Utopia Fair, Somerset House. June 24-26th 2016

Over the sunny weekend of June 24-26th, Making Suburban Faith and our Architectures of Shared Space project took part in the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Utopia Fair at the world famous Somerset House on the banks of the Thames. Part of a wider series of events in Somerset House’s Utopia season, the Utopia Fair brought together organisations, groups and projects whom are part of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project, and investigated and suggested how communities in 21st Century Britain could function better.

Largely avoiding the threatened heavy rain showers, the weekend was blessed with many sunny spells, good public attendance and even a flypast by the Red Arrows (albeit an unintentional one on their way to an event at Trafalgar Square)!

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The Utopia Fair

The Utopia Fair

Making Suburban Faith joined over 25 other projects which have been engaging with the public on a wide variety of issues across the UK. From issues of renewable energy to organic waste disposal, alternative local currencies to community inclusiveness, stalls and groups were interspersed with artists and food traders. Making Suburban Faith presented our Architectures of Shared Space project exhibition which led to many interesting conversations and debates with visitors to the fair, with the architectural models proving a popular attraction. We also encouraged visitors to the stall to jot down their feedback and thoughts on post-it notes and attach them to the display boards so we could gain an accurate record of people’s thoughts.

Making Suburban Faith Stall

Making Suburban Faith Stall

Visitor feedback attached to the display panels.

Visitor feedback attached to the display panels.

The Sunday also saw a well-attended talk on Faith in Utopia and an examination of the Architectures of Shared Space project by Dr. Claire Dwyer along with Ali Mangera of Mangera Yvars Architects and Anastazja, one of the sixth-form students from Brentside School who took part in the project.

Ali Mangera, Brentside School sixth-form student Anastazja and Dr. Claire Dwyer presenting their discussion Faith in Utopia

Ali Mangera, Brentside School sixth-form student Anastazja and Dr. Claire Dwyer presenting their discussion Faith in Utopia

In addition to the presentation of our Architectures of Shared Space project, the weekend also saw the unveiling of our PhD researcher Laura Cuch’s Spiritual Flavours project, including the first premiere of the accompanying short film.

Premiere of Laura Cuch's short film Spiritual Flavours

Premiere of Laura Cuch’s short film Spiritual Flavours

Frame from the film Spiritual Flavours (© Laura Cuch, 2016)

Frame from the film Spiritual Flavours (© Laura Cuch, 2016)

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