|

The power of culture

When I heard that LFA 2020’s theme was Power – the first image that came to mind was the animation of the creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel which was used for many years for the opening credits of Alan Yentob’s Imagine on BBC2. The figure of God represents the ultimate power, but what connected it to the Festival for me was the buzz and crackle of energy as God’s and Adam’s fingers touched.

 

Power is the speed with which energy is delivered and what excites me about the London Festival of Architecture in particular and about London as a whole is the massive amount of energy created by the interaction of people and ideas. The Imagine intro neatly described that buzz; a buzz that is generated by London’s diversity, its density and its amazing, world-beating, culture.

 

The spark that unites Michelangelo’s two figures might also be seen to represent  a digital connection, the synapses of the city that link us together in an increasingly smart  and connected metropolis.

 

There are of course darker meanings behind the title of Power and it is depressing to see the way it is being wielded right now, whether in Hong Kong, India, Westminster or Washington. Perhaps these manifestations are a temporary blip, but I worry they are not.

 

I do, though, have faith in the power of culture to imagine a progressive world, and in the citizens who engage in it to deliver a future that is more sustainable, more just and more diverse. I am proud that the power of the London Festival of Architecture lights up that world as it brings people together to shape a better city.

 

More Blog Posts.


High Density, Low Rise, Zero Carbon

High Density, Low Rise, Zero Carbon

  There are many well-used references for advocating low rise density over height in a masterplan: that housing densities in low-rise Notting Hill are higher than many tower blocks; or that Barcelona and Paris are denser than New York. Many…

READ MORE
EcoWorld London on how to create a healthy community

EcoWorld London on how to create a healthy community

Image: Aberfeldy Street, Courtesy of EcoWorld London When creating a new community, you cannot just care about the next generation. You have to care about every generation of users and occupiers: doing justice to the people who have lived there…

READ MORE
Unlocking Spaces for Everyone

Unlocking Spaces for Everyone

Image: Elements of Bioclimatic Design © AKT II   Bioclimatic design serves the intersection between ‘biology’ and climate’, and is essentially about designing buildings and landscapes with a response to the local climate so that people have a better experience.…

READ MORE
A Poem on Care by Anna Sullivan

A Poem on Care by Anna Sullivan

I care about what I do. I care about the way I do it. I care about the people I work with. I care about the people affected by what I do. I care about what the resident will feel…

READ MORE
Care in workplace design: Thoughts on moving from activity-based working to collaboration-based learning

Care in workplace design: Thoughts on moving from activity-based working to collaboration-based learning

Image copyright: Woods Bagot   Even after a year of working from home, we know that physical offices are crucial to initiate, embed and reinforce the culture of an organisation and the experience of work for individuals. The war for…

READ MORE
Commuting and my carbon footprint

Commuting and my carbon footprint

For over 20 years I have been a committed commuter, travelling daily between South West London and Central London covering the daily return of 42 miles by bicycle or train. I was staggered recently to calculate that this amounts to…

READ MORE