Press Release:
London Festival of Architecture 2016

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– LFA appoints Tamsie Thomson as Director

– London’s month-long, citywide celebration of architecture returns in June 2016 exploring the theme of ‘Community’

The annual London Festival of Architecture (LFA) – a month-long, citywide celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking and practice – will return to venues across the capital throughout June 2016.

The LFA has announced the appointment of Tamsie Thomson in the newly created role of Director.

As Director of RIBA London since 2009, Tamsie has overseen and initiated a number of projects and cultural programmes that promote architecture and support the 12,000+ RIBA London members. These include the annual Architecture Open, Open Studios and Regent Street Shop Windows projects, as well as the Student Mentorship programme and the Forgotten Spaces project and exhibition. Tamsie previously taught architecture at the University of Brighton and worked for both the Civic Trust and Shelter. In announcing Tamsie’s appointment, LFA Chair Patricia Brown said:

“I am delighted that London Festival of Architecture is to have its own permanent Director. This role reflects the increasingly important part the Festival plays in the life of our city and its architectural community. Tamsie shares my ambition for the festival and what it can achieve – we could not have a better, more experienced champion for London’s architectural talent.”

Commenting on her appointment, LFA Director Tamsie Thomson said:

“I am incredibly excited to be given this opportunity to be Director of the London Festival of Architecture. Architecture is as much about humanity as it is about function and practical solutions. I think London’s strength as the leading city for nurturing good practice and great design, rests with its people as well as its buildings. The LFA offers a really exciting opportunity to highlight this enormous pool of talent and ideas and how they impact on the city underpinning London’s role at the forefront of global architecture.”


Tamsie Thomson

The LFA programme is delivered with the support of New London Architecture and RIBA London, under the guidance of the LFA Board and Chair Patricia Brown. LFA highlights the key role that architecture plays in urban, cultural and social development, and its recognition as an instrumental force at national and international level.

In 2016 the LFA will explore the theme ‘Community’ and feature a programme of exhibitions and events organised by London’s leading architectural, cultural and academic institutions and practising architects, designers, curators and community groups.

The programme will respond to the theme by exploring the central role that architecture plays in developing ideas of community, even questioning its very definition. How will the enormous changes faced by London’s growth and the impact of issues such as climate change, technology, the under-supply of housing and record immigration affect the way we live and work together? How will we protect the existing in the face of the new and build real cohesive, sustainable places where people can live fulfilling lives, be cared for when they’re older or sick and inspired when they’re young. Architecture is the tool that can unlock our ability to create these communities for the long-term.

Expanding on the theme of Community for LFA 2016 Patricia Brown said:

“From the whirlwind changes in the demand for new workplaces to the ever-present dilemma of how we build enough homes for our growing, changing, population, a fundamental need is the sense of community that these places must nurture. The role of architecture in responding to these issues is a vital and important one and LFA 2016 will deliver a lively and inspiring debate, that can range from the more granular issue of physical growth, to the impact of global population shifts wrought by war and climate.”

LFA is a time for speculation, public debate and new ideas. An open call for architects, artists, designers, curators and community groups to participate in the festival and respond to the 2016 theme, including the RIBA London Open Studios, will be announced in January 2016.


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Notes to Editors

About Tamsie Thomson
After studying Architecture and Housing at Edinburgh College of Art, Tamsie worked at The Civic Trust and Shelter and, in 2006, received an MSc in City Design and Social Science at LSE. Her teaching career began at the University of Brighton, where she was a senior lecturer in architecture and was guest critic for London schools, including the Bartlett. As head of the CABE and RIBA-funded think tank, Building Futures, she lead on research into the future vision of cities and architecture, culminating in a number of papers, as well as the book – Building Happiness – published by Blackdog in 2008 and the community consultation tool The Building Futures Game.

As Director of RIBA London since 2009, Tamsie has overseen and initiated a number of projects and cultural programmes that promote architecture and the 12,000+ RIBA London members. This includes the annual Architecture Open, Open Studios and Regent Street Shop Windows projects, as well as the Student Mentorship programme and cross-disciplinary networking event, The Social. In 2010, she launched the Forgotten Spaces initiative and secured the RIBA as a key participant at international property fair MIPIM.

Interested in how practice and education intersect in design, Tamsie collaborated with A.O.C on Visualisations of the 21st Century, an initiative exploring responses to future pressures on the built environment, which they then adapted and taught at architecture schools across the UK, including at Sheffield, The Mac, the Bartlett and Oxford Brookes.

London Festival of Architecture
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate. Taking place throughout June, the annual festival provokes questions about the contemporary and future life of the city, and promotes positive change to its public realm. The city-wide programme is delivered by leading cultural and academic institutions alongside associated projects by practices and individuals.
#LFA2016; @LFArchitecture;

LFA Board members:
Chair: Patricia Brown, Director, Central,
Martyn Evans, Creative Director, U+I
Nick McKeogh, Chief Executive, New London Architecture
Peter Murray, Founder, London Festival of Architecture

LFA Programme partners:
Ambika P3, Architectural Association, The Architecture Foundation, Barbican Art Gallery, The Bartlett School of Architecture, British Council, The Building Centre, The Cass – London Metropolitan University, Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, Centre for London, Design Council, Design Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Garden Museum, Historic England, Institute of Contemporary Art, Kingston University, Landscape Institute, London Legacy Development Corporation, London Transport Museum, LSE Cities, Middlesex University, The Mosaic Rooms, Museum of London, National Trust, New London Architecture, RIBA, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal College of Art, Royal Parks, Serpentine Galleries, Siobhan Davies Dance, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Somerset House, Tate Modern, University of East London, University of Greenwich, University of Westminster, Victoria & Albert Museum.