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Bartlett Design Research Folios

Design for London

by Peter Bishop

Bartlett Design Research Folios

Project Details Author:

Peter Bishop

Peter Bishop was the founding Director of Design for London and shaped its research, aims, methods and key projects. Richard Rogers was an advisor and advocate, and an international advisory board was created to help refine and develop the studio’s research and design approach. Senior members of the team included Mark Brearley, Jamie Dean, Tobi Goevert and David Ubaka. Title:

Design for London

Output type:







The Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, Transport for London, London Development Agency

Project period: Oct 2006 – Feb 2013 Budget:

£21 Million


Richard Rogers

Key staff:

Mark Brearley, Jamie Dean, Eleanor Fawcett, Tobi Goevert, Paul Harper, David Ubaka

Collaboration with practices:

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Allies and Morrison, Dixon Jones, East, 5th Studio, Gross Max, J&L Gibbons, KCAP, Maccreanor Lavington, Maxwan, Muf, Witherford Watson Mann

Collaboration with statutory bodies:

Greater London Authority, Transport for London, London Development Agency, the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham

International Kees Christiaanse (KCAP and ETH Zurich), Rients Djikstra (Maxwan), advisory board: Spencer de Grey (Foster and Partners), Hanif Kara (AKT II and Harvard), Farshid Moussavi (Foreign Office Architects and Harvard), Alex de Rijke (dRMM and Royal College of Art), Peter St John (Caruso St John)


Design for London

Bartlett Design Research Folios




Design for London

Statement about the Research Content and Process

Description Established in 2006, Design for London was an experiment in urban development with the research aim to devise a cohesive strategy of tactical urban design for regenerating London. As a research project, it exerted influence beyond its weight and attracted considerable international interest. Questions 1. What spatial strategies could influence the nature of development activity in a city as complex as London? 2. How could investment strategies be influenced at the political level of government to promote high-quality design? 3. How could powerful cross-disciplinary ideas about the city be translated into a framework to guide incremental tangible change, allied with partner organisations? 4. How could a design-led master planning approach be harnessed to transport, environmental, public space and land disposal programmes? 5. How could strategic approaches to design be communicated broadly to produce a widespread debate about the city? Methods 1. Non-traditional planning techniques based on incremental and tactical master planning theories. 2. Site-specific design interventions and demonstration projects.

1 (previous page) Brokering change in a complex environment: stakeholders involved in designing a public space in London (Design for London)

Statements 5

3. Campaigning, advocacy and exhibitions, linked to an international network of advisors. 4. Development of city visions and narratives linked to the construction of stakeholder partnerships. 5. Design policy development. 6. Proactive control of the procurement of architectural and urban design practitioners. Dissemination Curated and exhibited at the Shanghai Expo and in London; presented internationally in 38 keynotes/lectures.

Statement of Significance

Design for London commissioned many award-winning projects, including: East London Green Grid (Landscape Institute 2008); St Andrew’s Hospital (Building for Life 2010; Brick Award 2011); Making Space in Dalston (Landscape Institute 2010, Urban Design and Masterplanning, President’s Awards 2011; Hackney Design Award 2010; Urban Intervention Award 2010); Barking Central (World Architecture Festival: commendation 2010; Building for Life 2010; New London Awards 2011); Barking Town Square (European Prize for Urban Public Space 2008; London Planning Award 2009/2010).


Design for London


2 London, a city of nationalities (KCAP)

Introduction 7


Following the re-establishment of mayoral government in London, the Mayor established a small, arm’s-length architectural studio, Design for London, in 2006. [fig. 1&2] London does not have a culture of top-down state planning and is a city antipathetic to grand designs. It is a place of a thousand plans and a million styles whose development may be anarchic and fragmented. Design for London responded dynamically to this context by ‘catching and steering’ to shape, rather than plan the city through formal powers or the control of capital budgets. It also identified areas of potential urban change and fashioned intervention strategies. Design for London relied on its ability to influence through the support of the Mayor. The result of this was a unique body of work which has had a disproportional impact on the development of the city. The approach to urbanism was to develop big ideas and implement them through myriad small steps. Its effectiveness lay in its ability to form alliances to influence public agencies and private developers and to improve design quality through better design procurement and constructive design critique. Kees Christiaanse has described this as ‘a negotiated approach, an urbanism of brokerage’, and Kieran Long has said that ‘Design for London is using guerrilla tactics to become the most influential city architects office in the country’. Its overarching objective was to harness London’s growth to create a better city for all of its citizens.

