Fabiane Lee-Perrella

Nestled in the heart of Lewisham, Dek Catford is home to a vibrant collective of artists, makers and creative enterprises. We spoke to Fabiane Lee-Perrella, designer and co-founder of Flour studio.

How do you think the people of Lewisham shape the culture here?

‘When I think about the culture of Lewisham, I think about the fact that we have people from all over the planet living alongside each other. It’s about multiculturalism that works: It’s a rich mix – a soup of people and cultures. It’s a fertile ground for people to make new types of associations and creative outputs.’

What do you think is unique about Lewisham?

‘Here, people are sharing the same spaces, visiting each other’s houses, eating each other’s food. Also, I think that as a whole borough, Lewisham is a place that uses and consumes its own creative output. We go to our theatres, we go to our galleries, we have an amazing, creative university – Goldsmiths – where I went! We are proud of being from Lewisham. Our mix is our secret recipe!’

‘We try our best to celebrate what we create as a borough.’

What makes you feel at home?

‘In Lewisham I’ve always felt at home, it’s a good place to have a family. Currently, it’s attracting a huge number of creative people – from theatre and TV to architecture. I think creative people don’t like sanitised spaces, we want the opportunity to look at things that haven’t been made yet. Lewisham is not manicured.’

Lewisham is known for having a great community spirit. Why do you think that is?

‘It’s a borough full of families and young people. You go to the market and people say hello to your children, they remember their names and their favourite thing to eat. When people are growing families, they want a place that is safe and where they want their children to thrive. The value of our community spirit…you really absorb it and you want to show your kids local and different places.’

Why do you think Lewisham should be London Borough of Culture?

‘I want to shout loud and say to all of the other boroughs and say come and see what we’re doing here! I don’t think people are aware and there is so much good quality.

It is the right time for Lewisham to be London Borough of Culture. I’ve been here for a long time and I feel that at the moment there is a massive wave building up with places like Dek. We need to take advantage of this huge movement and this energy. It is the right time.’

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