London Festival of Architecture 2018 programme launch

The London Festival of Architecture 2018 programme is launched today, with an eclectic and diverse series of 400 events exploring this year’s ‘identity’ theme across London from 1-30 June.

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is Europe’s largest annual architecture event, and celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate. The programme is delivered by architecture and design practices and practitioners, cultural and academic institutions, artists and many others. The festival appeals to a huge public audience: in 2017 an estimated 400,000 people attended festival events, most of which were free.

The programme is designed to offer events that can appeal to anyone: exhibitions and installations, talks and debates, walks and tours, family events, film screenings and a wide range of special events. Highlights of the London Festival of Architecture 2018 include:

LFA Symposium – a day-long conference at the Royal Academy posing the question does identity matter? The event explores the impact of architecture on the identity of a city, exploring identity in the context of individual and collective expression, place-making and architectural practice.

Architecture of the Internet – a walking tour led by Dezeen deputy editor Tom Ravenscroft of the buildings that house much of our own identities: data centres. These are often tucked away in plain sight within our cities, and Tom will explain the key characteristics and importance of some of the 58 data centres that are located in London alone.

City Benches – the result of a design competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture and the City of London Corporation, a series of one-off new public benches across the City of London showcase London’s brilliant emerging architecture and design talent. Ten benches – five in Cheapside and five in the City’s Eastern Cluster – will help the City remain an exceptional place to live, work and visit.

The Treehouse at Battersea Power Station – Studio Kyson’s Treehouse shows a new reflection of the city, offering an abstract take on a traditional concept and using a material palette of charred timber and smoked mirrors.

Amanda Levete lecture – the New London Architecture annual lecture – this year by Amanda Levete – is always a headline event of the LFA calendar. Amanda Levete is a RIBA Stirling Prize winning architect and a recent recipient of the prestigious Jane Drew Prize, recognising her talent as a leader in international design.

The WATG Great Architectural Bake Off – the perennial LFA favourite returns for 2018 – this year in a new location at Guildhall Yard in the heart of the City of London. Leading architecture practices show off their skill through the medium of cake, before a panel of judges including Great British Bake Off 2017 contestant and architect Tom Hetherington.

Émigré architects – a short film by Stirling Prize-winning practice dRMM about the influence of the émigré architect in London. As research commissioned by the LFA and Greater London Authority showed earlier this year, London’s architecture sector thrives thanks to a global workforce, and this film – screened at The Scoop in the London Bridge focus area – features ten interviews with dRMM architects and designers from ten nations.

A citizen of nowhere or everywhere? – Join Sir John Soane’s Museum for this family event – an exciting exploration of how we form our own identity through the world famous collection of Sir John Soane, one of London’s foremost architects.

Dulwich Pavilion: the shortlist – an exhibition of the shortlisted designs for a new Dulwich Pavilion at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The result of a design competition organized in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture, the exhibition offers a brilliant showcase of emerging architectural talent, ahead of the construction of the new pavilion for the London Festival of Architecture in 2019.

The Bird Hide – in response to a four month residency with Bow Arts at RAW Labs, contemporary artist Sara Heywood presents a temporary site-specific installation inspired by the identity of the Royal Albert Docks, its local wildlife, and close proximity to London City Airport.

LFA Open Studios – Architects throw open their studio doors to the public for a wide range of events from talks and exhibitions to practical workshops or activities for children. Open Studios takes place across London every Friday throughout June, with five ‘hubs’: Clerkenwell (1 June), Fitzrovia (8 June), Cambridge Heath (15 June), Shepherd’s Bush (22 June) and Kentish Town (29 June).

Tamsie Thomson (Director, London Festival of Architecture) said:

“It’s no surprise that London – a city of multiple individual and collective identities – should inspire the most diverse and interesting London Festival of Architecture programme yet. We cannot wait to share this year’s brilliant programme with the public, and to spend a month immersed alongside the city’s amazing architecture and design talent, as we celebrate London and showcase the architecture that helps to make it the greatest city on earth.”

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills Jules Pipe said:

“We are proud once again to partner with the London Festival of Architecture. This year’s programme shines a light on London’s superb design and architectural talent, celebrating the capital’s social diversity, vibrant culture and growth.”