Student Competition – A Folly For London

Students wanted for free-to-enter competition for satirical architecture as protest to the proposed Garden Bridge

As public engagement & political protest against the proposed private river crossing I would greatly appreciate it if you could inform any of your students or colleagues who may be interested in A Folly For London.

Entries are sought from all for architecture of the absurd to highlight the true folly of the Garden Bridge, an idea which came to Joanna Lumley in a dream & has been pushed through a procurement process which is now under investigation by her friend Boris Johnson. The entries received so far have been creative, funny and cutting & it would be wonderful if any of your students, from all creative disciplines, would be interested in applying & helping raise awareness about this deeply undemocratic project going ahead.

The deadline is the end of August, at which point the judges (Owen Hatherley, Natalie Bennett & Martin Rowson) will look at all entries. Full details of the competition & site drawings can be found on the website www.afollyforlondon.co.uk alongside numerous articles from contributors including Gavin Stamp, Ian Martin, Ian Ritchie & Caroline Pidgeon. Coverage in The Guardian, Building Design, Architects’ Journal, Time Out and Londonist has led to great activity on social media which has really helped disseminate facts about the bridge into the public domain & open for discussion.

About The Garden Bridge

The Garden Bridge is a proposed crossing which will block historic views from the South Bank & Waterloo Bridge towards St. Pauls, & from the South Bank to Somerset House. It will cost £60m of public money & up to £3.5m p/a in maintenance in perpetuity. It is a PRIVATE project dressed up as public, which uses public finance & will put commercial units, queuing for 2,500 people & a corporate entertainment platform on what is currently South Bank public greenspace. It is right next to Waterloo Bridge and despite TfL spending huge sums it is in no way a piece of critical transport infrastructure. It has the pretense of being a greening project but is fundamentally greenwashing and causes far more harm than any small benefit. This tourist attraction & corporate entertainment space will frequently be closed to the public, has possibility of future ticketing, has no cycling access and will attract millions of new tourists to a part of London which is currently at saturation. All this while cuts are made to core national and regional services & while huge swathes of East London are calling out for new river crossings.

More information detailing the fundamental issues, which spread far wider than just relating to the Bridge itself and permeate what it is we want from modern politics, citizenship & our urban realm, can be found on the website and have been widely covered in the media. Full details of the competition can be found HERE. if you have any questions whatsoever, or want to talk about other ways you could involve your course or students, then please do get in touch.

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