Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.
April is a good time to get out and about and this month my practice, Karakusevic Carson Architects and 18 others from across Europe are doing just that with Social Housing – Definitions and Design Exemplars, a new exhibition based on a new book we have written for the RIBA exploring the best new public housing and city making. Packed with recent projects, it is an ‘optimistic manifesto’ demonstrating the best work by committed architects, public authorities, housing associations and co-operatives across Europe.
Of course you don’t need to take my word for it, or travel to Europe to discover great housing and great pieces of city, London is full of it. So this month grab your walking boots and get on your bikes and hit the street to see it for yourself with tours unearthing our own radical housing history. Rookeries, Railways and Radicals by The London Ambler uses the Fleet River valley to explore pioneering architecture in and around the old Borough of Finsbury including work by Lubetkin, Peabody and the great Industrial Dwellings Company, while elsewhere Footprints of London seeks out Modernism and Model Dwellings in Bethnal Green - expect hits by Lasdun, the LCC and many others in and around Columbia Road. Open City opts for two wheels for an epic trip through the Concrete Jungles of the East.
Speaking of radicals, the Imagine Moscow exhibition marking the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution is ongoing at the Design Museum and on the theme of revolutionaries, the Royal Academy hosts A New Communal - a discussion inspired by the socialist avant-garde looking at how contemporary architecture and new ways of co-living could promote a more communal and shared urban culture.
We know London has a rich urban culture, but without the efforts of artists and creative outsiders of all kinds, I suspect this diary would be a little sparse so you have much to thank them for. But for how long will they continue to enrich our city if they can’t afford to be here? Head down to Goldsmiths to hear more at Create London’s Where Will the Artists Live? debate. At the heart of it is a fundamental question about who London is for and what type of city do we want it to be in future, on that we all have a stake.