Place for Play
“But from where can the contents of the principle of assembly be derived? From play, a term which must be understood here in its broadest and deepest meaning. Sport is play and so is theatre, in a way more involving than the cinema. Fairs, collective games of all sorts survive at the interfaces of an organised consumer society, in the holes of a serious society. The space of play has coexisted and still coexists with spaces of exchange and circulation, political space and cultural space.” Right to the City, Henri Lefebvre (1967)
To play is to act free of convention and constraint and we will be considering how the pluralism and ambiguity inherent in the phenomenon of play can help us to define territories for this magical and ingenuous spirit to inhabit and find its place in the City. The manifold connotations of play encompass the innocence and intuition of children exploring the world to the social and cultural significance of sport, games and performance.
We will begin our speculations on the Southbank where the constructed landscape of the 1951 Festival of Britain has become a playground that is contested by undercroft skateboarders, secondhand book sellers, brutalist cultural icons and, more recently, ubiquitous leisure tourism. Moving on to the south London hinterland we will explore how play can shape the city at a range of scales from the intimate or accidental to the urban spectacle. We will consider how play can be used to galvanise communities by creating places that are both shared and contested through multiple and diverse inhabitations. In the context of existing urban infrastructure, we will investigate how play can inspire architecture which is responsive to time, through daily, seasonal and generational transformations.
Our field trip will be to northern Italy to study works by Carlo Scarpa and the terrains he creates through differentiation of levels and articulation of thresholds. In contrast, we will also visit works by Aldo Rossi and compare his preoccupations with spectacle and theatrical composition.
Studio 01: The Gesture of a Building
Alex Bank and Sam Casswell
Studio 01 is looking at the contribution architecture makes to the life of a place.
Studio 02: After City: Assemblage, Incrementalism and Infrastructures
Colin O’Sullivan and Charlotte Harris
Studio 02 will examine and propose design interventions in Germany this year.
Studio 03: Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus
Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister
Studio 03 is concerned with architecture as a form of agency, involving civic making through practice.
Studio 04: Place for Play
Anna Ludwig and Rufus Willis
Studio 04 is looking at how the space of play has coexisted and still coexists with spaces of exchange and circulation, political space and cultural space.
Studio 06: Collaborations
Andrew Jackson, David Leech and Martin Nässén
Studio 06 will focus on the theme of ‘Collaborations’ and continue to investigate the ideas established by the studio in recent years and will again work with good examples of historic and contemporary architecture.
Studio 07: FIT
Robert Barnes and Bo Tang
Studio 07 will be basing this year’s work in Athens, Greece as both a continuation and new departure for the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources.
Studio 08: good growth
Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven
This year Studio 08 will be responding to the Mayor of London’s call to create a ‘City for All Londoners’ based on the principles of ‘good growth’ – ‘development that is socially, environmentally and economically inclusive.’
Studio 09: Public Rooms, Convergent Spaces
Jillian Jones, Ewan Stone and David Howarth
Studio 09 will look to how new spaces for cultural and community provision in London’s East End can be more locally generated.
Studio 10: Old, New, Hot and Cool
Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams
Studio 10 will propose buildings which are old, new, hot and cool and develop architectural projects which sit between these definitions to explore the role of the architect as a critical agent in society.