Hidden Door Arts Festival

In collaboration with

Civic Soup Members, Festival Goers

Leith, Edinburgh


What would a street purely designed by its residents look like?


We thought we’d find out with City Factory, a performance-workshop first produced for Hidden Door Festival and delivered in the former backstage choir room of Leith Theatre.

city factory

Participants-cum-workers were employed at the door by the floor manager and moved along a conveyor belt of production.


From tenants and shopkeepers, to community organisations, builders and developers, workers adopted roles and stakeholders within city development, setting out visions in cut-and-paste drawn elements and drawn building outlines.

Civic Soup_City Factory_Hidden Door Even
Civic Soup_City Factory_Hidden Door Even

With each role came a corresponding bay to work within, differing cutouts to use, and an opposing voice; local authority, architects, planners and government.


Through discussion, questioning and negotiation with one another, layers gradually accumulated at each station, building a collaborative, fantastical streetscape that brought to life the powers at play in the shaping of our cities, but also the individual will of citizens who use it.