The studio, at its height, consisted of 25 staff. In conjunction with its partners, and collaborating architects, planners, researchers, and local authorities, the studio produced six types of researchbased design processes and outcomes: 1. Town centre rejuvenation and local plan making; 2. Commissioning and procurement; 3. Strategies for public open spaces at local level (the Mayor’s 100 Public Spaces); 4. Landscape strategies at regional level (the Green Enterprise District); 5. Housing policy and streetscape guidance; 6. Exhibitions and campaigns. Over a six-year period it developed several documents, including policy on housing design standards, public space, procurement and environmental standards and programmes, and materialised: 1. 16 new public spaces in London; 2. Three large-scale spatial strategies (the Royal Docks, East London Green Grid and the Olympic Fringe Master plans); 3. Three comprehensive town centre regeneration strategies (Dalston, Barking and Deptford). The aggregate total budget was £21 million.



Design for London




3 Master planning around temporary activites – Embedding temporary activities into urban strategies (Bishop and Williams 2012)

Aims and Objectives


Aims and Objectives

In the last two decades of the 20th century planning in Britain became increasingly detached from the architectural and urban design disciplines. Planning became less proactive and more focused on control and regulation while developing spatial policy contexts which were detached from the role of physical place making. This left a void at the heart of the agenda which was identified in the work of the Urban Taskforce, chaired by Richard Rogers. Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, and Richard Rogers established Design for London in 2006 to specifically explore ways in which an urban design-led approach could be harnessed to planning, transport and economic development strategies for London. Design for London deliberately eschewed traditional forms of influence through the planning process. Instead it sought to exert tangential influence through a combination of conceptual thinking, campaigning and advocacy, and highly focused interventions:

Big strategies These sought to capture single powerful ideas that could then be turned into incremental development programmes through alliances with partner organisations.

Small change Design for London developed a series of projects that explored ways in which urban change could be promulgated without direct control of long-term funding or powers of regulation.

Policy / campaigns The team took strategic control of areas that influenced design, and ran a series of exhibitions to engage Londoners in a debate about their city. In addition, Design for London was forefront in ‘Temporary Urbanism’ (Bishop and Williams 2012), a powerful methodology to prototype ideas, stimulate regeneration, involve local communities and establish location. This approach is particularly effective in the light of funding uncertainty and sits very comfortably within its approach to incremental change through tactical urbanism. Many of the projects set out below illustrate this approach. [fig. 3]


Design for London


1. What spatial strategies could influence the nature of development activity in a city as complex as London?

4. How could a design-led master planning approach be harnessed to transport, environmental, public space and land disposal programmes?

2. How could decision-making and investment strategies be influenced at the political and organisational levels of government in order to promote high-quality architectural and urban design?

5. How could strategic approaches to design be communicated broadly to Londoners in order to produce a widespread debate about the city?

3. How could powerful cross-disciplinary ideas about the city be translated into a framework to guide incremental tangible change, in alliance with partner organisations?

Questions / Context



The research context of the practices and projects developed by Design for London belongs in the field of incremental urbanism, aligned with: (a) everyday urbanisms historically embedded in English towns, and (b) newer theories of alternative, sustainable and tactical planning (Jacobs 1961). Design for London contributed to this field original bottom-up demonstration projects, realised in London as experiments, and paradigmatic processes that could be reworked for other cities. Initially the context for Design for London’s approach was set by the Architecture and Urbanism unit which was established in 2001 by Richard Rogers in the Greater London Authority. This, in turn, was heavily influenced by the Urban Taskforce (1997–2000) that Richard Rogers chaired on behalf of the Government, reporting to John Prescott. The Urban Taskforce drew heavily on examples of how urban design-based strategies could be brought to the centre of mayoral government models that were in their infancy in Britain. The experience of Barcelona under Pasqual Maragall was particularly influential.

