AUNT-SUE & VivaCity
These two major research projects were funded under the EPSRC’s Sustainable Urban Environments programme.
Vivacity looked at issues of density, urban design, the 24 hour city and related quality of life. AUNT-SUE focused on accessibility, social inclusion and mobility with an emphasis son street design and pedestrian experience. Prof Graeme Evans led the AUNT-SUE consortium and led work on mixed-use design for VivaCity.
As an extension of the project, 2 artists were commissioned to work with the material generated from test bed research areas (e.g. Clerkenwell, King’s Cross, Sheffield). The artists Helen Bendon and Jess Thom contributed to discussions with the research teams and publications arising. The work was exhibited was part of London Architecture Festival (2008, 2010) and the London Architecture Biennale (Hooper’s Gallery, June 2006), an internationally recognised event. The audiences for event were in excess of 100,000 visitors. Bendon created three new works Skirting, Flight and Cheek by Jowl based on her time with the researchers. The work looks at various issues raised by the research teams, including high density living, street crime and continuity of activities in the city fringe. Bendon also expanded the research field including the London biographer Peter Ackroyd; sociologist Zukin; and Godard’s ‘One or Two Things I know About Her’ (1967) to draw on wider discourses around urban development. The book ‘Designing Sustainable Cities’, co-edited by Evans, brings together all of the work in a comprehensive approach to looking at sustainability in the urban environment. Bendon’s chapter focuses on interdisciplinarity and questions some fundamental design solution approaches from the perspective of an artist in residence on the project.