November 14, 2017 - Theatrum Mundi - Publication of a report on Making Cultural Infrastructure
e-flux Architecture
November 14, 2017
November 14, 2017

Theatrum Mundi

Image from the Making Cultural Infrastructure report designed by Roddy Bow, Mike Lim & James Pockson.

Publication of a report on Making Cultural Infrastructure

Download the report hereWatch the film here.

Theatrum Mundi is an independent urban research centre that develops creative approaches to questions in the relationship between the design and cultures of cities.

From its inception in 2011, Theatrum Mundi has been concerned with the place of artistic and cultural labour in the city. It is at the heart of its research agenda is to interrogate the role of production and of display in the creation of an urban culture. From workshops on Social Movement and Music and Architecture, to debates like Can the Temporary leave a Trace?, challenges on Designing Politics, and series on Spaces for Literacy, Theatrum Mundi addresses conceptual and pragmatic concerns bridging academic inquiry, artistic practice, and architectural and urban contingency.

In its fifth year, Theatrum Mundi assembled 60 artists, writers, architects, and researchers, working with and in London’s urban cultural fabric, to address the following question: What are the infrastructural conditions for culture, and can they be designed into the city? The research convened roundtable discussions around three different modes of artistic production—performance, making, and virtual work—to explore the way that each is impacted differently by the social and spatial organisation of the city. This informed a design workshop in which four architectural practices sketched out and debated approaches to enriching London’s cultural capacity.

The report published online and in print today analyses the results of this research in three sections. Inhabiting Cultural Infrastructure reveals material, immaterial, and ecological infrastructural conditions that impinge upon the way artists use and inhabit space. Designing Cultural Infrastructure shows how architectural strategies can create active forms of infrastructure that do not constrain the forms that ‘culture’ can take. A Language for Cultural Infrastructure outlines a set of terms with which to stimulate critical debate in urban planning about the implications of different forms of infrastructure.

This latest report marks a step in an ongoing enquiry by Theatrum Mundi into cultural infrastructure. As it becomes an independent charity after 5 years growing within LSE Cities, the questions raised in this report will spark fresh directions in research, and provide a platform for debate with architects, artists, planners, and citizens.

Theatrum Mundi
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