In 2007 Design for London established an advisory board which included: Kees Christiaanse (KCAP and ETH Zurich), Rients Djikstra (Maxwan), Spencer de Grey (Foster and Partners), Hanif Kara (AKT II and Harvard Graduate School of Design), Farshid Moussavi (Foreign Office Architects and Harvard Graduate School of Design), Alex de Rijke (dRMM and the Royal College of Art) and Peter St John (Caruso St John). The role of the group was to help in the development of a design approach for London that embraced the principles of best practice from other cities, especially from Europe. Although the design thinking of Design for London was influenced by its advisory panel, its methodology was routed deeply in English pragmatism rather than large-scale ‘grand projects’ and traditional approaches to top-down master planning. Other important influences on the studio were the ‘everyday urbanism’ work of Margaret Crawford (University of California Berkeley), John Chase and John Kaliski (Chase et al 2008), and ‘tactical’ or alternative master planning by individuals, such as Stephen Marshall (2009), and North American urbanist thinking, going back to the work of Jane Jacobs.


Design for London


A mix of practice-led research methods were used to address the objectives of Design for London, including: 1. Non-traditional planning techniques based on incremental and tactical master planning theories; 2. Site-specific design interventions and demonstration projects; 3. Campaigning, advocacy and exhibitions, linked to an international network of advisors; 4. The development of city visions and narratives linked to the construction of stakeholder partnerships; 5. Design policy development; 6. Proactive control of the procurement of architectural and urban design practitioners.

These methods are evident, in particular, in the shaping of the following: 1. The eastward growth of London: ‘City East’; 2. Town centre rejuvenation and local plan making in Barking and Dalston; 3. Commissioning and procurement for a major residential development in the old St Andrew’s Hospital in Bow; 4. The establishment and implementation of the Mayor’s 100 Public Spaces programme; 5. The London Green Grid; 6. The Olympics, the legacy and the Fringe; 7. Policy and guidance; 8. Exhibitions and campaigns.

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Strategies for the eastward growth of London: ‘City East’ In 2006 London’s population was set to grow by a million people over the next 20 years; in effect this growth has been more rapid. A quarter of this growth is expected to be housed in just three per cent of its area, the 32 square kilometres of ‘City East’ in the western part of London Thames Gateway. Design for London recognised the significance of this and developed concepts and strategies to ensure that this area’s new developments were set in a spatial framework and met the highest design standards. Design for London and KCAP carried out a strategic options appraisal of the Royal Docks and Canning Town areas initially in 2005/2006; this work was exhibited at the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale. The Royal Docks, an astonishing place occupying a key strategic location between the Lower Lea Valley and Barking Riverside, had failed to attract significant development interest despite large publicly owned (and remediated) sites and an unprecedented boom in the London economy from 1997 to 2008. In 2009 Design for London reappraised conventional strategies for the area and constructed a series of conceptual narratives to stimulate debate and investment interest through: 1. Abandonment of conventional master plans (73 in the area since the mid 1970s); 2. Creation of a Green Enterprise District as a catalyst for inward investment; 3. Construction of a new narrative for the area focused on business logistics;

4. Creation of a political ‘pact’ between the (conservative) Mayor of London and the (labour) Mayor of Newham; 5. Brokering an alliance of landowners. From here Design for London worked with the London Development Agency to define infrastructure projects including the Siemens Centre, the East London Heat Network and the London Cable Car. Associated with this was the marketing and master planning of key sites and design advice on new developments. The significance of this work lies in the detachment of regeneration from formal planning strategies. The approach was geared around the realism of political structures, land ownership, and the economics and perceptions of the property sector. The approach is effectively city branding tied into a choreographed marketing and events campaign that created momentum and changed market perceptions. The result has been the stimulation of a new wave of development activity, within a rigorous urban design framework which is taking place despite the current economic downturn. [fig. 4 & 5] The final initiative was the Meanwhile London competition, launched in November 2010 with Property Week. This aimed to find (funded) temporary uses for three high-profile sites in the Royal Docks and Canning Town in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The aim of the project was to maintain momentum and engage the local community with wider development ideas.


Design for London

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4 Green Enterprise District concept (Design for London and London Development Agency)


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5 The London Heat Network (London Development Agency)


Design for London


6 Barking arboretum and housing project (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris) 7 The Folly, Barking Town Square (Muf)


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Town centre rejuvenation and local plan making Town centres are the focus of civic life. They are transport nodes, and commercial retail and leisure venues. They define neighbourhoods and therefore the spatial and social geography of London. The decline of these centres was not being solved by superficial ‘improvement schemes’. Design for London considered the problem on a structural basis. It coordinated delivery agencies within deliberately loose but long-term urban strategies, each tailored to the needs of particular localities. It commissioned design teams and acted as the intelligent client. Finally it identified the gaps and implemented small-scale projects to complete the work on the ground and leave behind a sustainable future for these (usually very deprived) communities. This was urban curation rather than urban planning. [fig. 11] Barking Barking was an area blighted by disjointed public spaces, poor-quality social housing blocks, and the decline of local manufacturing industry. It lacked any sense of urban coherence.

