A Global Community
We live in interesting times. We live in an interesting city. London is a wonderful microcosm for various cultures, nationalities, customs etc from all corners of the world, converging and influencing each other in our great city. In virtually every London Borough you will find a multitude of languages, foods, cultures, and habits from all continents of the world. Next time you find yourself travelling on the tube, take a moment to look around your carriage and see the varied spectrum of languages spoken and languages read as a marker for this – multiculturalism is highly visible in London, and rightly so. It is a genuine boon to be able to live in one city and be exposed to so many different people and cultures.
It is precisely people and culture that help create communities and bond to a place – or rather cultural place-making, of which London finds itself with particular abundance at this moment in time. This is one of the themes that interests me, and I very much look forward to the London Festival of Architecture as an opportunity to travel our city and experience this great variety of communities, with a particular accent on how architects and architecture are contributing to the dialogue of culture, place-making, and community. My practice, Studio Gil, is also taking part in this year’s LFA. We are participating in Open Studios and welcoming Londoners to our studio which we share with Carnaval del Pueblo Association, organisers of Latin American Carnivals and Festivals in the Elephant and Castle area. As an architects practice, we have forged a partnership with Carnaval del Pueblo whom deliver important work for the Latin American community in Elephant and Castle and beyond – we will be exhibiting joint projects that help shine a lens on this locality and community. So with our Open Studios and many of the wonderful events on the LFA calendar that I will be visiting in the coming weeks, I hope to gain a better understanding of the great richness that exists across many London-wide localities, places, and postcodes.
To be a Londoner is to be part of a global community. We live in interesting times. We live in an interesting city.