On Friday 6th November, I attended my second industry talk by Andy Robinson in which he discussed the Agency, Futurecity.
Futurecity is a Arts and Culture Agency that act also as a commissing agency. The aim of Futurecity is to help incorporate design in the built environment and try to work with anyone currently constructing in order to create something alternative. They work mainly in three strands, broking cultural partnerships, conceive, generate and deliver major art projects and create cultural strategy.
Robinson then discussed some of the projects Futurecity have taken on board in the last few years. Notably they have worked with Richard Wilson who created the installation sculpture Slipstream for Heathrow Airport. The piece was based of how a plane glides and floats in the air. They have worked with the painter Claire Woods to create a piece for Grovesner Waterside and are currently working with Crossrail and partnering with each station to involve a variety of art pieces.
The Public Art programme they run is currently working on a development around Trumpington in Cambridge. They are working with a number of different artists and designers to make the development more community engaged along with encouraging biodiversity. This involved such artists as London Fieldworks who created a super kingdom bug hotel, Neils Norman who designs adventure play and projects across the part and also Shawn Edwards who is creating a mural based on the contemporary history of the location. The community engagement project is a space for residents to come together and its also centred around an artist in resident who lives on the development and encourages workshops and public recreational spaces such as a pop up pub and cafe.
Futurecity commision certain projects as well. They have recently worked with Magnum Photo Agency to document communities and local life around London. They have also encouraged the project of a gallery space and cafe on the two top floors of Foyles new flagship store in London. Work by David Levene and Mark Titchner has already featured.
After a question from the crowd, Andy talked about a project with Anglia Ruskin University in which students aimed to link more into the city. They wanted to create a piece that enabled people to walk around the city whilst being immersed in musical sounds. It became a pedestrian symphony and took the form of an audio walk.
I really enjoyed Andy’s presentation. He seems incredibly committed to putting art into our day to day lives, whether that be simply but also quite boldly. Futurecity’s idea of bringing art into a new housing development really caught my eye and it was inspiring that they felt art and creativity can bring communities together. I was intrigued from start to finish and this is definitely a company I want to know more about in the future.