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham commissioned Design for London to assist in the preparation and implementation of a town centre strategy and a series of projects (with Muf, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and Witherford Watson Mann), including a new town square, estate improvements, and housing and cultural developments. The final project was the design competition to connect Barking town centre to Abbey Green, the River Roding and the Gascoigne Estate. The Barking projects have won several design awards. Among others, Barking Central was Overall Winner in the New London Awards (2010), where it also won an award for Placemaking, and it received a commendation at the World Architecture Festival (2010). Barking Town Square won the European Prize for Urban Public Space (2008) as well as the London Planning Award for Best New Public Square (2009/2010). [fig. 6–10]


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8–10 Managed activities to colonise public space (Muf)


11 (previous page) Barking Abbey Green competition. (Architects’ Journal)

Design for London

Methods 25

12 Dalston: lots of small-scale interventions collectively make a place (Muf)


Dalston For Dalston the catalyst was the development of the new East London Line. The GLA and the London Borough of Hackney seized the opportunity to deck over existing railway lines and created a new square, transport interchange, a new public library and archive, and more than 500 new homes, shops and restaurants (with Muf, J&L Gibbons, John McAslan, and EXYZT). Design for London coordinated the project, selected the design teams and development partner, and steered the project through planning and design. [fig. 12] Development alone does not necessarily ensure a successful neighbourhood. Making Space in Dalston was an initiative to improve Dalston’s open spaces and thus complete the development. This was an umbrella for a number of micro public realm interventions to ‘join up’ the existing fabric of Dalston with the new housing, public square and station at Dalston Junction. Projects were drawn up in close collaboration with local residents, businesses and organisations. The significance of the project was to use public realm interventions within a structured programme to ‘finish the job’, rather than as a detached programme. Making Space for Dalston has been recognised by a series of awards including the Landscape Institute Awards (2010, 2011), the Hackney Design Awards (2010), Berlin’s Urban Intervention Awards (2010) and the London Planning Awards (2010). The Landscape Institute Awards recognised the Making Space in Dalston initiative under its Communication

Design for London

and Presentation category, awarded to ‘individuals and organisations whose vision leads the way in creating innovative and dynamic landscape’. The Hackney Design Awards gave an award to The Barn and Eco Garden, designed by J&L Gibbons, Muf and EXYZT at the Eastern Curve as part of the Making Space in Dalston initiative, and completed on site in 2013. The judges said: ‘The Barn and Eco Gardens is an excellent example of how an abandoned piece of land can be affordably transformed into an asset. Every inch has a strong sense of community spirit.’ Berlin’s Urban Intervention Awards recognised the overall impact of the scheme’s Barn and Eco Garden, which was on the final shortlist and was exhibited at Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport. The Barn and Eco Garden project was also shortlisted for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s 2011 London Planning Awards. Deptford Design for London funded and organised the Deptford Creekside Design Charrette (with Creative Processes), which took place in June 2008. This weeklong event engaged local stakeholders to develop a long overdue vision for the Deptford Creek area. Design for London and Creative Process, with help from David Kohn Architects, published a report on the charrette proposals in February 2009. The aim was to feed the above work into the review of planning policy for the area, led by the adjoining boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham. [fig. 13]

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Commissioning and procurement for St Andrew’s Hospital, Bow One of the greatest impediments to good design in the built environment is poor procurement and weak clients in the public sector. Design for London worked on a simple mantra: ‘Good architects with a knowledgeable and determined client can produce good places and buildings.’ Design for London took over the procurement and briefing of all design teams working on public projects for the Greater London Authority and the London Development Agency, and often Transport for London as well. Design for London created transparent competitive selection processes, playing an essential part in securing high-quality designs and helping raise the level of design thinking and practice across the entire portfolio of GLA projects. A project that illustrates the importance of the client role is the old St Andrew’s Hospital in Bow. Design for London stepped in to manage the procurement of a major residential development partner for the London Development Agency. A joint venture was established with Barratt Homes,

