By Laura Broderick
‘The Playful City’ is the theme for this year’s London Festival of Architecture, running from 23 June – 8 July 2012.
From reinterpreting familiar places through new installations and animations, redesigning public spaces to encourage physical fitness in the spirit of the Olympic Games, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, festival participants will be encouraged to play in, and play with, the city around them.
Fitzrovia is one of the focus areas for the festival with lots of great activities happening on the middle weekend – Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July. RIBA London, a regional office of the Royal Institute of British Architects, has been working with local architectural practices and organisations to curate this Fitzrovia hub which will include free events for family audiences.
For example, HOK is running a design workshop, Design My School in Paradise,in which young people will be invited to become architects for a day as they imagine and describe their perfect school through drawing, model making and story telling. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios invite people to come and explore an imagined world where anything can happen- buildings in miniature and buildings at superscale. This event, Architects Through the Looking Glass, will also include a Mad Hatters Tea Party!
At the RIBA on Portland Place, parents and children will have the chance to recreate London’s greatest landmarks using their arms, legs, hands and feet in a Body Building skyline workshop. Whilst at the RIBA you can also the visit the current exhibitions, and if exhibitions are your thing there are further shows on at ARUP and New London Architecture.
If you are interested in local history Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre will be open and displaying photos and information about the area. There’ll also be walking tours on the Saturday and Sunday for those who want to spend some time exploring the architecture and design in the community.
And for those that want to be really playful, RIBA London is partnering with Fitzrovia Youth in Action to host an architects/engineers vs young people 5-a-side tournament called Teenage Kicks. Plus there will be games of carrom to play at the Indian YMCA in the evening.
A Fitzrovia Trail with full listings will be available to download on the LFA website from early June. You can also read about the events mentioned above at www.lfa2012.org
Laura Broderick is the Architectural Communities Manager at RIBA London and is co-ordinating the Fitzrovia hub.
Amazing event! I love so much this festival where you can see a lot of inventive things!
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