It’s a wrap! LFA 2017 closing dinner reflects on the festival and presses ahead
Riding the tube at rush hour in a tuxedo is unusual. Doing it in a mini heatwave is just downright weird. I certainly drew some suspicious glances on a packed Jubilee line as I made my way to the London Festival of Architecture closing dinner. Stranger still, the walk from Canada Water station took me down some strange back roads behind a giant Decathlon, with locals wondering if I was some lost toff from another era.
I was wending my way (courtesy of Google maps) to Printworks, an industrial complex that once housed the giant presses from which the Metro and Evening Standard would spring forth from unceasing inky rollers. It is now one of London’s newest and largest cultural venues, creating a machined backdrop for parties, talks, album launches and more. Our dinner was kindly hosted by British Land, the building owners, and it provided a wonderful contrast to the traditional garb of the black-tie event.
Following a bizarre conversation with a bemused security guard (I was very early), I trekked through the grounds of the industrial estate, past a curiously geometric green entrance and through a side door. Inside, a series of dark corridors were dramatically lit, with defunct presses on either side. I was led to a cavernous room with one of the longest dining tables I’ve ever seen.
Once we sat down to dinner, we were treated to a series of speeches from Barry McKeogh, Tamsie Thomson, Jules Pipe and Roger Madelin. All were in agreement that LFA 2017 was by far and away the best festival yet, with more than 600 events and installations. The profession had united across the city and displayed creativity and public engagement on an unprecedented scale. None of this would have been possible without the commitment of the participants or the capabilities of the amazing LFA team.
As the congregation mused on the last month’s activities, the recurring conversation was how we could make next year even bigger and better.
Not to forget, thank you to Showtime Photo Booth for providing their GIF Photo Booth for the dinner. It was great fun and LFA team looks forward to working with you again in the near future.
Photo credit: Agnese Sanvito