Future Hoxton and Urban Harvest, is a three-week, two-part presentation focusing on the urban environment of Hoxton and celebrating how local communities can inform the development of their neighbourhood. Will Hodgson and Jan Kattein will build a large-scale model of the Hoxton area as part of an interactive community consultation project. Alongside this, internationally acclaimed and locally based artist Rut Blees Luxemburg will present new works from her urban harvest series.
Future Hoxton is an interactive consultation project exploring the local area of Hoxton, instigated by William Hodgson, Senior Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and Jan Kattein, director at Jan Kattein Architects. Future Hoxton encompasses community workshops, public events and a live, three-week model-building showcase; all exploring the immediate areas between Shoreditch Park and the Regent’s Canal in the north, Old Street in the south and Kingsland Road and the Geffrye Museum in the east.
Hoxton has undergone dramatic urban, economic and social transformation during the last twenty years. PEER is at the cultural and economic heart of Hoxton’s two wards, featuring the local street market, Shoreditch Library, Hoxton Post Office and Hoxton Hall. The development pressure on the area has been steadily increasing, with improved public transport links to the city centre and sustained growth of the creative and digital industries. Although included in Hackney’s emerging development plan, Hoxton has no specific planning or area guidance published by the Council.
Future Hoxton aims to develop innovative and inclusive proposals for the area, through workshops and public events. These proposals will be realised in 3D by an architectural model maker, who will produce a large-scale model on-site at PEER. The model will be created in the gallery’s window and used as a tool for public events and a test-bed for urban development. The model will allow for dynamic new proposals for the area while showing the existing buildings and streets. Supporting events will be open to all audiences and will focus on homes, work and recreation.
The information gathered from the consultation project will be submitted as part of the local plan making process to influence both Future Shoreditch and Hackney LP33, which will define the future profile of the neighbourhood.
Urban Harvest is a new body of work by Rut Blees Luxemburg, presenting the artist’s latest preoccupation with the upkeep and neglect of horticulture in urban spaces.
East London is a scene of intense transformation and evolving interests. There are many new towering developments in the vicinity of the ‘digital roundabout’ of Old Street, which contrast with the slow re-emergence of nature, manifest in city allotments and urban gardening. Urban Harvest is an ongoing field study that brings together analogue photographs of an urban grape vine plant growing on the side of a local corner shop in the shadow of a satellite dish. Here, it is flourishing, despite viticultural indifference and concrete photographs of fragments of vines, in different stages of the yearly cycle, which explore the lesson of the vine. For Urban Harvest the British poet Douglas Park has written a specially commissioned Vinetrilologue. “City centre and forest clearing — altogether pounding out their very own real live telltale heartbeat and pulse rate.”
Rut Blees Luxemburg, May 2018
To celebrate the final day of artist Rut Blees Luxemburg's exhibition URBAN HARVEST at PEER, the poet Douglas Park gave a special public reading of his poem, Vinetrilologue. With thanks to Zed Nelson who shot this footage on 14 July 2018 as part of his ongoing film portrait of Hoxton Street (2014–).
William Hodgson has been teaching at the Bartlett School of Architecture since 1996, after completing his studies at Manchester Met and UCL. He started his own architectural office in 2002 and has published written works concerning public housing and urban communities. Hodgson considers the relationship between design work and teaching to be symbiotic and has recently completed a project designed and almost entirely constructed by himself with two others. His current research is focused on inner London (specifically Hoxton) and how principles of user led construction can help address the current housing shortage in the capital.
Dr Jan Kattein is a designer with 16 years experience working on a range of projects at the intersection between architecture and the city. Before setting up his own studio he worked at Jestico + Whiles and Peter Barber Architects where he was project architect for the multiple award-winning Donnybrook housing project in Bow and the £20 Mio. Tanner Street Quarter in the Thames Gateway. He has worked with Camden since 2005 and has provided innovative space management training to more than 200 LA housing officers throughout London. Kattein was appointed lecturer in Architecture and Engagement in 2015. He lectures, exhibits and publishes worldwide. His book The Architecture Chronicle, Diary of an Architectural Practice was recently published by Ashgate.
Rut Blees Luxemburg studied Political Science in Duisburg, Germany, before attending the London College of Printing to complete her BA in Photography in 1993. She graduated with an MA in Photography from the University of Westminster in 1996. Her work as an artist and photographer concerns the representation of the city and the phenomenon of the urban, combining formats from large-scale photographic work, through public art installations and operatic mise-en-scène. Recent projects include: Silver Forest (2016) an architectural installation on the western façade of Westminster City Hall; and London Dust (2011–13). The artist has exhibited widely throughout the UK, including the solo exhibition, Phantom, at Tate Liverpool in 2003 and the London Underground commission at Terminal 4, Heathrow Airport, titled Piccadilly’s Peccadilloes. She is Reader in Urban Aesthetics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art.
Funding for the model maker is generously provided by the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture Research Fund.