and Design for London persuaded them to bring in a new master planning team and to separately commission three architectural practices (Allies and Morrison, Maccreanor Lavington, and Glen Howells) to work on the scheme. Design for London provided the design coordination. The development incorporates high design and environmental standards. Fifty per cent of the housing will be designated as affordable. Phase 1 of Allies and Morrison’s residential scheme at St Andrew’s Hospital, Bow, has won two awards: a Building for Life Award (2010), chosen by CABE, the Home Builders Federation and Design for Homes, and a Brick Award for Best Housing Development of 26+ Units (2011). This model was subsequently adopted elsewhere by Barratts at Barrier Park East and Dalston Junction.


13 Deptford Creekside Design Charrette (Design for London)


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The Mayor’s 100 Public Spaces The public realm and public open space are critical ingredients in any humane city. Development pressures, densification and rising temperatures make these civic spaces all the more important. It is only really the public sector and city government that can provide and maintain them for present and future generations. Design for London researched, established and implemented the Mayor’s 100 Public Spaces programme, which included the following. Exhibition Road Exhibition Road (with Dixon Jones, Transport for London, and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) created a high-quality pedestrian environment in keeping with some of London’s premier cultural institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London. Animated by bold paving, imaginative lighting, tree planting and public art, the designs strengthen the link between South Kensington station to the south and Hyde Park. The project opened in 2012. [fig.14] Brixton Central Square Brixton Central Square (with Gross Max) links three existing spaces that form the heart of Brixton. It creates a high-quality public space of local and international importance that expresses the significance of Brixton as part of the multicultural fabric of London. Work on the square started in June 2009 and was completed in June 2010. Associated highway works on Brixton Hill included the removal of the A3 gyratory system.

Bankside Urban Forest Bankside Urban Forest (with Witherford Watson Mann) epitomises the Design for London approach. The area south of Tate Modern is fragmented and difficult to navigate, but culturally rich. The project is based around a series of many very smallscale interventions, each the subject of intense consultation with the local community. Implemented incrementally, they collectively form a rich mosaic of new micro spaces that allow the pedestrian to explore and delight in this hidden piece of city. [fig.15 & 16] London’s Great Outdoors developed the public spaces programme into a manifesto for public space for the Mayor following political change in 2008. It refashioned previous programmes into a devolved, local approach and contains a commitment from the Mayor to champion their improvement as part of a strategy for spatial investment. This strategy sets out the criteria that will guide mayoral agencies when making decisions about where to invest in public realm improvements. The Mayor’s Great Spaces initiative is part of London’s Great Outdoors: an ambitious programme aiming to ensure that public space projects are designed and delivered to the highest standard, improving public spaces in partnership with the boroughs.

14 Exhibition Road (Dixon Jones) 15 Union Street, Bankside (Witherford Watson Mann)


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Methods 31


16 Bankside Urban Forest: incremental implementation (Witherford Watson Mann Architects)


The London Green Grid Strategic landscape planning was used as a long-term approach to the provision of a strong spatial, environmental and ecological framework for the densification of London. The East London Green Grid was a carefully researched initiative providing a range of proposals for formal and informal recreational uses and landscapes, promoting healthy living and aiming to amplify the public enjoyment of the outdoors. It will also help East London adapt to climate change by combating rising temperatures, reducing flood risk and enhancing surface water management. The project aims are to create, improve, manage and maintain high-quality green infrastructure for people and wildlife. It surveys and assesses existing, often ‘left over’ open spaces through detailed research, and aims to redesign and enhance them, connect them, put in management plans and

Design for London

overlay the grid with pedestrian and cycle routes. The programme is managed and implemented through a network of local partners and is being built incrementally as funds become available. To date approximately £65m has been committed on around 100 projects. The East London Green Grid won the Landscape Institute’s President’s Medal and Strategic Landscape Project Award (2008) and initiated the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Thames Gateway Parklands Programme and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Greening the Gateway strategy. [fig. 17–20]

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17 The London Green Grid (Design for London)


Design for London


18 Neglected landscape in East London (Design for London)

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19 Rainham Marshes wildlife centre, a Green Grid project (Design for London)


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The Olympics, the legacy and the Fringe

addresses the massive physical severance caused by road and rail corridors. [fig. 23]

