Urban Form: Social Architecture & The CommonsNovember 2019 – February 2020
Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons is a season of international public realm commissions, talks, workshops, communal lunches and family activities. The programme intends to engage artists, architects, academics, students and local citizens in conversation and debate around the past, present and future of Lincoln’s social and civic life, within the context of the local built environment.
Working with students from University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment the programme will also consider the legacy of social housing developments defined by social democratic ideals. Such as the Ermine Estate in Lincoln – an ambitious, interwar council housing effort which today makes up ten percent of the city’s built up area. On the estate, ON/OFF; an interdisciplinary design studio based in Berlin, will be exploring the potentials and possibilities of public spaces through the development of collaboratively built architecture made for and with Ermine Community Action Group and citizens of the Ermine.
ON/OFF’s practice explores the in-betweens and overlaps of the urban experience to engage citizens in an immediate relationship with their environment. Experimenting with disparate technologies and tools, they aim to challenge conventional ideas of inhabiting and sharing space.
Newly commissioned aerial drone footage of the Modernist-influenced Ermine Estate as well as the estate’s iconic church of St John the Baptist designed by Lincolnshire born architect Sam Scorer offers new perspectives on a civic commitment to dignified and aspirational architecture. With a walking tour, historian and geographer Andrew Jackson will offer an insight into a project once billed as ‘the church of tomorrow’1. It was under his iconic sweeping ‘hyperbolic paraboloid’ roof that Scorer envisioned new ways of coming together and being together.
As part of the monthly communal lunches series collaborative artist duo Sophie Chapman and Kerri Jefferis will share their research around spatial justice, the undercommons and (re)production of public space over food and around a purpose built modular dining table.
In partnership with Lincoln Film Society and The Venue; artist, filmmaker and cultural activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman will present Here for Life (2019) – the culmination of a longstanding collaboration with theatremaker and Cardboard Citizens founder Adrian Jackson. The uncommon story told on common ground by ten Londoners. All have lives shaped by loss and love, trauma and bravery, struggle and resistance. Here for Life had its world premiere in the Cineasti Del Presente international competition of the Locarno Film Festival (receiving a Special Mention) and will be shown in Lincoln alongside an artist’s talk and performance workshops led by featured actors.
Further contributors to the programme include director and writer Paul Sng whose films include Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle & Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain; artist, writer and academic Cathy Wade, whose work is concerned with the distribution of art and the creation of commons; Alicja Roglaska, whose Desire Lines commission explores the heritage of Lincolnshire’s Co-operative movement and Ian Waites – artist & Senior Lecturer in the history of art and design at the University of Lincoln. Waites’ current research explores the landscapes, histories, dreams and memories of the postwar English council estate.
This season of activity has been made possible with the generous support and contributions of colleagues, representatives and friends at Lincoln University’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln Film Society, The Venue, The Ermine Community Action Group, St John the Baptist Church of England and Ermine United Reformed Church.