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The London Salon: Cultural Infrastructure

Last month one of our second year students, Molly Judge presented with David Hills from DSDHA at Theatrum Mundi’s London Salon event discussing Cultural Infrastructure at The Museum of London. Theatrum Mundi invited DSDHA, We Made That and Assemble to present design strategies for new ways to build infrastructures for cultural life in the city.


Building on a two-year long research into Cultural Infrastructure, DSDHA worked collaboratively with Metabolic Cities for the Design Think Tank module last year, addressing issues raised by the announcement of the Mayor’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan.

The work presented by Molly and David at the salon was a collaborative research project where students Louie Austen, Charlotte Hurley, Molly Judge, Lloyd Martin and Sheenwar Siti worked with Deborah Saunt, Roberta Marcaccio and Alistair Blake from DSDHA, under the theme of Cultural Infrastructure. The Metabolic Cities research project resulted in devising a city-wide spatial strategy that considered the much needed spaces for cultural participation and production in the city, at a time when they are considerably under threat.

Metabolic Cities devised the strategy ‘MeSS’, a viable way of tweaking existing planning policies and taxation schemes to ensure that the vulnerable spaces required for culture are not priced out of the city. The MeSS spatial framework of small to medium scale flexible spaces (ideal for studios, workshops and rehearsal spaces) stitches between transport infrastructure, new developments and public space to favour a more permissive and playful environment that preserves London’s cultural vibrancy as well as its economical and social well being.

Since the Design Think Tank module last year, both DSDHA and Metabolic Cities have continued their research into Cultural Infrastructure, and can be followed on the Metabolic Cities twitter page @DTT_MC and DSDHA’s Cultural Infrastructure research page