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London Festival of Architecture announces ‘one of richest programmes yet’ for 2019

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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) returns next month for its annual city-wide celebration, this year on the theme of ‘Boundaries’. Lois Innes picks her top tips

In its 15th year, the LFA shows no sign of flagging with a line-up of more than 400 events and ‘one of the richest programmes yet’, according to its organisers. With a stronger emphasis this year on public participation, LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘There’s something for everyone in this year’s programme.’

Aimed at supporting London’s architectural and design talent, the festival is delivered by architecture and design practices and practitioners, as well as artists, cultural institutions and members of the public and last year attracted a record 600,000 visitors.

While the events run across the city, many will take place in four dedicated hub areas: the City of London; London Bridge, the Royal Docks and in a ‘heart of London’ district covering St James’, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

London Festival of Architecture 2019 highlights

  • Breaking boundaries: architectures of inclusion A panel discussion held at the Royal Academy of Arts that will explore the positive potential in architecture to overcome issues of exclusivity. 
  • Empathy tour/workshop  This walking tour led by West-London based practice Powell Tuck Associates will invite particpants to experience the city and its boundaries from other people’s point of view. 
  • The quintessential English garden Lily Jencks Studio’s pop-up garden installation is aimed at probing the question of what it means to be native.
  • Fluid boundaries Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and architecture practice, ft’work, has devised choreography inspired by the Science Gallery courtyard at King’s College London. 
  • Learning from Las Vegas in London An evening event inspired by the classic postmodern text by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour.
  • Studio Lates Taking place every Friday evening, four architecture studios throw open their doors to the public for a wide range of events including talks, exhibitions, workshops and activities for children. 
  • Negroni talks – Who’s your daddy?  One of a series of lively and provocative debates hosted by Hackney-based practice, fourth_space, that will discuss architecture’s long-standing relationship with privilege.
  • Expanding cultural boundaries Architect Carl Turner hosts a ‘backstage’ tour of Peckham Levels and Mountview Academy Architects – two new projects that act as platforms for local communities. 
  • City parklets A series of three specially commissioned ‘parklets’ or miniature landscaped spaces across the City – the result of a design competition launched by the LFA and the City of London Corporation. 
  • Brutalism on a human scale This exhibition in the Royal Docks focuses on the post-war architecture of Belgian architect Léon Stynen, whose work is characterised by Brutalism with a sensitivity to the human scale. 

Studio Lates: Metropolitan Workshop

Studio Lates: Metropolitan Workshop

Source: Chris Snook

Other events include the East London and the City migration walking tour; an evening of ’comedy safari’ with stand-up comedian and designer Nic Monisse; and a series of spotlight tours of the Anish Kapoor exhibition at John Soane’s newly restored Pitzhanger Manor. 

Thomson said: ’The programme for the London Festival of Architecture 2019 is one of the best ever, and shows what an amazing response we have had to our ‘Boundaries’ theme. While architecture is often defined by its boundaries, architects actually exist to challenge the boundaries they encounter, and it is this attitude which has made London the best city on the planet in which to enjoy, practice or study architecture.’ 

The festival runs from 1 to 30 June.

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