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Urban Radicals Assembles in the City of London


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A collage of four urban interventionsRoundtable, Speakers’ Plinths, Voicing Pod and Public Assembly © Luke O’Donovan

 

The London Festival of Architecture and the City of London Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have revealed ‘Street Assemblies for the Square Mile’, four architectural interventions around the City.

Urban Radicals have designed four Street Assembly platforms across the City of London, which re-imagine alternative parliament typologies and forms. The installations aim to make the idea of civic assembly accessible to a diverse audience, prompting Londoners to actively engage in shaping the city’s discourse. Urban Radicals is supported by AKT II engineers and Millimetre fabricators.

 

Urban Radicals, the design team behind the installations © Luke O’Donovan

 

PUBLIC ASSEMBLY

Public Assembly © Luke O’Donovan

 

Head down to the street auditorium for public debate, discussions, performances, summer screenings and small community gatherings. Delivered in partnership with the Fleet Street Quarter BID, who will be bringing a wide range of cultural programming to their street auditorium from partners including London Metropolitan University, KCL and Troubadour Stageworks.

Highlights taking place at Public Assembly include sound installations by students at London Metropolitan University, pop-up art workshops and performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

ROUNDTABLE

Roundtable © Luke O’Donovan

 

Situated in Moorgate, the table has been designed for shared meals and discussions that, informally or formally, invite the public to sit down for exchange and deliberation. The table is crafted from modular pre-fabricated and found elements, including industrial concrete pipes, decking panels and utility poles. Plants housed in the table carry stories of origin, narrating the movement of people to the UK, representing the vibrant multi-cultural communities of London. Roundtable is delivered in partnership with the Culture Mile BID and supported by the Migration Museum.

Highlights taking place at Roundtable included a materials buffet delivered by Urban Radicals in partnership with the University of Westminster.

 

SPEAKERS’ PLINTHS

Speakers Plinths © Luke O’Donovan

 

Now installed, the plinths reference Aristotle’s school of peripatetic philosophy (walking and conversing), with a series of plinths along Vine Street, adjacent to the historic City Wall, encouraging the voicing of individual opinions, the sharing of reflections on the city, stories of origin, as well as prompting informal discussions and connections held along a walkable route. Speakers Plinths is delivered in partnership with Aldgate Connect BID.

Highlights taking place at Speakers’ Plinths include a performance by London Youth Choir.

 

VOICING POD

Voicing Pod © Luke O’Donovan

 

The mini seed museum showcases an archive of seeds historically imported into London, which narrates stories of migration and cultural exchange. The intervention will also act as a two-person podcast space for dialogue, interviews, and public broadcasting. Delivered in partnership with EC BID, there will be a number of well-known podcasts recorded throughout the Festival in June.

Throughout the summer months, the Pod has been host to a series of podcasts and broadcasts including ‘Bringing the Outside In’ with Macca and Superurbanism podcast’s London Festival of Architecture Episode with Edwin Heathcote. You can also hear more about the project from the designers on the Monocle On Design podcast’s LFA episode.

 

In addition to expanding who engages with conversations around city-making – with over 1 million people engaged in 2023 alone – the London Festival of Architecture provides a test bed for new ideas and creative solutions for problems across the city, with temporary reimagining of public space during the festival leading to long term positive change for communities and spaces across London. The series of installations across the City of London, and the assemblies and performances that will be hosted at them throughout June, exemplify this mission and build on the 2024 Festival theme of ‘Reimagine’.

 

 

A group of drummers perform at Public Assembly

Yamato performance at Public Assembly © Luke O’Donovan

 

Ruth Duston OBE, CEO of Primera which operates the City’s business improvement districts, said: “We are pleased to be working with the team from Urban Radicals, Millimetre and AKTII on this exciting project as part of the London Festival of Architecture’s 20th anniversary. Throughout its 2,000-year history, the City of London has adapted, evolved, and transformed to meet the needs of the future. As the City continues to evolve, now is a good opportunity to look at what the next iteration of the Square Mile could look like, through a lens of design and architecture. We look forward to welcoming visitors to this celebration of the Square Mile, in June.”

Nasios Varnavas, Partner at Urban Radicals, said: “We are excited and honoured to have been selected to Reimagine the Square Mile. This is an important 20-year milestone for the London Festival of Architecture, and we hope that our work will nurture the same openness that LFA has been advocating for over the years. Our project will reimagine forms of assembly at various scales, both as material processes as well as social catalysts.”

 

Street Assemblies Map

 

View the full City of London programme.

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