London Met team hosts workshop at the acclaimed Design Museum

Thomas Aquilina and Beatrice De Carli led a workshop, ‘Silent and Speaking: A Workshop on Environmental Justice’ at the Design Museum last month.

Date: 10 October 2022

The London Met duo co-led a workshop based on the intersection of design, research, and social change. Silent and Speaking was held at the Design Museum on Saturday 24 September and welcomed an invited guest list of theorists and practitioners from a range of design disciplines.

In Silent and Speaking, Thomas Aquilina asked how we can listen more carefully to the ‘silences’ in our urban spaces: the social and environmental injustices that go unheard beneath the louder ‘voices’ of assertive buildings, elegant parks and organised streets. Beatrice De Carli lent her expertise to the project, drawing on her extensive background in collaborative, design-based approaches to address issues of equity, diversity and social justice in the production of urban space.

The workshop aimed to create a space for thinking together about the meaning of environmental justice, and how this might impact ways of seeing, describing, and acting upon a collectively built environment.  It was a part of Restore, a yearlong display of design research responding to the climate crisis by the Design Museum’s ‘researchers in residence’ which began in 2021.

Thomas Aquilina is the London School of Architecture’s Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation Fellow and Year 1 tutor at the School of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD), and a London based architect and researcher. Beatrice De Carli is a reader in urbanism in Architecture at the AAD, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE).

The day’s programme involved a visit to the Restore exhibition, a collective walk through the Borough of Kensington, and a hands-on workshop using writing, drawing and collaging techniques to develop a collaborative and place-based definition of environmental justice.


Restore Exhibition with desk in foreground