From transitional to transformative urbanism

20 June 2012
14:00 – 20:00

King’s Cross, London

As part of the learning from Place programme, we are running a series of events curated by invited academicians to provide the opportunity to experiment and explore. This event was curated by Angela Koch (ImaginePlaces) in partnership with Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

Click below to view the outcome


Read Tim Stansfeld’s blog post about this event in Planning Magazine


Three Transect Walks and a Symposium

14:00 – 17:00 Three Walks

King’s Cross is an area of both seismic and incremental change. Each walk will provide a unique insight into different characteristics of change.

The aim is to look at each of the three areas for signs of:

• The nature of transitional and transformative uses and interventions as we find them
• Transitional uses and interventions that might evolve into a positive transformative force for the place

We invite you to experiment and play with the mobile technology in our pockets and bags, ready to capture and communicate your findings to the wider group by creating 3 large maps during the course of the afternoon. We have instant cameras, printers and other tools at hand.

Small groups of 6-8 participants begin their walk at Kings Place (Foyer), followed by a stroll through Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design before departing onto three different transect walks.

Walk 1: South through the Regent Quarter and back to the Granary
Led by John Worthington, Founder DEGW with offices in Crinan Street from 1991 – 2007 and
Marcus Wilshere, Director at Urban Initiatives, masterplanners for Regent Quarter. An area of incremental change, mixed use, new and existing buildings, young and established businesses.

Walk 2:West through King’s Cross Central to Somers Town and back to the Granary
Conceived as a comprehensive masterplan and now being built during a prolonged recession. King’s Cross Central is possibly the biggest ‘accessibly’ construction site in Europe. An area undergoing unprecedented transformation under the eyes of thousands of commuters and neighbours.
Angela Koch, ImaginePlaces, and Esther Caplin, Artist, Governor of Edith Neville Primary School/Somers Town and panel member of King’s Cross Voices, will lead on this walk through King’s Cross Central and neighbouring Somers Town.

Walk 3: North – An exploration of the hidden lands
Social housing and its regulations, representing both strong traditions and cultures, are at a moment of dramatic change. Led by Janet Sutherland, for many years director of Housing at LB Camden, we’ll explore how this change might be detectible.


18:00 – 20:00 Symposium: From Transitional to Transformative Urbanism

Urban planning and design in the 20th century was largely conceived as building afresh through comprehensive development and guided by big visions. Will the 21st century, in contracting economies, be more about the transitional or temporary urban intervention that may or may not become transformative hence identities of places will be shaped in a more incremental fashion? How would/does this impact on the way we work?

Three Themes:
• The Temporary City: Peter Bishop; Past Director of Planning and Environment, LB Camden, Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel, Joint author The Temporary City
• Toward Identity through Education: Geoffrey Makstutis, Director Architecture Spaces and Objects, Central Saint Martins
• Mobile technology and getting to know places: Richard Hulbert, Director Code Vanilla

Facilitated discussion


8.15pm Informal close to the evening at Somers Town Tea House

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