June 2019 sees the return of the London Festival of Architecture (LFA), running from 1st June to 30th June 2019. It is, as always, an exciting time of the year in the nation’s capital, with citywide celebrations highlighting many different aspects of architecture and design in London. The theme for this year is ‘Boundaries’ and if you are visiting for the festival there is plenty going on to be aware of, from exhibitions, to walking tours, and interesting talks.
The festival is coming in to its 15th year and has announced a massive event line-up for this year. Over 400 events are due to take place throughout the month of June with organisers of the festival calling it ‘one of the richest programmes yet’. The thought behind the ‘boundaries’ theme this year is to push public participation with a programme that has something for everyone. The festival is designed to offer support to the architectural and design talent in London, with architecture practices, designers and practitioners delivering the events alongside artists, members of the public, and cultural institutions. Last year there was a record number of visitors – 600,000 – with the hope that there will be a higher number yet again for the 2019 edition of the festival.
Events running as part of the festival are due to take place at different locations throughout the entire city, but there are four dedicated hub areas that will be home to the vast majority of the programme of events. These are London Bridge, the Royal Docks and in a ‘heart of London’ district including St James’; City of London; Piccadilly Circus; and Leicester Square.
If you are intending on heading to London for the festival, there are a few highlights to look out for. At the Royal Academy of Arts you can take in the Breaking Boundaries: Architectures of Inclusion talk on 3rd June. This is a panel discussion looking at how architecture can be used positively to overcome boundaries of race, gender, or ability.
One of the exciting walking tours that make up the festival is the Empathy Tour and Workshop, running daily between the 7th and 16th June. It will aim to give participants the chance to experience London and its architecture from different perspectives. A slight shift in direction takes us to the Fluid Boundaries event, where dance and architecture intertwine to bring together dancers of different generations with an aim of bridging the gap between social, physical, and cultural barriers. The dance will take place over two sites in the city, bringing contemporary dance to a mass audience. Brutalism on a Human Scale is an exhibition in the Royal Docks that looks at the Brutalist architecture of Léon Stynen and his post-war work that has a balance between Brutalism and sensitivity to the human scale.
Whatever type of architecture and design you are interested in the London Festival of Architecture will provide you with something interesting and colourful to enjoy and explore this June.