London Architecture Festival Urges Fresh Thinking

June 18, 2008

By Elizabeth Zevallos

If architecture is frozen music, as 19th-century poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, then this weekend it will sound like electro punk and rock-and-roll. London’s annual Exhibition Road Music Day, on June 21, will coincide with opening festivities for the third biennial London Festival of Architecture (LFA), which officially kicks off June 20. The month-long architecture event—devoted to London’s unique built landscape and avant-garde design community—will move across the city, stopping at five key hubs and featuring more than 600 installations and events.

Fresh Flower, a portable steel pavilion designed by the firm Tonkin Liu
Image courtesy London Festival of Architecture 2008

Fresh Flower, a portable steel pavilion designed by the firm Tonkin Liu, is a venue for people to converse and debate.

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Themed “fresh,” this year’s festival aims to get locals and visitors to view the city with new eyes. Debates and discussions held on Fresh Flower, a mobile platform designed by the UK-based firm Tonkin Liu, will encourage “fresh thinking.” Student-designed installation pieces will display “fresh talent,” and guided walks and bike tours will give attendees the opportunity to take in some “fresh air.”

The festival has drawn big names from around the globe. Foster + Partners is heading up a one-day design-build project, and is soliciting the public¹s help. Internationally known architects such as David Chipperfield, Daniel Libeskind, Cesar Pelli, and Rem Koolhaas will give lectures on various topics. In addition, more than 20 foreign embassies will showcase their countries¹ architectural talents through exhibitions and presentations.

On a more whimsical note, Bompas & Parr—a London-based caterer that specializes in making Jell-O moulds—will host an Architectural Jelly Banquet on July 4. The costume party will include a Jell-O wrestling competition and an exhibition featuring small structures made out of Jell-O.

For information about LFA 2008, which ends July 20, visit  

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