Four winning design teams have been selected to have their benches installed as part of the fourth edition of our Pews and Perches competition, each offering a unique perspective and interpretation of the LFA theme ‘In Common’.
Together We Hold celebrates women standing together in the face of violation against them and their bodies. Four figurative women form a joyful and fluid ensemble of bench ‘legs’ that support the bench structurally, as well as its sitter. The bench’s playful form and bright colours create a collective moment of joy in Lyle Park for passers-by to engage with.
Together We Hold is by Akmaral Khassen, and can be found at Lyle Park. Akmaral Khassen is a RIBA Part 2 architectural assistant currently working in the interior architecture sector in London. Outside of her full-time job, she finds joy in creating digital prints and collages that open conversation about body’s rights and explore joy and softness associated with feminine forms. During Akmaral’s MA Architecture course, her main thesis investigated hidden homelessness among women in the UK. Through research and volunteering in shelters, it was found that there is a lack of access to menstrual hygiene and sanitation. As a result, her thesis was a design proposal for a female-only hostel in Tower Hamlets in London. The first digital print emerged as a planning and zoning strategy diagram that took a feminine forms as an inspiration.
Click the video or the link to hear Akmaral share the story behind her design.