural Assembly in Southend.
ReSpace Projects has recently partnered with the London Waste and Recycling Board on their Route Map to a circular economy, and the demonstrable benefits of reusing wasted materials are now being evidenced by the figures and statistics that are being added up as Hive Dalston moves into its final transition phase. Our wonderful landlords, Investland, have finally got their planning permission, two years after originally planned. What was initially a 6 month project has hosted over 25,000 people in two and a half years and we’ve given away around £24,000 worth of materials – a conservative estimate – to local neighbours, charities and community groups in the process.
If you’re interested in attending the City Makers’ Meeting – or helping us organise it – please email
Thank you again for all your support and input at Hive Dalston, and do keep an eye out for our Christmas newsletter where we’ll update you with our progress!!!
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Hive Hero: Felicia

Fluent in more languages than I even knew existed, Felicia joined us over the summer of 2016 and became the face of the Hive for that season.0023616821

She brought hope, flowers and a keen intelligence and greeted every guest like a long-lost friend. Talented in so many ways, we remember her sitting at the cafe reading chapters from her book “The Land Kids”. She always had time to help someone in need and never stopped encouraging people to dare that little bit more than they dared!

This streak of daring and caring led her to join a rooftop protest for fathers rights and led to one of her finest moments… riding high in the sky on the top of St Paul’s Cathedral to drape a banner in a death-defying feat.

However this led to her arrest and subsequent trial. Just days before court Felicia took her own life.

The world has lost an angel. Heaven has gained one.

Felicia, we primates miss you.


Hive Hero: Michael

The first Hive hero… Michael is the Landlord of the Hive.

Without him taking a chance on working with us then we wouldn’t be here.

Michael had been a developer for many years and had a significant impact in the growth of the Kingsland Basin area – where the Hive is situated. Having built so many residential blocks nearby he felt that the area needed something more to stimulate those people who live there. To give them somewhere to work and play as well as live.

He had let it be known to Hackney Charities Voluntary Services that he was interested in lending them the building… they contacted us and the rest is history.

He has been a huge supporter and has even gone on to help our sister project “Passing Clouds” in their campaign to get their building back.

Michael is fast developing a reputation as an innovative social developer.

Thank You.

Here’s a clip of Michael explaining some of the worries he had before the Hive started!

Want to volunteer or work with Hive and ReSpace?


2016 has been an amazing year in the life of Hive Dalston. From documentaries to eco-parks and mayoral elections – the Hive and ReSpace have been involved in them all! Behind the scenes work has taken place on opening several new buildings all over London and the UK, on campaigns to breathe life back into London’s music scene, on transportation, on energy generation and holistic health. We are working on food distribution and on innovative tech solutions.

infrastructureWe hope that next year we are able to push forward with our mission to enable more and more people to create their own Hives by building a complete infrastructure to hold it all together. But we are going to need help – and lots of it! Our trajectory has been steep and all of a sudden we find ourselves in a position to make a difference – so we need great, skilled and committed people to contribute. From new crews for buildings to ideas for sustainability, from growing skills to IT know how and social media expertise. We have so much going on and so much potential to work on. Join us and let’s make space and time free again!

We are holding a unique open evening where we will present a number of the different projects lined up for early 2017 and you can find out what you can do to help. Come along and spread the word. If you can’t make that date – drop us a line and let us know how you can contribute. :)

The open evening is on Wednesday 30th November at 6:30pm in the Hive Cafe.

See you there!

Mainstream politics goes underground at Hive’s radical mayoral hustings

“Imagine 150 years from now, The Hive [concept] works, this will be an historical moment” – Shaun Bailey, Conservative Party representative and London Assembly candidate.

Last week, unique social project, The Hive Dalston launched a system of solutions for London to cross party support at a groundbreaking conference and mayoral hustings. The underground political event – which was solar powered – was attended by representatives from the five main parties, as well as candidates, Sian Berry and George Galloway.

(video of the event – 3 mins)

Highlights from the two days include:

  • The launch of a 38 degrees campaign to reuse empty buildings for social good – using The Hive as an example.
  • The Social Dragons’ Den – where community groups pitched to a panel of experts for advice on their projects.
  • The Hustings – where major political figures answered questions from underground activist organisations on an equal footing.

From such a groundbreaking event we have drawn a number of important or interesting angles for consideration:

Next mayor agrees to respace London – all the representatives pledged personal and mayoral support for The Hive’s Respace petition to open empty buildings for use by the community.

Sun shines on mayoral hustings – The Hive’s mayoral hustings and conference were powered by solar energy which means that they were held in a free building with volunteer help, with free food, powered by free energy!

