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Street, wave and cyber gardening

Feilden Clegg Bradley’s Open Studio event for the LFA

Suspend reality and enter a world where anything could happen.

This was the simple prerequisite for the audience at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ ‘Curious and Curiouser’ event last week, the first of the practice’s two London Festival of Architecture offerings.

'Through the Looking Glass': FCBS's cardboard installation has street presence

‘Through the Looking Glass’: FCBS’s cardboard installation has street presence. Credit: FCBS

Ten speakers delivered quick-fire three-minute presentations, journeying through DNA and wave gardens, to an urban-Ebay, algae farms and green belts and braces.

Marco Poletto presenting ecoLogicStudio's H.O.R.T.U.S. project

Marco Poletto presenting ecoLogicStudio’s H.O.R.T.U.S. project. Credit: FCBS

The evening’s line-up included Ed Lister of Planit, Cany Ash of Ash Sakula, Adam Scott of Freestate as well as FCBS’s own staff, Sam Goss and Rachel Smith.

ecoLogicStudio's H.O.R.T.U.S. project at the AA

ecoLogicStudio’s H.O.R.T.U.S. project at the AA

Marco Poletto, of ecoLogicStudio, delighted the room with his H.O.R.T.U.S. installation at the AA earlier this year, which he said  ‘engages with the notions of urban renewable energy and agriculture through a new gardening prototype’.

Visitors feed the algae farms with the CO2 in their breath

Visitors feed the algae farms with the CO2 in their breath

The algae and bioluminescent bacteria farm is fed by CO2 in the breath of spectators, and features a virtual interface via smart phones – what Poletto terms ‘cybergardening’.

Algae containers can be scanned with smart phones to deepen interactive experience

Algae containers can be scanned with smart phones to deepen interactive experience

Greening the city was a running theme of the evening, from Ed Lister’s reference to New York’s Highline to Sam Goss’ proposed vision for a greener skyline - green braces to hold up the green belt - and for reclaiming the front garden back from the car to create streetside park.

This theme was taken a step further and brought closer to home by Chris Hines, from A Grain of Sand, who described his involvement with Wavegarden UK.

Wavegarden UK will feature surfable waves on a 'sustainably-powered' freshwater lake

Wavegarden UK will feature surfable waves on a ‘sustainably-powered’ freshwater lake

Described as a blue-green gym and masterplanned by APG Architects, Wavegarden UK will ride onto the 13-acre Bristol and West sports ground this year, and is based on real-life prototypes in the Basque Country.

Original trial Wavegarden in the Basque Country

Original trial Wavegarden in the Basque Country

As Sustainability Director of the £5 million project, Hines hopes to catalyse more projects that address our disconnection from nature, but also readdress our vision of the city. After all, says Hines, ‘surfers are urban creatures too’.

Wavegarden UK proposals feature community buildings fronting the lake

Wavegarden UK proposals feature community buildings fronting the lake

The evening also offered a sneak preview of FCB’s LFA exhibition ‘Through the Looking Glass’, a series of cardboard and light installations.

Audience members mingle at Feilden Clegg Bradley's 'Curious and Curiouser' event

Audience members mingle at Feilden Clegg Bradley’s ‘Curious and Curiouser’ event. Credit: FCBS

Whimsical and playful to match this year’s LFA theme, the structures made ideal surrounds for the speakers and audience to mingle amongst as they returned to reality.

Stacked cardboard tubes can be pushed in and out to manipulate views and light

Stacked cardboard tubes can be pushed in and out to manipulate views and light. Credit: FCBS

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