2007 LIVE IT UP!

At the start of the 21st century, dreams of tall living are again the height of fashion. But this time around, it’s not the West leading the new wave, but the Middle and Far East. From Dubai to Shanghai, super-skyscrapers are new signatures of new economic shifts. London feels this pressure from beyond. The Mayor proposes that London’s skyline must become more visible in the global consciousness. And that this needs to happen sooner than later. But the history of tallness in Britain’s capital comes with traumatic baggage: from doomed Modernist social experiments to an ongoing battle with a nostalgic image of the past.  This year, the Summer Architecture School studios will focus on the dreams and reality of London literally growing up: taller, higher, in the air, and even floating. LIVE IT UP will offer an array of creative and imaginative approaches on what it might mean to really liberate London from the obligation to obey the ground. Students will be asked to think about this issue from a number of perspectives: architectural, cultural, technological and political. The site under scrutiny will be the City of London and its wider environs, where built tallness has been widely accepted already. Clichés and stereotypes that equate tall with either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ will be fundamentally questioned through group research, design-led projects and a multitude of media including model-making, film narratives, video-gaming, super-graphics and guerrilla installations.

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