Mainstream politics meets underground – for the first time mainstream politicians took part in a regulated political event at a ‘glorified squat’ with underground political organisations present (Harriet Sergeant in Radio 4’s ‘A Waste of space’)

The Hive Dalston launches campaign to recycle empty buildings like tins cans and plastic bottles – The respace classification makes it much easier for councils, developers and community groups to reuse available resources like empty buildings to tackle local social problems.

Solutions to homelessness and austerity measures – The Hive hopes, with the creation of many new Hives all over London, to tackle issues like homelessness and other austerity measures by providing space and opportunities to homeless or disadvantaged people within each project. It is widely reported that with 80,000 empty buildings and 8,000 registered rough sleepers you could give each homeless person 10 buildings.

Press reviews, blogs and full live streams are available on our review page: Click here….

…and we’re back!

With so much happening at the Hive these last few months – including a complete re-fit, a brand new av studio build, regeneration projects, new buildings, petitions and campaigns it’s been a really busy time and we have not been able to keep y’all updated. We’re extremely keen to add more focus to our news production over the coming months and would love to hear from people who would like to get involved!

Contact us via for more information.

2015 – A Hive review…


What a year! Thank you so much for joining us on this fantastic journey. When we started this project, on the 30th May 2015, we set out to prove that regenerating an empty building into a useful political, community and social space was really not that difficult and maybe didn’t need all the reams of paperwork and applications for funding, all the red-tape and costly admin that eventually sinks most great ideas. We wanted to pioneer a no-nonsense blueprint that made things happen.

As I sit here, the new year still ringing in my ears and the hundreds of amazing moments I have witnessed jostling for space in my memory, I can’t help but think back to the small group of volunteers and crew that sat together in that empty space and visualised what we were going to do. I don’t think any of us could have imagined this! And yet we have almost a whole year left to continue to prove our point – that with the right systems and mindset anything can be recycled to be of value.

We wanted to show that you could solve any number of social issues using space and time creatively. In every area of life we have tried to make sure the building impacts positively… art, culture, music, politics, sport, health, wellbeing, education, environment, economy, etc. And we documented the evidence. We have 6 small businesses started from the Hive, we have launched art careers and helped train sound and event technicians. We provide courses and classes and fitness clubs as well as alternative health festivals and film screenings, we host meetings and open mics. That’s why we called it the Hive. Human Interest Versatile Environment.

When I was asked to write the year end review of The Hive I thought long and hard about how I would review such a multi-faceted, multi-coloured place. Every member of the crew would review and remember the year differently. For some they will remember all the events that took place and the amazing people that came. For example Azja said “ What has amazed me the most is the variety of cultures that showcased samples from their own traditions… like one week we would host eastern european old classic film screenings, another week Peruvian shamans with their water ceremony… a truly eclectic mix of various collectives.” Others would point out the conferences and many political meetings and seminars that we have held and talk about the uniqueness of a space that offers such free expression.

But for me there have been a few highlights that will stay with me forever, things that don’t need to jostle for space in my head… the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan monks visit and the sand mandala. The ReSpacing Conference that brought together politicians and activists in one open space. The Tribal Gatherings and cacao ceremonies – where hundreds of people communed in mind, body and spirit. CalAID that filled both floors of the building with the kind donations of the local population. The visit of Ruth Barnett – Holocaust survivor – to tell her harrowing but powerful story. Lyrically Challenged‘s Summer Barbeque brought young an old together in a feast of music, poetry and fine foods. The time that the 19 Korean social leaders came to meet us and voted us the best social enterprise they had visited. The day Charles Landry came. The Freedom exhibition and the blood, sweat and tears we shed to open the building in time! The worlds largest accountancy firm Grant Thornton coming for a lecture on sustainable systems. Actually… there’s more than a few. There’s just too many to mention.

Along the way there have been tears of happiness and sadness, of joy and loss. We have worked hard, sometimes with little thanks, and we have worked long. We have lost some amazing people who have given everything to the project and had to step back to recover. And wonderful, talented people have come to push us forward to join the hardy ones that have stayed all the way. To them goes my eternal gratitude… truly giving meaning to the words “through thick and thin.” And all their sacrifices have been worth it so far. I thank each and everyone of them and you for making this project so incredibly beautiful and special.

In the “Field of Dreams” it said “If you build it, they will come.” Well we built it and they came. Now together we shape it and change will come.


Calling All Performers



XX – Experimental Experience and Hive Dalston

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Looking at these photos I can’t believe so much has happened under Hive roof..We had musicians, performers, poets, comedians, artists, jugglers, solo singers, bands, theatres, beautiful cacao and water ceremonies, buddhist prayers and sand mandala making, amazing exhibitions and grass roots community groups meetings, trainings, film screenings, video shots, workshops, fitness classes and meditations…

Yes, lots has happened in the past 7 months… 
but Hive is not just a cultural house where art and music meet poetry and people flourish and are creative… it is also not just a place where groups meet and work together … nor it is just a platform from which communities can grow…

Hive is an example of how we can regenerate out cities and make our surroundings beautiful, an example how to cherish what we have and make it inspiring… how to involve people in creating their surroundings.