Design for London participated in selection juries for a number of Olympic projects and had an ongoing role advising the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on proposals for the Olympic Park. In partnership with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), Design for London ran an independent design review panel for Olympic projects. It played a pivotal role in focusing attention on the relationship between the Olympics and the legacy, and formulated the initial strategies to embed the site into the local area. [fig. 21 & 22] Design for London further developed the proposals for the long-term integration of the Olympic site into the surrounding local neighbourhoods through six Olympic Fringe master plans. These are not conventional ‘end state’ master plans, but rather tactical plans followed by sitespecific research. Each one sought out 50–70 small-scale initiatives or physical projects that could connect the surroundings into the post-Olympic developments in the Park. Their focus was to make a real change in the lives of local people in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. They attracted funding and are now in the process of incremental implementation.

Hackney Wick and Fish Island Hackney Wick and Fish Island strengthens the connections between the communities of Tower Hamlets and Hackney and the Olympic zone. Hackney Wick is currently characterised by a unique mix of industry, artists and cultural richness. Fundamental to the vision for Hackney Wick was to understand what makes a local town centre, and to investigate and promote existing creative and cultural activities which are already thriving in the area.

Northern Olympic Fringe For example, the Northern Olympic Fringe master plan focused on Leyton and Maryland. This strengthens the existing town centres and ensures that existing communities benefit fully in socioeconomic terms from the investment in the Olympic site and Stratford City. It also

Lea River Park The Lea River Park is a major new landscape project for East London, which will create a green ‘spine’ on the waterways of the Lower Lea Valley, connecting the Olympic Park to the Thames. Design for London worked with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) and the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority to research, develop and deliver this project (with 5th Studio), which also contributes to the delivery of the East London Green Grid. The first phase will include three elements: a major new destination at East India Dock Basin on the Thames, a revitalised Three Mills Green, and the ‘fatwalk’ connecting these projects with a generous, continuous linear open space.

20 The East London Green Grid: projects and transport connections (Design for London)


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21 & 22 The Olympic master plans: games mode and legacy (Allies and Morrison)


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23 The Fringe master plans. (Design for London)

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Policy and guidance

Exhibitions and campaigns

Streetscape Guidance provides advice on improving and managing the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN), and promotes consistency of approach and excellence in design and workmanship. The document highlights relevant policies and guidance, sets out specific design principles and guidelines including a palette of materials and products, and acts as a best practice resource for the London boroughs and other partners. The original 2005 document was substantially revised and republished in January 2009. Housing is, and will remain, one of the most intractable challenges facing London. There is an acute shortage, and despite the property boom of 1998–2008, internal space and external design quality have deteriorated. Design for London’s Housing Design Guide has been incorporated into the London Plan, adopted by the Homes and Community Agency, and incorporated into supplementary planning guidance by many authorities both in London and nationally. The guidance goes beyond space standards and considers the quality of internal and external space from the viewpoint of the ultimate consumers, those who will live in the properties. It is generally considered the most influential intervention in the housing field since the Parker Morris Standards of the 1960s. [fig. 24 & 27]

London is a city of unexpected juxtapositions, a patchwork of different neighbourhoods, each with its own identity and character. Design for London sponsored and curated exhibitions and collaborated with artists, writers and photographers to explore different ways of seeing the city and different perceptions of its complexity. This cross-disciplinary mode of curation contributed to the studio’s creative methods of live urban research and practice, and worked to engage Londoners to think about architectural and urban design in their city. City Visions 1910 | 2010: Urban Planning in Berlin, London, Paris and Chicago 1910 and 2010 This exhibition was first displayed at the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin’s Architecture Forum, and brought to London by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, TU Berlin and Design for London. The exhibition was a celebration of the centenary of the General Town Planning Exhibition in Berlin and was subsequently relocated to the Lighthouse in Glasgow through Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) and the Scottish Government.


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Methods 43

24 Design for London projects (Design for London)


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25 London Open City Exhibition, Somerset House, London, 2008 (Design for London)


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AJ/RPS Urban Design Scholarship Programme The AJ/RPS Urban Design Scholarship Programme was an open competition for young architects or designers to participate in the work of Design for London and to improve their understanding of urban design. The scholars spent time with Design for London, attending project reviews and design meetings, and also developed a research project of their own. The three scholars selected were Fiona Scott (Gort Scott Architects), Joe Morris (Duggan Morris Architects) and Alicia Pivaro.

London Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo In 2009 Design for London were commissioned by the London Development Agency to curate (with Isabel Allen and Studio Myerscough) the London Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. The result was a portable and highly visual exhibition designed to capture the essence of London and to challenge preconceived ideas on London. The exhibition won critical acclaim from, among others, Thomas Heatherwick and John Sorrell, chair of the Design Council. [fig. 26]

London Festival of Architecture The London Festival of Architecture is the biggest event of its kind in the world. Design for London was a principal sponsor of the 2008 festival events, including:

Talks and events A series of talks and events about the future of London’s public realm were also organised by Design for London. Contributors included Richard Rogers, Pasqual Maragall, Jaime Lerner, Majora Carter, Torange Khonsari, Lottie Child and Ruth Padel.

—  London’s Largest Living Room: The courtyard at Somerset House was transformed into London’s largest living room, complete with outsize furniture, giant television screen and plenty to read. Visitors were invited to make themselves at home. —  If I Could Design London I Would ... Design for London exhibition that showcased hundreds of ideas for London put forward by architects and members of the public. —  London Open City: The London Open City exhibition at Somerset House, which received over 13,000 visitors. It has since travelled to Bucharest for the 2008 Bucharest Architecture Biennial. [fig. 25]

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26 The London Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo


Design for London


Design for London’s work has been exhibited at the Shanghai Expo, which it also curated, and at various venues in London. Since 2008, Bishop has delivered 21 keynote addresses and 17 lectures on Design for London throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

Exhibitions London Open City, Somerset House (2008) The London Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo (2010) London Festival of Architecture, various locations (2008, 2010)

Keynote lectures Bucharest (Apr 2008) Belfast (May 2008) Istanbul (Sep 2008) Tel Aviv (Dec 2008) Shanghai (Jan 2009) Abu Dhabi, UAE (Mar 2009) Ajman, UAE (Mar 2009) Nicosia, Cyprus (Apr 2009) Perm, Russia (Oct 2009) Bucharest (Nov 2009) Istanbul (Nov 2009) Zaandam, the Netherlands (Dec 2009)

Lisbon (May 2010) Shanghai (Jun 2010) Hamburg (Dec 2010) Ajman, UAE (Mar 2011) Katowice, Poland (May 2011) Taipei (Oct 2011) Dallas (Nov 2011) New York (Feb 2013) Copenhagen (Apr 2013)

Conference presentations Munich (Jun 2008) Hong Kong (Oct 2008) Paris (Apr 2009) Saint Petersburg (Sept 2009) Curitiba, Brazil (Feb 2010) Mumbai (Jul 2010) Beijing (Jul 2010) Vienna (Sep 2010) Stockholm (Nov 2010) Beijing (Feb 2011) Nicosia, Cyprus (Apr 2011) New York (Oct 2011) Bucharest (Feb 2012) Belgrade, Serbia (May 2012) ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands (Jun 2012) Como, Italy (Nov 2012) Brussels (May 2013)

Dissemination / Bibliography



Peter Bishop and Lesley Williams, The Temporary City. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House, 1961. John Leighton Chase, Margaret Crawford, and John Kaliski (eds.), Everyday Urbanism. New York: Monacelli Press, 2008. Stephen Marshall, Cities Design and Evolution. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2009.


27 Design for London publications (Design for London)


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List of projects pp. 48–49 List of 169 Design for London projects.

List of collaborators p. 51 List of 96 Design for London collaborators.

Selected related publications by the researcher(s) pp. 53–76 Meanwhile London: Royal Docks Site Life Competition [competition brief] (Nov 2010). pp. 77–110 Thames Gateway Parklands: Delivery Environmental Transformation (Nov 2010). pp. 111–212 London Housing Design Guide: Interim Edition (Aug 2010). p. 213 ‘Exemplar walks and exemplar talks’ [flyer] (Mar/Apr 2008).

Related writings by others Selected testimonials p. 216 Sarah Ichioka, ‘Re: Design for London’ [letter to Mayor Boris Johnson].

Selected journal articles p. 217 Ellis Woodman, ‘An agency to be cherished’. Building Design (29 Oct 2010): 2. pp. 218–219 Tobias Goevert, ‘Design for London: pour un urbanisme ambitieux’. Trans. Isabelle Przysucha. Les Cahiers de l’Institut d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme 149 (Dec 2008): 53–54. pp. 220–221 Merlin Fulcher, ‘Save Design for London: growing group of supporters call for survival of development-enabling body DfL, after government pulls plug on London Development Agency’. Architects’ Journal (25 Nov 2010): 8–9.

