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Top 10: London Festival of Architecture 2017

Top 10: London Festival of Architecture 2017 Siobhan Davies Dance Vision Quest © Nick David

Siobhan Davies Dance Vision Quest © Nick David

24 May 2017
by Gwen Webber

The London Festival of Architecture returns to the capital from 1-30 June with hundreds of exhibitions, talks and events exploring the theme 'memory'. Alongside our own talk, Memory & Authenticity at the V&A below, we highlight some of our top picks:

Memory & Authenticity: Priorities for Cultural Protection in Conflict 

Join the British Council on 30 June for a panel discussion looking at the challenges of protecting and preserving cultural heritage in post-conflict contexts. Organised in collaboration with Historic England, this talk will see an all-star panel question who and what are the priorities for the protection of cultural heritage, addressing identity, place and memory, and the impact of digital technology in the future of preservation.

When: 3.30-5.30pm, Friday 30 June

Where: The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, V&A

Tickets are £7 to £10 and can be purchased from the V&A website.

Dulwich Pavilion

This summer Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates 200 years since it first opened to the public with the very first Dulwich Pavilion, by IF_DO in partnership with London Festival of Architecture and Almacantar. Entry to the Pavilion is free throughout the summer, including themed Lates on Fridays and our world-class Permanent Collection.

When: 2 June – 8 October

Where: Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21 7AD

Free entry. 

The London Salon: Memory

The Museum of London has invited writers, artists and architects to discuss the lived experience of the capital and tell stories about foreignness, underpasses and failed utopias at a salon curated by curator and writer, Jes Fernie. Speakers include Ruby Cowling, Ben Judah, Laura Oldfield Ford and Liza Fior. 

When: 7-10pm, Tuesday 13 June

Where: Museum of London 

Tickets are £15 and can be purchased from the Museum of London website.

Vision Quest: A Ritual for Elephant & Castle by Marcus Coates

Siobhan Davies Dance host a film screening that charts the changing landscape of Elephant & Castle as part of London Festival of Architecture 2017. After the screening, there will also be an 'in-conversation' event between artist Marcus Coates and Tanya Murat, chair of Southwark Defend Council Housing. 

When: 4-5.30pm, Saturday 3 June

Where: Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George's Road, London SE1 6ER

Tickets are £6.80 and can be booked here. 

New Kiruna: A Town Built on Collective Memory

White Arkitekter, lead architect for the 100 year masterplan for the mining town of Kiruna in northern Sweden, hosts a discussion about memory and urban transformation. As London undergoes rapid change with significant planned new infrastructure such as the arrival of Crossrail, this event explores how we can effectively preserve our emotional connections to place and asks what lessons can be learned from a masterplan underpinned by collective memory.

When:  6.30-8.30pm, Tuesday 6 June

Where: Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY

Free to all, register to attend via eventbrite

Sunday Night Live: Daniel Libeskind

JW3 welcomes Daniel Libeskind to London for a conversation with BBC Radio 4 Front Row presenter Samira Ahmed. One of the pre-eminent architects of his generation, Daniel Libeskind is renowned for his architectural approach to memory, meaning and spirituality, explored in countless projects, including the masterplanning for the rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Centre. Here, he discusses his life and work to date.

When: 6.30pm, Sunday 11 June

Where: JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6ET

Tickets are £15 and can be purchased on the JW3 website.

Baghdad Dreaming: Architecture, Memory & the Modernist Project

SOAS hosts writer and critic Hadani Ditmars to discuss the changing fortunes of Baghdad neighbourhood Abu Nuwas. Its history has spanned genteel days as a riverfront idyll for the wealthy, through to its Seventies heydey as a hotspot for fun, food and illicit pleasures that would have inspired its Eighth Century poet namesake, to its post-invasion demise.

When: 6.00-8.00pm, Thursday 8 June

Where: Khalili Lecture Theatre, Russell Square: College Buildings SOAS

Free entry, register interest on the SOAS website.

Brave Old World: Modernist Public Space Design in London & São Paulo

Brave Old World looks at public space design between c.1955 and c.1975, during a crucial period for the development of two world cities, London and São Paulo. The exhibition is part of a three-year research project led by Professor Susannah Hagan at the University of Westminster, and the University of São Paulo and supported by the British Council.

When: 7 June – 7 July

Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD 

Free Entry

Spaces of Democracy: How Do We Design for Debate & Participation?

Museum of Architecture’s thematic programming on Architecture and Citizenship explores the relationship between politics and the built environment with the aim of helping architects become active agents of social change. The Palace of Westminster is currently undergoing a significant Restoration and Renewal programme that aims to preserve the building for the future, while also making the Parliament more accessible for all. Can architects and designers contribute to making the Parliament more open?

When: 6.30-8.30, Monday 12 June 

Where: Future Cities Catapult, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0BE

Tickets are £14 and can be purchased here.

Roadtrips by Routemaster: No.2 & No.19

The National Trust are taking their Routemaster coach on a trip down memory lane, recreating two of London’s most historic bus routes, numbers 2 and 19. London’s bus routes are embedded in the city like a vast neural network. What happens when you run a bus down the same streets a hundred or more times a day for a hundred years? Hosted by architectural historians Joe Kerr and James Hulme, they will be discussing what effect these venerable old routes have had on the built environment of our city.

When: 10 & 17 June

Where: Route No. 19: Finsbury Park to Tooting; Route No. 2: Golders Green to Crystal Palace

Tickets are £25 and can be purchased here.

Memory Machine Family Workshop

Create a communal memory map in this family workshop with London School of Architecture student, Charlotte Hurley at Somerset House.

This hands-on family workshop will map London through a combination of drawings and collage techniques and explores the themes of architecture and memory. Using Somerset House as the starting point and mapping outwards across the city to our homes and favourite places and the journeys we take. Through the activities participants will consider how memories are made up of shared experiences with friends and family and the daily excitement of life in a big city.

When: 12.00-3.00pm, Saturday 3 June

Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA

Free to attend.