Join us for the second event in our 2019 Workroom Conversation series looking at questions around improvisation across different practices from music to architecture. We see improvisation as a fundamental way people relate to the world with capacity to loosen up and informalise social life. Improvising is also a survival strategy when, individuals or groups are challenged by unforeseen events. In the arts, improvising makes freedom of expression possible. It is a craft that requires practice to make a master.

Each session opens with two invited practitioners sharing their take on what improvisation is to them and how they use it in their practice to stimulate a broader discussion. Richard Sennett, of Theatrum Mundi, will moderate.

The Workroom Conversations are ‘backstage’: there is no audience. Instead, we invite practitioners to share, debate, challenge and enrich. These are conversations rather than public forums. We would be delighted for you to join as many of these as you would like to and bring your ideas to the workbench.

Registration is essential.


Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary/experimental vocalist, movement artist, improviser and composer who has performed at leading UK/ European venues including, Bimhuis, Café Oto, Venice Biennale, ICA London, Ultima Festival (Oslo), Southbank Centre (London), Maerzmusik (Berlin), London Contemporary Music Festival. Elaine has worked leading artists such as Moor Mother, Mark Padmore, The Otolith Group, Sonia Boyce, John Butcher, Tansy Davies, Van Huynh Co, Aki Onda, Apartment House, London Sinfonietta, David Toop, Steve Beresford, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, George E. Lewis, Jason Yarde, and Alexander Hawkins.

Recent and forthcoming performances include b r e a d t h b r e a t h (LCMF 2018), the then + the now = now time Maerzmusik (WP March 2019), Jeanne Lee Project, | Les Murs Sont Témoins | These Walls Bear Witness | (Portchester Castle), Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde (Meteo Festival), Punkt Festival.

Julia King is a Research Fellow at LSE Cities and the coordinator for numerous research strands including ‘Streets for All’ a research project commissioned by the Greater London Authority and on-going work on urban governance in India. She currently teaches on the Cities Masters Programme at LSE, and runs a design studio at Central Saint Martins. Trained as an architect her research, design practice and teaching focus on sanitation and housing in the context of rapid urbanisation, inequitable infrastructure developments and urban micro-culture in the UK and India.

Her work has been exhibited internationally including the 2016 Venice Architectural Biennial, the Southbank Centre and Somerset House. She was awarded a Royal Commission for 1851 grant (2017-2019) to develop design solutions cross cutting the sanitation chain from toilet to co-designed community infrastructure. She has won numerous awards for her work and practice including Emerging Woman Architect of the Year (2014), NLA Award (2016) and shortlisted for a Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (2014) and Civic Trust Regional Award (2016). She has authored chapters in Home Economics (2016) and Infrastructure Space (2017) and co-authored a chapter in The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City (2017).