Graffiti Dialogues Network

Supported by ESRC & DACRC practice-led research

Welcome to the Graffiti Dialogues Network (GDN)

Graffiti Dialogues is a design-led research and action network involving diverse members – graffiti writers, policing professionals, creative practitioners, authority and government representatives, activists, urbanists, residents, land and transport managers, academics, street artists, community champions and more - each of us as experts of our own experience. 

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Blog Posts

Market Road Gallery - a new action research pilot

Register your interest now via

Posted by Marcus Willcocks on May 9, 2017 at 18:30

Ben Eine about to paint ENGAGE for the Flavasum Trust

Ben has painted three words on the wall in Old Street for Flavasum since 2010 - CHANGE, WORTH MORE, and CREATE. The latest is happening today and tomorrow (we hope) and is the word ENGAGE.

The reason for these words and Ben's help is because Flavasum was set up after Tom Easton was stabbed to death nearby in 2006. He was working in Islington Council's music studio at the time...

What Ben is doing is helping us send a message that knives aren't the answer. CHANGE, CREATE and ENGAGE are positive alternatives, and of course WORTH MORE is self explanatory.

Thousands have seen the art and doubtless question what it means. If they stop to look there's a plaque to explain it, so this is one way streetart can help...

Peter, @flavasumtrust

Posted by Peter Sinclair on April 19, 2016 at 14:09

Exhibition - Graffiti & Street Art Dilemmas in London

Exhibition on display 12 January - 19 February 2016, at Central Saint Martins, Universtiy of the Arts London.  

Designed and created by Marcus Willcocks and artist Steve Russell.  The research and production of this exhibition has been supported by Graffolution (EC FP7 project 608152), the GLA and the Extending Empathy project (AHRC).

Is there a new moment for graffiti management or affordance and urban creativity? 

The role of un-commissioned forms of creative practice in our cities and neighbourhoods is currently being reviewed. Increasingly, diverse populations appear to value street art and other ideas for colourful or playful cities. But where and when is the line drawn to decide that such art is no longer ‘creative’ or ‘positive’, but instead ‘offensive’ and ‘detrimental’ to a given community or environment? Do we leave such decisions wholly to police, local councils or property management teams, or could the artists and communities affected, have not just a voice, but some collective control too? 

We feel now is the time to build capacity as well as empathy for different graffiti perspectives. Further, with small interventions including this exhibition, to find new ways to…


Posted by Marcus Willcocks on January 12, 2016 at 13:00

Dilemmas of Graffiti and Street Art - STORYBOARDS public draft 1 - Give us your views now!

Please look at the below and give us your feedback here, on these draft storyboards. They are a first attempt to visually reflect something of the dilemmas of graffiti and street art faced by both artists and authorities, but also place managers, creators, cultural promotors, businesses, residential communities and many more. This about thinking how we might best include, accommodate or cope with creative or uncommissioned practice in our everyday places. Can this done ways that don't add extra burden drawing on public resources and ways which invite more people to be part of the creation and conversation processes?

Storyboard 1

Storyboard 2

Storyboard 3

Storyboard 4

What are your views on these storyboards so far? Visit to give us your…


Posted by Marcus Willcocks on December 21, 2015 at 17:00


Welcome to the archive of previous GDN activities. More to come in due course, watch this space ...

Posted by Marcus Willcocks on July 29, 2015 at 13:00

Network Strands - Dialogues with Graffiti for 21st. Century Cities

ESRC Network of Workshops, Seminars and Debates, supported by DACRC practice-led research.

Strand 1

Connected Environments, Communities, Materials and Technologies

This strand involves graffiti writers, graffiti removal specialists, material scientists, community practitioners and local artists, to engage in dialogues surrounding the design of common spaces, taking into account the different agendas related to graffiti practices.

Strand 2

Social Policy, Criminal and Restorative Justice

This strand brings together criminal justice academics from local Universities,  law enforcement officials from the Met Police, Transport for London and other Government agencies, as well as representatives from the private sector, linked to property and place management, to scope approaches designed to 'manage' graffiti related activities.

Strand 3

Codes of practice linked to the Dark Side of Creativity

This strand is engaging with practicing artists, local designers, academics, graffiti practitioners and others connected to both formal and infomal creative industries, to discuss codes of practice employed. 





Workshop 1

Held December 2010, London.

Workshop 2

Held February 2011, London.

Workshop 3

Held May 2011, Bristol.


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