November 1, 2019 - Mansions of the Future - Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons
e-flux Architecture
November 1, 2019
November 1, 2019

Mansions of the Future

St John the Baptist Church. Design: Sam Scorer. Photo courtesy of Si Phili.

Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons
An opening season of activity to mark Mansions of the Future's legacy year
November 1, 2019–February 29, 2020

Mansions of the Future
15-16 St Marys Street
Lincoln LN5 7EQ
United Kingdom

Mansions of the Future

Mansions of the Future is pleased to announce Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons—an opening season of activity to mark the project’s legacy year (2019–2020).

Working with artists and local citizens Mansions of the Future is an arts and cultural hub and unique public programme which privileges social, site-specific and collaborative ways of working.

Situated in Lincoln, an ancient city that holds manuscripts of the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest—key texts in the articulation of human rights, the project addresses the relationship between art, culture and democracy through national and international artist’s commissions.

Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons
Urban Form: Social Architecture & The Commons is a season of international public realm commissions, talks, workshops, communal lunches and family activities. The programme intends to engage artists, architects, academics, students and local citizens in conversation and debate around the past, present and future of Lincoln’s social and civic life, within the context of the local built environment.

Working with Lincoln University’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment the programme will consider the legacy of social housing developments defined by social democratic ideals. Such as the Ermine Estate in Lincoln—an ambitious, interwar council housing effort which today makes up ten percent of the city’s built up area. On the estate, ON/OFF; an interdisciplinary design studio based in Berlin, will be exploring the potentials and possibilities of public spaces through the development of collaboratively built architecture made for and with Ermine Community Action Group and citizens of the Ermine.

Newly commissioned aerial drone footage of the Modernist-influenced Ermine Estate as well as the estate’s iconic church of St John the Baptist designed by Lincolnshire born architect Sam Scorer offers new perspectives on a civic commitment to dignified and aspirational architecture. Through a look at the "Ermine Community Archive," historian and geographer Andrew Jackson will offer an insight into a project once billed as "the church of tomorrow." It was under his iconic sweeping "hyperbolic paraboloid" roof that Scorer envisioned new ways of coming together and being together.

As part of the monthly communal lunches series collaborative artist duo Sophie Chapman and Kerri Jefferis will share their research around spatial justice, the undercommons and (re)production of public space over food and around a purpose built modular dining table.

In partnership with Lincolnshire Film Society and The Venue; artist, filmmaker and cultural activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman will present Here for Life (2019)—the culmination of a longstanding collaboration with theatre-maker and Cardboard Citizens founder Adrian Jackson. The uncommon story told on common ground by ten Londoners. All have lives shaped by loss and love, trauma and bravery, struggle and resistance. Here for Life had its world premiere in the Cineasti Del Presente international competition of the Locarno Film Festival (receiving a Special Mention) and will be shown in Lincoln alongside an artist’s talk and performance workshops led by featured actors.

Further contributors to the programme include director and writer Paul Sng whose films include Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle & Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain; artist, writer and academic Cathy Wade, whose work is concerned with the distribution of art and the creation of commons; Alicja Roglaska, whose Desire Lines commission explores the heritage of Lincolnshire’s Co-operative movement and Ian Waites—artist & Senior Lecturer in the history of art and design at the University of Lincoln. Waites’ current research explores the landscapes, histories, dreams and memories of the postwar English council estate.

Full programme details can be found online at

Mansions of the Future is supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund, Lincoln Cultural and Arts Partnership and partners across the region.

Mansions of the Future
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