Lines through the City

An Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) Session hosted by the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies, London Metropolitan University.

About this event

Lines through the City: Narrative drawings for civic place-making in Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Session will discuss the project-in-progress: Lines through the City, led by the research and teaching group Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) at London Met. The project aims to co-create a vehicle to support the collective voice of informal neighbourhoods in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Conceived as an "urban imaginary", this vehicle adopts the concept of physical "lines through the city" to highlight the shared affordances of Freetown’s neighbourhoods along four physical lines: coast, contour, river and forest.

Grounded in a long-term engagement with residents and local organisations in Freetown, the project aims to develop an interpretative mapping approach that represents the shared physical and cultural context linking the city’s neighbourhoods. This is understood as a way to imagine and represent shared civic ideas at the city scale from the bottom up, and a springboard to engage proactively in civic institution building within the wider city.


Beatrice De Carli is a Reader in Urbanism and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies at London Metropolitan University. She is also a volunteer Managing Associate at Architecture Sans Frontières – UK, a non-profit organisation promoting social justice through community-led design and planning. Her work employs a collaborative, design-based approach to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the making of urban space.

Hosn Houssami is a current Vice-Chancellor Scholar, researching emergent mapping methodologies, Urban Imaginaries, and their architectural applications in the context of the informal settlements in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This follows on from her master's studies with Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) and her contribution to the Lines through the City Research Project. She was also London Metropolitan University’s nominee for the AJ Sustainability Student Prize for her project Feast on Samba (2020) based in Christchurch, Freetown: a proposal looking to establish informal pathways as socially flourishing formalised places of commerce run by local women.

Maurice Mitchell teaches a Diploma Studio at Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) and at the Centre for Alterative Technology, Wales and has also taught at the Architectural Association, Oxford Brookes University and the Development Planning Unit. He is co-author with Dr Bo Tang of the book: Loose Fit City: The Contribution of Bottom Up Architecture to Urban Design and Planning (2018). His area of interest lies in the narrative interplay between technical and everyday cultural factors in the production and sustainability of the built environment, particularly in situations of rapid change and scarce resources where new identities are forged in the process of remaking.

Bo Tang is Reader in Architecture and co-director of the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) research group at London Metropolitan University. Her work focuses on the nature of collaborative hands-on making and the culture of bottom-up city-making, explored and examined through her teaching, research and live projects in India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Greece and the UK. Bo is co-editor with Shamoon Patwari of Learning From Delhi (2010) and The Architecture of Three Freetown Neighbourhoods (2013), and co-author with Professor Maurice Mitchell of Loose Fit City: The Contribution of Bottom-Up Architecture to Urban Design and Planning (2018).

Image credit: Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources

A house on the mountain with tall buildings behind


Date/time Wednesday 12 January 2022, from 5.30pm to 7pm GMT
Twitter Bo Tang, @bo_tang
Beatrice De Carli, @bxdecarli
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