Pointless City explores the complexities that have become part and parcel of living in London today. The title is an expression of the condition that results from these issues.
London, for many of its inhabitants, has become pointless. It is too costly for anyone earning an average salary; there is a shortage of homes that means high and rising prices for housing to buy or rent; high office rents drive out SME’s and a creaking infrastructure forces us to ask the question: why live or work in London?
On the one hand an exodus of young professionals from the capital in recent years would appear to support this position, but on the other hand London continues to grow. Pointless City inhabits the territory between these two poles and the architectural possibilities that are emerging as a response, understanding London as an urban schema in the midst of profound change.
For how much longer can London squeeze additional density from its limited area? As our infrastructure creaks are we experiencing the most painful growing pains yet?
Off the Grid
Developments are increasingly growing in size and ‘off the grid’ as the city section supersedes the city plan. Contemporary, mixed-use, development concentrates all the amenities of a historic urban district within a single vertically augmented complex. How successful are these ready packaged neighbourhoods and are people happy to live in them and see their city change in this way?
As the city gets denser, urban villages emerge as an alternative to big city living. These serve the demographic of people seeking a new tribe or a particular way of living.
The nature of life and work in the city has changed in the last 10 years. Smart phones and data access free workers from their desks and allow work to happen anytime, anywhere and yet London’s status as a global business hub continues to grow. What draws people to London if they don’t physically have to be there to make a living?
Are we experiencing an unease amongst the creative classes? Are lines being blurred as new pastimes emerge and influence London’s evolving cultural identity?
All will be employed for the purposes of this exploration, ranging from how the city is conceived to the lived experiences that it ultimately delivers. Each theme will present a range of analytical data and a conceptual architectural response, generating a series of questions with which viewers and collaborators will be encouraged to interact.
Pointless City is a timely endeavour that will get to the heart of and explore the issues affecting the lives of many Londoners today.
Pointless City has been developed in association with Frizbee Films and SEA Design.