20 January 2014

City Building and Vernacular Practice

A new year, a new phase, and a proposition:

This project considers an area of Central London which is itself an ad hoc place: a mix of people, paths, architectures, smells, materials, institutions, animals, stories, homes… Material on the street shows a vernacular process of city building that is mirrored in local ad hoc shops. These places are rich in material complexity, heterogeneous, and familiar sites of making do. They are also intrinsically nested in the local rhythms and urban material of Central London. The neighbourhood – my neighbourhood – is in perpetual motion. It has felt particularly rapid change and seen significant investment in recent years. Due in part to these changes, ad hoc shops have seen increased external interest in their matter. Material, long part of the neighbourhood, and long part of these shops, is increasingly deemed out of place. Ad hoc shops are all-embracing – through practice, these places absorb new material and identities in their complex folds. Despite the influence of current revitalisation strategies, it may be that they are absorbed into the matter of these shops as just another layer.

Materials transform. Spontaneous solutions are needed. Ad hoc-ness comes to play.