The 4×4 series on place-making and the built environment: On Love

The second of the 4×4 series of discussions in Manchester on 11.5.16 of this year had the theme of Love – asking how does love impact on our understanding of the built environment.

Mick Timpson is an architect and yoga professional, who founded and directs Beando and Yogalife. Drawing on his experience of yoga and meditation practices he asked professionals working in the built environment to think differently about how we experience the world. Advocating the need to know the world in a different way, to strive be more fully present at all times, and to get out of one’s comfort zone, as this is where the magic happens.

Architect, academic and cycling activist Emily Crompton, described the need to put love into how the built environment is made. She described how we should aim for architecture that is full of love, describing the concept of making places ‘affective’, in particular by engaging local people as more equal participants in place-making processes.

Poet, writer and former director of BEAM (Wakefield), Robert Powell took us on his journey of recent urban walks alongside the rivers Ouse and Foss in York. Undertaken in partnership with visual artist Jake Attree, Robert read from the publication and artist’s book that came out of these walks – talking of his love for the city, of walking and companionship. He also embodied through his readings and the performative nature of his presentation, how the arts can help interpret and understand a place, or a sense of place.

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Sophia De Sousa is director of The Glasshouse. Sophia described what it is like to fall in love with a place, a city, in this case Florence. She talked of falling in love with it, moving there and living there for many years. She described how we act when we love somewhere, how much a place can mean to us, how we forgive the things that ‘drive you crazy’ and are happy to share that city with visitors. Ultimately she feels that ‘Our love for place is highly emotional and as complex as the place itself’, and echoing Emily Crompton’s earlier presentation, concluded that we should build as though it’s for someone we love.

Image credits: Robert Powell, taken by Sarah Spanton

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About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking - www.waymarking.org.uk
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1 Response to The 4×4 series on place-making and the built environment: On Love

  1. Pingback: The 4×4 series on place-making and the built environment: On Freedom | Waymarking The Sketchbook

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