Poppy Levison is a blind designer and researcher working as part of the DisOrdinary Architecture Project and as an Architectural Assistant at DSDHA. She is a member of the Curation Panel for the 2024 London Festival of Architecture and a Young Trustee of the Architecture Foundation.
As a member of the Curation Panel for this year’s London Festival of Architecture, I am very excited for the year ahead. This year, the Festival this year is turning 20, so it’s set to be a big year.
For starters, the London Festival of Architecture is launching their Open Call on 8th January for events happening this June. This year’s theme is ‘Reimagine’, so I encourage you to think about how the city can become a more sustainable, equitable and collaborative place.
January can be a cold and dark month, but also a time to set intentions, goals and make a fresh start. With that in mind, attending events can be a good way to stave away the January blues and develop some new thoughts and ideas you can take with you into the year ahead.
A great way to blow the cobwebs away after the Christmas period is to get out and get moving, so if walking is accessible to you, why not make the most of a variety of walking tours.
You could explore the South Bank, learning about its Architecture and Politics with The London Ambler – Mike Althorpe. Alternatively, learn something new about the classics on a Wren in the City walking tour with Open City. Explore Thamesmead’s cinematic history with Áine Grace, or walk from Soho to Clerkenwell, discovering histories of architecture and public health.
If you’d prefer something indoors, why not visit the Royal Academy for their 2024 New Royal New Academician lecture with Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald of 6a Architects. They will discuss recent projects, which include their re-imagining of Tate Liverpool and an ecology-led waterfront housing development in Malmö, Sweden.
…Now onto some new ideas for the year ahead.
I have the honour of working with the DisOrdinary Architecture Project, a not-for-profit platform that builds on the the experiences, expertise and creativity of disabled artists.
As part of the London Festival of Architecture 2023, Refabricate and The DisOrdinary Architecture Project created a co-designed installation called Seats at The Table, looking at the intersections of disability and sustainability.
Off the back of the project, the DisOrdinary Architecture Project has produced Many More Parts than M!, an alternative catalogue of ideas, stories and projects that helps architects and others reimagine what truly accessible, enjoyable and beautiful spaces can be. It is led by disabled creativity and rooted in lived experience, and aims to subvert the ‘one-size-fits-all’ accessibility guidance from ‘Part M’ of the UK’s building regulations.
You can also hear more about the project on the LFA’s Building Sounds Podcast: Accessible to who? Exploring built environment equity with Re-Fabricate and the DisOrdinary Architecture Project.