Torange Khonsari co-founded the inter-disciplinary practice of working in the threshold of participatory and performative art, architecture and related fields of anthropology, always engaged with notions of civic in the city. Her projects are socially and politically motivated, and directly impact public space whilst working with local organisations, communities, UN Habitat, and local government bodies.
Torange's practice is a vehicle that tests the academic research undertaken within her university teaching and research at London Metropolitan University. The direct two-way communication between academia and practice has enabled and enriched an exploratory environment within which she now operates.
Torange is currently teaching and is the course leader of Design for Cultural Commons MA at London Metropolitan University.
Angela’s Secret Garden
This project explored an existing condition in schools where departments operate in isolation. It occupied an abandoned area in the school grounds. Transformed into an in-between space, it encouraged a collaboration and exchange hosted by the art department. Building on the strong history and tradition of gardens and gardening in the school, Torange worked with Year 12 pupils and the school gardener to design and develop this space as a garden for growing plants to be used as dyes. Students incorporated display areas and a messaging board into the design, in order to encourage dialogue and activity in this attractive and appealing place.
School Project: Contested Spaces
Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form and St Angela’s Ursuline School. A second inspiration was the exhibition Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Whitechapel Gallery, winter 2010. Ania Bas and Torange Khonsari investigated with young people how fluctuating political, social and geographic borders or boundaries affect the ways an area and its population can be seen. Contested Spaces engaged pupils in an exploration of their own geographic, spatial and social territories.
Torange Khonsari is a co-founder and director of public works, an art and architecture collective working to create public spaces. Their focus is the production and extension of public space through participation and collaboration. Projects vary in scale and address the relationship between informal and formal aspects of a site. Public works produce social, architectural and discursive spaces as well as physical structures, products, public events and publications.
Torange was also involved in the British Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale – Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture.
Peer reviewed conferences papers 2016-18:
- AAG (Association of American Geographers) - Abstract accepted for paper: Urban commons and its structures of power, Panel accepted at society of anthropologists annual conference 2018 - collaborative panel with PHD candidate performing arts - Mehrdad Seyf Anglia Ruskin University
- Edge - Situated practice in art, architecture and urbanism. Paper: The Common Room: situated knowledge in making a neighbourhood, UCL London 2017
- Keynote Speaker: Experimental Cities conference. Paper: Architect as Host. Aalborg University Copenhagen. Denmark 2017
- Critical London Conference. Paper: Architect as Host. Panel: radical Hospitality. London Southbank University. UK. May 2017
- AAG (Association of American Geographers) Conference. Paper: Temporary architecture as a contemporarytypology for place making. Panel: Place making. San Francisco. USA 2016
Peer reviewed Books and journals 2016-18:
- Chapter: Temporary architecture as a contemporary typology for place making. Book Placemaking, release in January 2018 - Routledge
- Chapter: Communal garden and the liminal city. Release in December 2017 by Routledge
- Paper: A discourse analysis of the construction of a civic neighbourhood
- Book: My Home Is Your Home. Chapter 3: Constructing a place to host - pp68-71- edited by Torange Khonsari, ISBN: 978-1-906318-05-5. June 2016.