Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.
The month of March marks the launch of our exhibition at NLA of a community-led project in a remote village in Bangladesh, the Rajapur Women’s Literacy and Healthcare Centre. A project delivered by Mannan Foundation Trust, a UK registered charity set up to serve under-privileged communities by providing free healthcare, education and architectural services, internationally. The Trust is a collaboration of various London based professionals; architects, engineers, doctors, teachers, graphic designers, businesses etc. and most importantly communities.
The exhibition at NLA will run for two months throughout March and April at the NLA galleries. Come and help us celebrate this community-led project which illustrates the collective effort of the professionals living and working in London, who kindly volunteered their professional services and worked with us to fundraise for this charity project. The aim of the Centre is to address social issues and gender inequality. The Centre empowers disadvantaged women by providing free income generating and literacy skills and offers free healthcare for the community.
Staying with the theme of gender inequality, there are several events in March in London and worldwide, celebrating International Women’s Day, #IWD2018. The International Women’s Day declares “Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere. But for girls and women in the poorest countries, that inequality is amplified. We won’t end extreme poverty until we break down the barriers holding girls and women back.”
The RIBA is celebrating International Women’s Day by hosting the event ‘Must do better: improving gender diversity in architecture' on 6 March. An evening focused on improving gender diversity in architecture practices, particularly at senior level. This event is in collaboration with Dezeen, who recently published a survey revealing the lack of gender diversity at senior levels in the world's 100 biggest architecture firms. Only three of the World Architecture 100 companies surveyed are headed by a woman.
Moving on to my research interests on innovative and sustainable architectural solutions lead me to the annual Ecobuild Exhibition at the Excel Centre, 6-8 March. The organisers take pride in the large collection of exhibits for the future of the industry - “the latest technology; the freshest thinking; and the most innovative materials to keep you at the forefront of the built environment.”
There are several architectural walking tours organised in March, the one that stands out is ‘The City’ 10 March, organised by NLA that will allow you to explore the City of London to experience ongoing regeneration of the capital’s financial district. The walk promises to explore high-profile tall buildings and creative public realm and cultural buildings.
The Urban Lab Films will present one of the first UK screenings of ‘Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin’ by Matthew Gandy on 7 March. The prize-winning documentary tells the post-war history of Berlin through its plants, vegetation from all over the world that has sprouted along railway lines, on street corners, and in the distinctive Brachen of Berlin. This is a special screening which will include rarely seen archive footage of urban landscapes, featuring leading cultural and scientific figures from Berlin.
The exhibition organised by Roca London Gallery ‘The Timber Rising: Vertical visions for the cities of Tomorrow’ is on until the 19 May. The exhibition showcases completed projects with timber solutions to date, alongside more ambitious concept and research proposals, showing what is possible today, and what will be possible with changing building codes and new thinking by developers, governments and the construction industry.
Finally, I am looking forward to the RIBA event ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ on 15 March, where designers from London and Paris compare their experiences on how they tackled two regeneration sites in then two capital cities.
March offers an exciting list of events, talks and tours for all to enjoy, most of all I am thrilled to be part of NLA’s London Architecture Diary and exhibit our charity project with Londoners.