"Keeping Up with the Joneses"
Polyphonic Community Spaces
Embracing London is about much more than getting to grips with Britishness; the UK’s capital is one of the world’s most multicultural cities.
From the curry houses of Tooting to the canals of Little Venice, London has provided a welcoming platform for many to share and learn from cultures all over the world. However, with swathes of new million-pound developments shooting up all over the city, whole communities are losing this sense of multiculturalism that has been essential to their identity, as they are priced further and further out of London. As Ben Campkin puts it in his book, Remaking London, “regeneration schemes purporting to foster diverse and creative new neighbourhoods typically displace precisely the qualities, activities and communities they claim to support”.
Old Kent road
The next area of regeneration potential is the Old Kent Road (OKR), probably better known for being the cheapest location on the monopoly board than as a place to live, work and play. Now tipped for greater things, London's former Mayor Boris Johnson had promised the area will have more than 11,000 new homes, better public transport, better shops and better neighbourhood amenities. However, at first glance it appears that these ideas are for the benefit of a privileged few – not for the community who have lived and thrived there for years.
This year as a studio, we will focus on exploring OKR's community life. We will research, document and react to the extraordinary richness of OKR's everyday local diversity and idiosyncrasies. We will then "look over the garden fence" to find proven, global precedents that we can test and enact locally. More precisely, we will look at what really happens when global cultures are rubbed against varying local conditions, examining the errors, conflicts and even unexpected successes that may occur.
Level 6 Year 3
Mari Chiara Dal Pozzo
Toyibat Olushola Keshinro
Level 5 Year 2
Joseane Porfirio De Souza
Studio 2: London Lost and Found
Kaye Newman, Laura Encinas and Beata Szwast
Studio 2: London Lost and Found identifies a cross-section of themes and current issues surrounding identity and the make-up of a local high street.
Studio 3: Something & Son
Andy Merritt, Paul Smyth and Simon Petty
Studio 3: Something & Son will inspire you to make your design dreams come to life by learning to occupy spaces and initiate projects.
Studio 5: Aberrant Architecture
Kevin Haley and Sam Brown
Studio 5: Aberrant Architecture focuses on exploring life in Old Kent Road, and asks whether its future regeneration benefit the many, or the few.