Studio Invisible Cities


Studio lead: Cith Skelcher

Institution can mean both building and organisation (social/political/cultural etc) and in the context of the city the two have become synonymous. Public institutions have traditionally framed and mediated interactions between individual and society, creating a sense of shared purpose and identity. In their physical form they can act as landmarks; points of orientation. But whom do these institutions now serve and what values do they represent?

Whether remnants of the philanthropic building programmes of the Victorian era, the post war state intervention of the 50s and 60s or Blair’s New Labour Project, these institutions demonstrate a paternalistic version of ‘Care’ that is ultimately about preserving the status quo. 

Recent events, from the global pandemic to the BlackLivesMatter movement have revealed the cultural redundancy and increasing irrelevance of our built institutions and the ideologies of nation, empire and patriarchy that they represent. 

Technological advancements have allowed us to escape from an increasingly hostile and alienating public realm that has been further eroded by austerity, gentrification and the global pandemic.

Care can be viewed as ‘a species of activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, ourselves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining web.”

Studio invisible cities will be exploring how radical methodologies of Care can be applied to reclaim, repair and recast our institutions to be vital, restorative structures that can support the reproduction of a more just and inclusive society.

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