October 2016 - May 2017

Can we design the conditions for culture?

A Series of Appointments, by Siobhan Davies, for ROTOR 2010. Photo: Pari NaderiSPACE Studios The Triangle, Mare StreetThe Trampery, Old St (Image: Concept Foundry)

Theatrum Mundi is bringing together three expert round tables to debate issues raised by Sadiq Khan’s plans to create a  Cultural Infrastructure 2030 plan for London, asking if and how we can design the conditions for culture.

There is no doubt that this is a critical time for the future of the arts and creative industries in London. However, we must also ask questions beyond the necessity for arts spaces. What kinds of urban activities can be seen as culture, and which should be included in planning for provision? Along with cultures generating visitors and economic value, how should commercially unproductive cultures, or ones without audiences, be provided for? Beyond economics, what other benefits does cultural infrastructure bring to the city? What kinds of value are artists expected to create, and what do they get in return? What is special about spaces for culture and the conditions they create, beyond spaces for other types of production and gathering?

It has been well recognised that artists’ studios, live music venues, and so on, must be protected. In these discussions we would like to ask artists to think more widely about the urban conditions that facilitate the development of cultures, and to ask architects and planners whether those conditions be designed. With these questions, and others, in mind, we are hosting three discussions bringing makers of culture together with makers of cultural infrastructure. 

Infrastructures of Performance
27th October 2016
Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St George’s Road SE1
Performance is by its nature temporary, and is focused on the body, meaning it is mobile and does not always leave a trace. In theory, then, everywhere could be an infrastructure for performance, but beyond the stage what else in the city enables performance to be made, and by whom?

Orlando Gough; John Bingham-Hall; Siobhan Davies; Efrosini Protopapa

Infrastructures of Making
10th November 2016
The Triangle, SPACE Studios, 129 – 131 Mare Street E8
The makers of objects require stable, safe spaces to protect the tools and products of their labour, and are therefore implicated in the politics of the places they inhabit. Is there a special kind of space required for ‘cultural’ making, and does it add anything to places that manufacturing cannot? What if instead of artist’s studios we built factories?

Katriona Beales; Richard Sennett; Anna Harding; Deborah Saunt & David Hills

Infrastructures of the Virtual
15th December 2016
The Trampery, 239 Old St, London EC1V 
Virtual cultural artefacts – texts, designs, illustrations, and so on – can be produced and viewed anywhere, meaning their makers are often extremely mobile. Should there be special places in the city for virtual culture or does it need a new kind of planning for infrastructure everywhere?

Shumi Bose; Tom Keene; Adam Kaasa; Alice Honor Gavin


Richard Wentworth

Anna Harding
Director, Space Studios

Edwin Heathcote
Architecture Critic, Financial Times

Richard Sennett
Professor of Sociology, LSE

Adam Kaasa
Director, Theatrum Mundi

Deborah Saunt
Architect, DSDHA

David Hills
Architect, DSDHA

George Henry Longly

Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad

Stefania Donini
Doctoral Researcher, Guildhall School & Barbican Centre

Adrian Lahoud
Dean, RCA Architecture

Wilf Langridge
Senior Cultural Strategy Officer, GLA

Henry Ward
Head of Education, Freelands Foundation

Katriona Beales

Emmanuel Balogun
Writer & Filmmaker, Visual Ideation

Kathrin Böhm

Rachel Causer

Karen Davies
Artist, Artist Development Manager, Space Studios

Florence Magee
Head of Artist Development, Space Studios

Philippe Castaing
Community Director, Peckham Levels

Eleanor Lakelin

Will Jennings
Artist, Activist

Lauren Wright
Programme Director, Siobhan Davies Studio

Marianne Forrest
Artist, Director, Auto Italia South East

Sarah Wigglesworth
Architect, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

Siobhan Davies

Susanna Eastburn
Director, Sound and Music

Michael Keith
Director, University of Oxford Centre on Migration, Policy and Society

Mel Dodd
Programme Director, CSM MA Architecture

Robert Ames
Conductor, London Contemporary Orchestra

Efrosini Protopapa
Choreographer & Scholar, University of Roehampton

Orlando Gough

Sean Gregory
Composer, Director of Creative Learning, Guildhall School & Barbican Centre

Helen Frosi
(Freelance) Artist-Producer, Founder, SoundFjord

John Sloboda
Research Professor, Guildhall School

Brian Brady
Head of Theatre Programme, Trinity Laban

Katye Coe
Dance Artist, Senior Lecturer in Dance, Coventry University

Teal Triggs
Associate Dean & Professor of Graphic Design, RCA School of Communication

Richard Martin
Curator, Public Programmes, Tate
Visiting Lecturer, King’s College London

Alice Honor Gavin
Lecturer in Fiction & Writing, Sheffield
Writer (Fiction & Creative Criticism)

Shumi Bose
Co-founder, REAL Review
Senior Lecturer, CSM BA Architecture

Justinien Tribillon
Writer, Editor, Migrant Journal

Jordan Rowe
Centre Manager, UCL Urban Lab

John Davies
Research Fellow, Nesta

Edward Saperia
Founder, Newspeak House

Tom Keene
Artist, Researcher, Activist

Matthias von Hartz
Director, Berliner Festspiele

Will Mercer
Head of Strategy, The Trampery

Molly Strauss
Rachel Brain
Larissa Heinisch
MSc students
City Design & Social Science, LSE