The Barbican project

Guided by the Managing Director of the Barbican Centre in London, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, the network is rethinking the Barbican Centre in relation to its locality.

In 2012, the LSE Cities Programme published, ‘Public City’, the result of a year-long studio, led by Suzanne Hall, based on the questions: How is public space and public culture constituted in a diverse and rapidly changing city?; How is public culture valued?; Who benefits from investments in public culture?; How is public culture resourced? The studio first explored the Barbican in its urban surrounds and used different lenses to interpret its spaces, including visual, socio-economic, planning and ethnographic data. Following this first phase, students focused on varied forms of intervention: Everyday Publics, Emergent Publics, Reordered Publics, Local Publics, Productive Publics, and Exchange Publics. You can download the publication here.

Theatrum Mundi also worked with the Guildhall School of Music which opened a new facility, Milton Court, opposite its original campus, to deliver an agreed vision for Milton Court – a laboratory for the performing arts.

The first of these projects was entitled Playing the Building. Thanks to funding from London Creative Works, composer Peter Gregson enabled Milton Court to ‘leak sound’ engaging passersby, local office workers and the Barbican, Milton Court and Guildhall School audiences in an aural representation of the purpose of the facility, namely making music. This project was presented at a Theatrum Mundi Salon in March 2014 and convened to further discuss and explore whether the animation of a building through musical, dramatic and other artistic interventions can overcome problems of porosity, interaction and presence in cultural venues.