Exhibitions and Publications Coordinator, The Architecture Foundation
With dreary January behind us, and February having flown by probably faster than you expected, we head towards the sunnier month of March. Spring is finally around the corner and with the days steadily getting longer there will be an added incentive for heading out on those weekday evenings after work to catch the exciting array of events and exhibitions taking place across London this March.
The month opens with a headline lecture by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma on 3 March at the V&A. A rare occasion to hear this exciting architect speak in the UK, the talk will no doubt offer interesting insight into Kuma’s latest design for the V&A museum at Dundee – the architect’s first building in Britain. Kuma’s lecture will explore the project in the context of his approach to architecture more broadly, discussing his interest in forming new relationships between people and place.
In the spirit of reflecting on the transformative power of architecture is also this month’s line up for The Architecture Foundation’s bi-monthly Architecture on Film series – at the Barbican on 13 March. Post-producing Architecture – HLM, Habitations Légèrement Modifiées will be the UK premiere of a new feature-length documentary exploring the story behind the transformation of the Bois le Prêtre tower in the suburbs of Paris, a 1960s high-rise public housing block that was saved through an ingenious design intervention devised by French architects Lacaton and Vassal with Frédéric Druot in 2011. Directed by Guillaume Meigneux, the film will tell the story of the building’s revival through the voices of its inhabitants – reflecting on the ever-important relationship between people, architecture and place, while also championing creative and resourceful solutions for regeneration.
If more meditative spatial experiences are your thing, then make sure to head down to the Barbican’s Curve gallery for United Visual Artists’ immersive light and sound installation Momentum. This piece sees the cavernous corridor-like architecture of the Curve transformed by means of a ‘spatial instrument’ – twelve electronically controlled pendulums that activate the space with light and sound at various points as the visitor journeys through the interior.
Those interested in sustainability-oriented design innovation should consider this month’s wide-ranging offer of talks exploring “adaptive” design solutions from across the globe – from smart housing systems championed by engineer Werner Sobek, who will lecture on the ‘Activhaus’ concept at the AA on 4 March, to compact and flexible house design approaches in Japan that will be the subject of a seminar at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation on 14 March.
Finally – if at any point throughout this month your mood needs a decisive uplift – head to the Whitechapel Gallery to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Dada collage artist extraordinaire – Hannah Höch. Running until 23 March, this major UK retrospective of the artist testifies to the enduring power of witty juxtapositions and cultural commentaries hidden within collage art – that might just help you see the world with fresh eyes this month.