Greenhouse view: Granby Four Streets by Assemble. Photograph: Assemble
Greenhouse view: Granby Four Streets by Assemble. Photograph: Assemble

East London-based collective Assemble has become the first architecture and design studio to be shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize.

Assemble, a group of 18 architects and designers based in Stratford, has been nominated for the prize for a series of projects that engage with the public sphere.

These include the Granby Four Streets project, in which the group collaborated with local residents to transform a group of neglected terraced houses in Toxteth, Liverpool, refurbishing and painting empty them as well as establishing a monthly market.

“In an age when anything can be art, why not have a housing estate?” said Alistair Hudson, director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and a Turner Prize judge.

The group’s objective is to “address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made,” with their projects providing a stark contrast to “homogenous urban landscape which unfolds under processes such as design-and-build, and post-recession strategies of regeneration and gentrification”.

Assemble started working together in 2010, with previous projects including Blackhorse Studios in Walthamstow, where the public can learn and practise manual skills, and 2011’s Folly for a Flyover, a public art space in Hackney Wick situated underneath the A12.

Assemble is the first collective to be put forward for the Turner Prize in its 31-year history.

The group will be up against artists Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers for the £25,000 prize, which is awarded annually by Tate gallery to a British artist under 50.

The winner of this year’s Turner Prize is to be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow at arts venue Tramway on 7 December.

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