Community theme for month-long programme of talks, walks and exhibitions

London Festival of Architecture opens in June

The annual London Festival of Architecture will run from 1-30 June with a full programme of talks, walks and exhibitions based around the theme of 'community'. Six themed strands will look at green communities, new communities, housing estate regeneration, community effort, creative workspaces, and international comparators.
Among the talks will be 'Vancouverism' at the RIBA (2 June), looking at how the Canadian city is replacing urban freeway culture with green space and smaller communities; building community participation (11 June) at St Mary's Secret Garden, Hoxton; the art of designing civic spaces (7 June) at Battersea Power Station; and an LI-partnered talk asking 'Who Builds Community?' (22 June). There will also be a community brainstorm on how to improve Belsize Square (23 June); a look at creative interpretations of shared community space, including roof gardens, through the intriguingly titled 'If I don't grow lettuces, I can't write poems' (4 June); and the first 'Agritecture' workshop in the UK (24-25 June) looking at how to integrate farming with architecture to build sustainable food solutions for urban populations.
The LI has organised a guided walk around Deptford's 'communitites of migration' (11 June, tickets here) taking in the Sayes Court Garden community interest company. Other walking tours include City gardens (25 June); Regent's Park (11 June); community spaces behind the Southbank (12 June); Nine Elms Park (16 June); and Furzedown Oak community project (2 June) where a felled oak tree has seen new life as a series of public sculptures.
Another event will be 'Grow:Store – Natural Play in Urban Spaces' on Thursday 30 June in which Davies White will share their experience of how they have engaged communities in the design and creation of natural playful landscapes in urban areas. They will use case study projects to illustrate how their schemes have helped foster local ownership and reconnect families with nature through play.

In addition, more than 50 practices will open their studios over consecutive weekends (south London 2-5 June, west 9-12 June, east 16-19 June and north 23-26 June) and there will be a chance to visit community gardens such as Vaudeville Court, Finsbury Park (18 June), and view installations such as Edible Avenue (10-12 June) inspired by New Covent Garden Market and New Spring Gardens (21 May-30 June) made from the rubble of a demolished nearby railway arch.
Taking place in conjunction with LFA will be Open Garden Estates weekend (18-19 June, more here) inviting residents to open up their estate's green areas and private gardens.
For more information and the full programme of London Architecture Festival events, see the the LFA website


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