The post-games development of the Olympic Park may yet trigger controversies but its gardens and landscapes will surely delight everyone. Besides blooming parks there are lots of going on in East London – like Canning Town Caravanserai (CTC), London Pleasure Gardens or this week the Conference Olympic Art Review - London 2012 Olympic Park & East London Art Projects. The discussion is about the role of art, culture and architecture as catalysts for change in shaping local identity in projects in the five Olympic boroughs and how art and culture-led approaches can provide wider social and economic benefits for people, places and communities. read more…
Three young stakeholders make a contribution to the debate – not in a conference room or on a blooming field but in a former brownfield. They all work for CTC and tell about their motivations.
Most interesting for Elena Caruso is the aspect of redevelopment of urban spaces, what she had already coped during her final architect thesis work at Sapienza University in Rome. “Caravanserai has obviously great potential, it can really become a new space for the community as it was only a void before starting the whole process. Personally I have been able to learn a lot from working constantly on site, understanding how the design faces reality of construction. Working with recycled materials and finding new ways of ‘giving life’ to unused objects shows how much we can get from what we didn’t think was important anymore, and this also can be extended to the whole Caravanserai meaning itself. I am curious about how the site will come alive in the near future.”
Kingsley Koranteng has been excited about gaining the chance to work for Innovation Imperative, since going to Ghana and Spain to assist in environmental and functional designs within the two countries. CTC will help him in future endeavours as he continues in his architecture profession: “There is a lack of retail and visual pleasure within the Canning town area. So the project is useful and exciting as it would be a beneficial to the community and a potential boost culture within the area. The CTC is an innovative scheme that has inspired a young hopeful like me, to make a mark within my community. The hands on approach to the design idea is what has attracted me most to assisting in the project.“
The landscape architect Amy Strong wants to be part of something that encourages this community involvement and the creation of a place that has a sense of importance for every individual that uses and visits it, especially due to the fact that the spaces would have otherwise been left as unsightly brownfield sites. “I am passionate about how we use outdoor space and how the design of an area can create an exciting place to spend time in, live, or work in. With the emphasis on creating a community based environment that is run by fellow members of the community, a sustainable way of maintaining the site can be achieved, as these people will become proud of the space they have helped to create and are therefore less likely to be faced with issues of vandalism or anti-social behavior, like we see in many of our public spaces across the city.”
Like the three Londoners Ibrahim Buhari, CTC’s site manager, shows, what it means to co-ordinate what happens around theOlympic Park
. Realise an idea, development and design. A conference may explores the communication between aesthetic, social and political constructions in the production of artistic concepts and architectural ideas within the challenge of architectural and environmental regeneration by discussing it – CTC does it in process.