Quincy Haynes is Co-Chair of Architecture Foundation’s Young Trustees and Part II Architectural Assistant at RCKa.
As the year draws to a close and the winter evenings draw in earlier, we can’t help but reflect on the year just gone and our plans for 2023. I use the word ‘plans’ lightly, as we know how quickly they can often go awry, but nonetheless we stay optimistic. On a global scale, promises will have been made at COP27, which outline efforts to tackle the climate crisis and set our path for the future. In London, we debate the role of the green belt in a delicate balance to tackle the housing crisis – whilst on a personal level, we all consider our plans for the New Year. My selection of events this month encourages us all to reflect on the year and rediscover the passion, joy and hopefully humour of the events during the year. It would be a shame to not start with Open City’s The Londown Christmas Review of the Year, where Phineas Harper chairs special guests in a live, on-stage podcast show reflecting on the gems of 2022!
Now, I’m not one for completing New Year’s Resolutions, but the festive season does invoke thoughts of returning home to family. Currently on at the Museum of Home How We Build Home is a photography exhibition and interactive installation that explores home-making practices, explored through the eyes of Black Women by Azeezat Johnson and Wasi Daniju. The installation explores the symbolic connection of quilts, and the bonds the craft and practice forms. Continuing in the thread of weaving – at the Tate artists Cecilia Vicuña and Magdalena Abakanowicz use textiles and fabrics to explore creative possibilities until early February – encouraging children and families to play.
While over at the Design Museum, Yinka Illori displays fabric that further celebrates the medium as a tool for storytelling with Parables For Happiness. His display, inspired by his British-Nigerian heritage, provides a vibrant pop of colour for a grey London evening. At the Barbican, Black British cultured is further celebrated by the Black Music Coalition who raise awareness of the racism black artists and professionals have faced in the UK.
In the spirit of reflection – and action – the AA New Standards series concludes on 1st December with, recent AJ Rising Star and Architecture Foundation’s Young Trustee, Jordan Whitewood-Neal and Dr Jos Boys, discussing the notion of comfort and the ever-present standardisation of the spaces we inhabit.
Now in its sixth year, the Museum of Architecture hosts The Gingerbread City – which takes a global perspective, asking participants to champion sustainable design ideas. For those of you that know me (and my sweet tooth) I hope you’ll find the edible masterplan designed by Madeline Kessler Architecture and Tibbalds Planning and Design as impressive as I have in the past. Our Spice Girls tribute nightclub really is a sweet spot in my memory! Finally – it would be rude to not round out the festive season – the Southbank hosts a dazzling array of spectacles as part of their Winter Light festivities, from Jakob Kvist’s Dichroic Sphere to David Batchelor’s Sixty Minute Spectrum.
So with my Guest Edit, I hope that as the clocks strike 12 on New Year’s Eve these highlights have provided you with an opportunity to reflect and feel optimistic for the coming year.