An example of how an empty (for the past 6 years) building became viable through community engagement. An example of a sustainable structure that can be multiplied anywhere..
. We are in a stage of passing on new traditions: re-cycle; re-use; re-think; re-new..and yes, we do want to re-cycle derelict buildings so they can be fixed and improved for people to re-use; yes, we do want to re-think and influence policy making in the longer run, so that kind of buildings could be turned into positive community assets and allow better futures for the generations to come. By Everyone for Everyone.

At the moment we are planning for WINTER WHAM JAM PARTY, as a Hive fundraiser for the new year. If you’d like to contribute with your talent and skills and be part of the amazing revolution please let us know.

19 DECEMBER 2015


XX – Experimental Experience and Hive Dalston


When Kingpin came to visit…

Hey Hivers! Have a look at Kingpin’s latest video shot entirely at the Hive by the excellent conscious Hip Hop label – GlobalFaction they have been bringing the best out of underground artists for many years now and it was an honour to host them here.

Check out the video here:


Kingpin’s Bandcamp

Article on SYS

If you would like to shoot your video here then please get in touch via email or just pop in!

ReSpace helps ex-Runnymede Residents win in court.


Some of you may know that ReSpace Projects was recently asked to help some of the former residents of the Runnymede Eco-village attempt to re-open a disused adult learning centre as a Sister project to the Hive.

ReSpace have offered to mediate in negotiations between them and the local council. A letter of mitigation for their cause and an offer of support in the event that they should be given the opportunity was sent to the council, the court and the co-operative. We hope the letter contributed to their winning the right to stay longer in the building and believe the Oast House should be used as a community building.

For more information read the article from the local paper…

The ReSpacing Conference @ The Hive

The ReSpacing Conference 2015

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Two incredible, intense days of talks, discussions and lectures between grassroots political groups and respected academics, city planners, councillors, journalists, activists, politicians, developers and lawyers aimed at producing genuine co-operative solutions to major social issues. We apologise to all those who found out about the Conference too late to attend, please keep an eye out for the next one coming soon.

Thank you to everyone who took part in any capacity in creating a really groundbreaking event. The Hive is honoured to have hosted this conference and it was inspiring to see so many common concerns across all the participants. We will, of course, be providing clips of all the speeches as soon as we can edit the many many hours of fascinating footage.

Our unique Hive environment, we hope, created an entirely different atmosphere for the guests and perhaps gave the audience something to look at in between the talks!

We have much to do and a full review will follow… work begins on the ReSpacing Conference 2 for early next year entitled Infrastructure.


Once again, thank you to everyone for making such an inspiring event a reality.


4 months in @ the Hive Newsletter

newspageHey guys, here’s the Hive’s October Newsletter – covering just a small chunk of what we are up to this month!

Click here for October Newsletter

I’d like to take a minute to say a huge thank you to every single person involved with the Hive since the start. A huge amount of effort, dedication, creativity and love has gone into the building of it. But more than anything else there has been a huge amount of sacrifice made by all involved. I’ve been thinking a lot about sacrifice recently. Perhaps it has been the red moon, or perhaps it was the cacao ceremony we held last week… that’s made me consider some of the more spiritual aspects of what we do. Either way, looking over the 12 pages of our most recent newsletter at the amazingly varied range of events we’re hosting and considering the many causes we are trying to support with our space, I think this is the perfect time to recognise the sheer willpower of all of our crew, volunteers and helpers.

Our methods are unconventional and sometimes trying to do things differently involves taking risks and yet these amazing people have put jobs, personal lives, ambitions on the line to realise this amazing place that can make dreams come true for everyone.

Because of this willpower and effort we have got to the stage where we can try and help as many people as possible and have got a whole extra year to do it! It’s been great to hear words like pioneering, innovative, positive and amazing being used to describe us… but we know we are just building on the many years of hard work and creativity of hundreds of thousands of people who have risked, pioneered, innovated, created and amazed before us. So thank you to all of them too.

We will continue to try and be a safe place for political thought and action to be expressed, we will continue to encourage oppressed minorities to speak out – we will continue to try and make this space truly available to all. We have come this far – there’s really no point turning back now.

I salute you all.


So, now the serious stuff is out of the way… on with the shows… and exhibitions, and seminars, and conferences, and workshops, and yoga’s, and parties, and events… and… and… :)

Q. What can you make for £250? A. The Hive Dalston!

Regular visitors to this website, or to the Hive itself, will probably be aware that The Hive is the latest (ad)venture from ReSpace Projects – a not for profit organisation set-up to use intelligent solutions and recycled resources to provide the infrastructure to create buildings like the Hive everywhere.

