September 18, 2015

Unity Culture Club: On Your Radar – 18.09.15

Here’s your weekly co. mailer, featuring a host of handpicked recommendations from the left-field of London’s arts and culture world.

Lock down your aerials…


Open House is billed as the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design, offering a rare peek behind the doors of some of London’s most famous buildings.

The 800-odd venues, normally kept away from prying eyes, include private homes, government buildings, historic sites and educational establishments. It’s not just about being nosy, there are loads of walks and tours to bring the buildings alive and a focus on addressing issues facing the city.

The architecture and spaces of our city are a fundamental reflection of our society and culture. The buildings we design and build today, and those from the past that we protect, will play a significant role in how our city and our society evolve in the future.

London faces many challenges in the coming years, including the boom in demand for housing, the pressure on our green and open spaces, and the need for more transport infrastructure. This year, Open House tackles the theme of ‘Revealing’, uncovering the potential solutions to these issues affecting our built environment, and, amazingly, all for free.

WHERE? Across London

WHEN? 19th & 20th September

See the quirkiest venues here


London Design Festival is around the corner, and is again set to transform the city. A major feature of the event, the Landmark Project, comes this year from Alex Chinneck, renowned for elevating everyday objects and scenarios to surreal monuments, transforming the familiar into the extraordinary. For this year’s Festival, he has created A Bullet from a Shooting Star, an inverted pylon at Greenwich Peninsula, testament to the site’s rich industrial history.

The city is populated with Design Districts, areas where there are distinct concentrations of design activity and events that can be traversed easily on foot. Each District is organised locally and independently under the umbrella of the London Design Festival. This year there will be seven official Design Districts spread across the capital, with Unity sitting squarely within the Clerkenwell Design Quarter.

With a two week string of events across the capital, we’ve pulled out a couple of our favourites further in this piece.

WHERE? Across London

WHEN? 19th until 27th September

See the full programme here


Sam Roberts’ fascinating tours offer the opportunity to uncover London’s signwriting heritage. Open your eyes, look up and discover ‘Ghostsigns’ (like the one above), the fading remains of hand-painted advertising on walls.

For London Design Festival, Better Letters and Ghostsigns are bringing a meandering exploration of the graphic design and typography of previous centuries. These events are taking place as a part of the Bankside Design District programme of events.

WHERE? Bankside

WHEN? 21st September

Find out more


Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale have worked with British tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles to create an installation spanning the bridge between Medieval and Renaissance galleries at the V&A.

Drawn to the visual above, we’re looking forward to seeing the installation, titled ‘placed in the abyss’. An experience-led transparent acrylic arch draws on its surroundings, both in inspiration and material, and will provide a further reason to visit the V&A for this year’s London Design Festival.

The V&A will also boast a collaboration between Faye Toogood and Kvadrat, where visitors will be invited to explore the museum in a specially-designed collection of foam coats, incorporating sewn in maps, that guide wearers to a further ten specially-commissioned Faye Toogood garments located throughout the museum.

WHERE? V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

WHEN? 19th until 27th September

See preview here


Covent Garden invites French artist Charles Pétillon to present his first public art installation – and his first ever live work outside of France – 100,000 giant white balloons fill the grand interior of the 19th Century Market Building.

The artist is best known for Invasions, a series of arresting sculptures which challenge perceptions of everyday scenes by filling the likes of derelict houses, basketball courts and even cars with hundreds of white balloons.

Weaving its way through the South Hall of the Grade II listed Market Building, Heartbeat stretches 54 metres in length and 12 metres in width, and incorporates gentle pulsating white light to symbolise the beating of a heart and reflect the history, energy and dynamism of the district. The installation is hoping to capture some of this energy under the hashtag #coventgardenballoons. From pictures already shared, this installation looks well worth a visit.

WHERE? Covent Garden Market Building, WC2E 8RD

WHEN? Until 27st September

Find out more

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