Bibliography 51

p. 222 Fran Tonkiss, ‘Design quangos’ famous last words’. Building Design (5 Nov 2010): 9. pp. 223–225 Richard Rogers, ‘Creating places for people – Transforming London’s public realm’. Urban Design 118 (spring 2011): 16–18. pp. 226–227 Mark Lemanski, ‘A place where we could go’. Urban Design 118 (spring 2011): 27–28. pp. 227–230 Oliver Wainwright, ‘The invisible menders’. Urban Design 118 (spring 2011): 28–31. p. 231 ‘Muf scheme for Whitechapel park traces both religious and secular’. Building Design (11 Mar 2011): 4. pp. 232–235 Frances Hedges, ‘Space to breathe’. Landscape (spring 2011): 24–27.

Selected online reviews p. 236 ‘Project to deliver sustainable communities lauded as top landscape scheme in the UK’. Landscape Institute (20 Nov 2008): p. 237 Sevra Davis, ‘Design Champions Needed’. Design and Society: Ideas and actions for a 21st century enlightenment (11 Nov 2010): p. 238 Will Hurst, ‘Design for London set to be absorbed into new mayoral body’. BD Online (15 Nov 2010): p. 239 David Rogers and Will Hurst, ‘Brady urges mayor to keep Design for London’. BD Online (19 Nov 2010): pp. 240–241 Will Hurst, ‘Star architects appeal to Boris to save Design for London’. BD Online (22 Feb 2011):

Selected newspaper articles pp. 242–243 Kieran Long, ‘Say goodbye to all this: the London Development Agency is to be abolished to save £156 million a year – so what will happen to its vital urban design and regeneration roles in the capital?’ London Evening Standard (3 Nov 2010): 36–37.


Bartlett Design Research Folios Founding editor: Yeoryia Manolopoulou Editors: Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Peg Rawes, Luis Rego Content: Š the authors Graphic design: objectif Typesetting: Axel Feldmann, Siaron Hughes, Alan Hayward Proofreading: Wendy Toole

Design for London

Bartlett Design Research Folios

Bloom by Alisa Andrasek and José Sanchez House of Flags by AY Architects Montpelier Community Nursery by AY Architects Design for London by Peter Bishop

Gorchakov’s Wish by Kreider + O’Leary Video Shakkei by Kreider + O’Leary Megaframe by Dirk Krolikowski (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)

Regeneration of Birzeit Historic Centre by Palestine Regeneration Team PerFORM by Protoarchitecture Lab 55/02 by sixteen*(makers)

Seasons Through the Looking Glass by CJ Lim

Envirographic and Techno Natures by Smout Allen

Agropolis by mam

Hydrological Infrastructures by Smout Allen

River Douglas Bridge by DKFS Architects

Alga(e)zebo by mam

Lunar Wood by Smout Allen

Open Cinema by Colin Fournier and Marysia Lewandowska

Chong Qing Nan Lu Towers by mam

Universal Tea Machine by Smout Allen

ProtoRobotic FOAMing by mam, Grymsdyke Farm and REX|LAB

British Exploratory Land Archive by Smout Allen and Geoff Manaugh

2EmmaToc / Writtle Calling by Matthew Butcher and Melissa Appleton

The ActiveHouse by Stephen Gage Déjà vu by Penelope Haralambidou Urban Collage by Christine Hawley Hakka Cultural Park by Christine Hawley, Abigail Ashton, Andrew Porter and Moyang Yang House Refurbishment in Carmena by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects Refurbishment of Garcimuñoz Castle by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects

Banyoles Old Town Refurbishment by Miàs Architects Torre Baró Apartment Building by Miàs Architects Alzheimer’s Respite Centre by Níall McLaughlin Architects Bishop Edward King Chapel by Níall McLaughlin Architects Block N15 Façade, Olympic Village by Níall McLaughlin Architects

101 Spinning Wardrobe by Storp Weber Architects Blind Spot House by Storp Weber Architects Green Belt Movement Teaching and Learning Pavilion by Patrick Weber Modulating Light and Views by Patrick Weber

Design for London by Peter Bishop  
Design for London by Peter Bishop