Letters & Markers, pop-up workshops, exhibitions & talks, part of London Festival of Architecture, 2017

Letters & Markers, a drop-in drawing-on-textiles workshop & pop-up exhibitions, traveling through multiple locations, resulting in a collaborative (with public) typographic abstract wall-hanging. With included visiting guest talks at each location. Part of the London Festival of Architecture with 2017 year’s theme memory.

When we talk about our future we talk of exactly how we would like it, carefully planned. Except our opinions are often built on society’s expectations. It’s not what we really want in the life well lived. And the stories we tell about the past are never like that. We remember special moments randomly or instinctively. What brings us together is the geographical location which thousands of years ago was wild ground. Today the same location is transformed by time and architecture built by us. The wall-hanging contents will be generated throughout each day as if hacking each location and revealing the unseen inspired by each contributor’s memories of building shapes lived in, atmosphere of places travelled...

Letters & Markers overall aim is to explore the communication of a memory from a particular space/environment through active participation: both drawing and discussion. John Locke (1632-1704) English thinker concluded that “knowledge begins with experience”. Traveling to new locations and drawing on textiles (instead of the familiar paper) will assemble a fresh experience as opposed to doing what you know; having discussions with a different guest each day will stimulate new perspectives on the subject matter. Getting one’s self out of the comfort zone frees the brain and engages the senses independently. In order to reflect on what we produce, at that stage, we need to then rely on something, another feature of the brain – elasticity. Catherine Malabou, a French philosopher describes plasticity as: “...flexibility and rigidity, suppleness and solidity, fixedness and transformability, identity and modifiability, determination and freedom.”

This event proposes an alternative perception of what a memory of a place, then a collection of many memories and finally, what the whole landscape, might look like. We confront the notion of photographic memory to be literally depicted, instead, we focus on the deconstruction of that photographic memory and loosely constructing its transformation – so as if we are revealing the remembered detail, place, the landscape in flux, in formation in time. Each participant’s contributed drawing is a form of translation of their pictographic memory. Shapes & letter-forms associated with places as individual typo-graphic language will tell a story as if flattening years onto a single surface, revealing the unseen. The wall hanging = immaterial memory landscape = a graphically coded map. The piece of textiles is turned into a productive construction field, a surface of which acts as a window with a view into a stage where the construction of layers and layers of memories take place.

5 Guests are selected from different industries: textiles designer, artist, architect and social entrepreneur. One or other way each of their practice spins around structures, taking their own individual approach they offer a completely individual take on what structures may be. Within their projects guests have explored a mix of structures: protective structures, structures taking us on a journey, both physical but also mental, industrial structures inhabited artistically now remaining a legacy of our societal structures and systems, also those layers closer to the fabric of the human skin along with those distant & abstract sources of internal interweaving mental formations.

There is plenty to reveal about what makes our space, our surroundings and what formulates the structures around us, but most excitingly – we can re-shape it and make it.


Full event plan:

Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th June, 12-5pm, 2017
Venue: Cass Art Islington, 66-67 Colebrooke Row, London, N1 8AB
Nearest stations: Angel Tube Station (7min walk), Essex Road (Great Northern Line, 7min)

Guest (Saturday 10th, 1pm): Mia Hultgren, Sweedish textile designer, current MA Textiles RCA student
www.miahultgren.com, instagram: @minimiha
Book a space here:

Guest (Sunday 11th, 1pm): Dr. Emma Neuberg, British artist & designer
www.emmaneuberg.com, www.emmaneubergdesigns.com, Instagram: @emmaneuberg or read article in Guardianhere
Book a space here

Sunday 18th June, 3-8pm
Venue: Playground London, 30A Balls Pond Road, N1 4AU, London
Nearest stations: Dalston Junction Overground (2min walk), Highbury&Islington (22min)

Guests (Sunday 18th June, 4-5pm):
Rain Wu, architect from Taiwan, Designer in Residence 2016, Design Museum in London, www.rainwu.net, Instagram: @rainwu_
Julijonas Urbonas, Lithuanian artist, designer, researcher, engineer
www.julijonasurbonas.lt, twitter: @Julij0nas
Book a space here

Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th June, 12.30-5.30pm
Kingsgate Workshops, 110-116 Kingsgate Road, NW6 2JG, London
Nearest stations: West Hampstead Tube Station (Jubilee line, 7mins)
Brondesbury Overground (7mins)
West Hampstead Overground (8min)
West Hampstead Station Thameslink (8min)

Guest (Saturday 24th June, 3pm): Dr. Anna Bowman, social entrepreneur,
co-founder of Kingsgate Workshops
Video on history of Kingsgate Workshops here.
Book a space here

About the London Festival of Architecture
The London Festival of Architecture was founded in 2004, and is now firmly established as Europe’s biggest annual architecture festival. The London Festival of Architecture 2017 will feature events across the capital from 1-30 June, and this year will explore the theme ‘memory’. The London Festival of Architecture celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate, provoking questions about the contemporary and future life of the city, and promoting positive change to its public realm. The London-wide programme is delivered by a diverse mix of architecture and design practices and practitioners, cultural and academic institutions, artists and many others.
LinkedIn: London Festival of Architecture