David Hills, Alistair Blake, Roberta Marcaccio and Deborah Saunt

Unit 11: Cultural Infrastructure 2015-16: Art in Transit

Fiona Banner – Tate Britain (By Fæ, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Unit brief

Cultural Infrastructure 2015-16: Art in Transit

Our critical inquiry comes at a time when our city’s cultural wellbeing has never been so important and when architecture has a critical role to play in shaping people's relationship to the arts and culture "ecosystem". In a recent speech, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made cultural infrastructure one of his top priorities, declaring that “it is now more urgent than ever to unlock its potential to bring people together and to ensure our ongoing status as a globally attractive destination”. 

But how exactly can culture's social, physical and intellectual infrastructure achieve all this? How can its networks, facilities and institutions, other than serving high-net-worth individuals, actually enrich the lives of ordinary people? How can we prevent exquisite artworks from entering a web of private networks to be hidden away, severed from the cultures which produced them?

And how does the inherent connection between mobility and art work? Much as a currency flows between countries, art calls for a constant movement of people, artefacts and financial resources – the more a work is exhibited and passed from hand to hand the more it increases in value, sometimes reducing it to a mere asset, where it even disappears from view.  

We will draw a taxonomy of cultural venues and art repositories across London – from private galleries and artist’s studios to virtual collections and “freeports”, determining their relation to networks of mobility across the city and across the globe. The thesis project will focus on the design of a significant art space, sited within the context of London’s transport networks. 

Read more about DSDHA’s Teaching Unit at The Cass


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture
Tutor David Hills
Alistair Blake
Roberta Marcaccio
Deborah Saunt
Where Central House, fourth floor studios
When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)

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