Discovering the London Festival of Architecture 2022
by John JervisJul 07, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by STIRworldPublished on : May 10, 2023
London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is a month-long celebration of city-making, places and people. Set to spread across London, from June 1-30 2023, the festival looks to break down institutional barriers and welcome everyone into the conversation about the city. Coming with the accustomed notion to open up a discussion around architecture, test new ideas, and uncover and promote new talent, the 2023 edition revolves around the theme 'In Common.' The hope is for everyone to reflect on what they share, including the finite number of natural resources left and the physical ‘commons’ everyone uses. Festival goers are also encouraged to examine what they don’t have in common, celebrating their differences and ensuring they shape and design the city alongside those with different lived experiences.
As is the case every year, LFA2023 will take place all over the capital city with over 400 events, installations, talks, performances, tours and more. To reveal the underlying potential of emerging designers certain locations are identified as the LFA Destinations - prominently featuring London’s most architecturally significant and multifarious area, ranging from Clerkenwell & Holborn, and South Westminster. Making a debut this year is the outer borough of Barnet and Bromley (Penge & Palace), as well as Brixton in Lambeth and the Royal Docks in East London. Each location offers the public the opportunity to appreciate the architectural quality and culture of the area.
Some of the most anticipated events this year include ‘Seats at the Table’, a co-designed intervention at Postman’s Park that will explore the use of different designs, materials and ways of working in transforming a conventional public space into a truly accessible one. Then there is the session by Yasmeen Lari at the Ecocity World Summit 2023 with Prof Hanif Kara on 'Climate Migrants: Self-Reliant Communities After Natural Disasters'. The Brixton Chamber Orchestra will put an orchestral performance titled 'Brixton Re:Created' on and around the concourse of Brixton’s Recreation Centre. 'Urban Playground,' an installation by McCloy and Muchemwa in Fen Court is pegged to bring in a new angle about the use of public spaces in the city. Some of the other events taking place this year include 'Let’s Meet on the Edge,' 'Common Ground,' and 'Views on the Atlantic.'
In addition to this, there will be a series of events taking place around the city which will include, 'Vision into Practice: Winy Maas', a talk in collaboration with RIBA and Vitra, where the MVRDV co-founder will discuss how architecture can transcend physical form and become a tool for creating new connections and interactions. 'Culture in Crisis: Architecture Responds'—a series of presentations and discussions at the V&A—brings together the voices of architects working in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, exploring case studies and approaches to the (re)construction of architecture, within post-crisis environments. The Deaf Architecture Front (DAF) will launch 'Deaf Architecture Front Launch', a networking and activist group established by Chris Laing.
Returning to the festival calendar this year is 'Pews and Perches', a celebration in which communities share experiences and resources at five bespoke public benches in the Royal Docks reflecting on the fresh perspective on the theme. Along with this we also see the return of 'Showroom Showcase' where emerging designers present installations in some of London’s biggest showrooms. The installation will reuse waste material from each showroom. Studio Lates is also back and offering the opportunity to see behind the scenes in London’s leading architecture and design practices in Shoreditch and Cambridge Heath, Southbank, Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury.
In addition to the installations and events, LFA partners with cultural organisations to facilitate dialogue about architecture and the city beyond their usual spaces and people. This includes 'Manifestos: Architecture for a New Generation', a collaboration between the LFA and Design Museum which is now in its fifth year. This year, a panel made up of Jos Boys, Ruth Lang, Shahed Saleem and Neal Shasore have nominated a brilliant line-up of creatives, who they regard as being engaged with and committed to the act of progressive, inclusive placemaking in London. The nominees will present and discuss their manifestos as part of this presentation.
Some of the other conversations include—'The Snake House: Finland’s Most Radical Co-Housing Schemes', a presentation and discussion on the concept of “shared space”; 'The Places that Make Us', a day-long event at the Migration Museum with creative workshops, tours, talks and film. Discover the people and places that make Lewisham the vibrant and diverse community it is today with 'How Can Community Ownership of Heritage Assets Bring London’s Communities Together?' and 'British Cooling Towers - Sculptural Giants' to name a few.
Rosa Rogina, Director of London Festival of Architecture, shared in an official statement, "It’s fascinating to see how this year’s programme is exploring and interrogating the theme of ‘In Common’. The experiences we do and don’t have in common are central to the evolution and development of our city; we are living in extraordinary times and have collectively become aware of a wide spectrum of systematic inequalities our cities hold, so I am delighted the LFA2023 programme addresses many of these challenges with optimism, originality and curiosity while leaving a lasting legacy to London. I can’t wait for everyone to explore the sheer variety of events in June, from installations to workshops to tours and more, encouraging collaboration and supporting our key mission at NLA to bring people together to shape a better city."
London Festival of Architecture, for which STIR is an official Media Partner, will take place across London from June 1-30, 2023.
(Text by Sanskriti Vashisth, intern at STIRworld)
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