What you may not know is that this unique model has meant that – with the collaboration of the Owners, the local community, local businesses and large building companies and contractors – we have been able to turn the dirty, stripped out, wrecked and lifeless husk that was left behind by a high priced street food company into our showcase project for an initial investment of £250!

Now into it’s third month the Hive has hosted numerous exhibitions, workshops, events, meetings, fitness classes, Permaculture lectures, etc, etc….. the list goes on… and we have so many beautiful and vibrant events lined up for you! No-one receives any wages and we are committed to investing every penny back into improving the facilities and systems each and every day.

We have been blessed to see 6 monks flown over from their exile in India to create a meaningful celebration that ties in appropriately with our ethics of cycling and recycling of life. I take this as a good omen. :)

Onward, ever onward, please keep your eye on our activities and/or get in touch if you want to know more about our methods and get involved in this growing movement toward a more holistic regeneration. :)

Peace and love, people.


Hive News 29/7/15

This month the Hive has had a growth spurt!

We’ve opened our second art exhibition, Industrial/ Rhythm/ Structure from graduate of the Royal Drawing Show, Emma Seach, which saw a crowd of interest and a welcome gift of free beer from the local Beaverton Brewery. Thanks guys!
Our scrubby patch of concrete has bloomed (slightly) with tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and a flash of foxgloves. If there are any gardeners out there looking for a patch to tend, your help would be very welcome!
Smartphone Video Activism on Tuesdays is proving very popular and we’ve linked up with some inspiring groups we met at the recent festival at The Spark: Vive le revolution! Wednesday sees things kept calm and ship-shape with the general scrubbing and sculpting of this fine specimen we call The Hive. In the evening there are life drawing sessions and a yoga class hosted by Fuzia.
This Thursday it’s our fortnightly open mic, Come Jam With Me, so if you like to play, listen, dance and jam then swing by. In the afternoon we have a creative writing session at our cafe which sells teas, coffee and snacks at rates you’d find up North.
On Friday we’re raising vibrations and temperatures with possibly the most unusual pairing this full moon: The Tibet Relief Fund are flying over six Buddhist monks to create a photo exhibition and sand mandala, whilst downstairs Thor’s Burlesque show brings nipple tassles to the party. Who knows what could happen if the two should meet…
The Hive in an evolution of the free social space – it’s an exciting and fast changing time. Over the weekend there is an Introduction to Permaculture as well as a chilled Sunday of general helping hands and hanging out. If you haven’t already, drop by and see how the space inspires you. Come along to the Monday 7pm project organising meet to get more involved.

Smartphone video-activism workshop

Welcome to visionOntv’s revolutionary workshops, teaching you all the techniques for smartphone video-making.

The weekly programme uses visionOntv‘s cartoon templates for making video quickly and effectively with the tools you already have in your pocket.

Every Tuesday 6-8pm.

Create the news you don’t see on the news!

Please bring a fully charged smartphone (with its cables for plugging into computer).

If possible, please register at to help give us an idea of numbers, but feel free to just turn up too.

Click here for our Facebook page.

Open Mic night 7-10pm every Thursday and Saturday

Come showcase your talents every Thursday and Saturday at our open mic night whether you sing, play or perform we’d love to see you. Show starts at 7pm and finishes around 10pm. Bring your own booze. Soft drinks, snacks and cakes available from our homemade cafe.

A few acts from a recent open mic night. Reckon you can do better or want to try out something new? Then get yourself down.

Brufut Education Project: from London squat to Gambian school

brufut project schoolRob from the impressive Brufut Education Project dropped in at the Hive this week to explain how a group of friends went from organising squat parties in London to setting-up a school in Gambia.

While many of us imagine ourselves setting up exciting new projects few of us get them off the ground let alone see them through. But eight years on 350 kids are going to school each day with eight local people employed to teach them thanks to their hard work. Continue reading Brufut Education Project: from London squat to Gambian school

Poem Written about the Freedom Exhibition

This wonderful poem was written by poet BRS after he joined us for open mic night on Thursday June 4th. It is now hanging in the exhibition with all the others.
In case you can’t read it in the photo, here it is:

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I took a walk near Haggerston
And found this brilliant place
With music, art and friendship
And freedom in one space
Good people to relate to
And lots of stuff to see
A mic to get your words across
And best of all it’s free.
So if you’re ever up near Dalston
Check out what I’ve just seen
It’s called Freedom Exhibition
You’ll find out what I mean.
A place to chill or council
Great art is all around
A message of true freedom
On walls, in life, and sound.