What should new cultural spaces do for art and performance in cities? What can they do for the politics of civic life? And how should they be designed?
Right now new cultural infrastructure is under development in London and Hamburg. Olympicopolis and Oberhafen: each site has striking similarities but each project suggests very different relationships between artistic production, display and urban space. The design and planning of these developments raises critical questions for everyone concerned with the future of culture in cities:
Do new spaces for display support the making of art? How will they create openness and public access without sacrificing the intimacy needed by artists to develop new work? How do we make links between emergent and planned forms of production, and the different spaces they each inhabit? How should they sit in relation to the diverse urban fabric around them?
Theatrum Mundi brought together artists, architects, planners and thinkers, by invitation, to address these issues in a ‘backstage’ symposium aimed at challenging the assumptions behind the creation of cultural infrastructure and thinking through ways its design can stimulate public life.