8.6. LFA2024 Symposium: On Architectural Acts of Care

8.6. LFA2024 Symposium: On Architectural Acts of Care

What is our relationship with care in relation to the spaces we inhabit? What role does collective action play in shaping these environments? ‘Architectural Acts of Care’ delves into these questions, offering a unique perspective on the dynamic interaction between individuals and their built surroundings during the London Festival of Architecture 2024.

The symposium will include presentations from Vapaa Collective, Fitzrovia Noir and Glenkerry House resident Katie John. The event will culminate in a panel discussion, moderated by Samir Pandya.


Vapaa Collective (Iines Karkulahti, Charlotte Nyholm, and Meri Wiikinkoski)
Vapaa Collective is a creative alliance founded in 2019 by architects Iines Karkulahti, Charlotte Nyholm, and Meri Wiikinkoski. The collective engages in discussions surrounding the holistic societal impacts of the environmental crisis, with a particular focus on human environments and the construction industry. Through their interdisciplinary approach, they merge theoretical and design work into artistic practice, envisioning innovative and regenerative environments. Vapaa Collective’s expertise spans design, writing, lecturing, curation, and facilitating workshops on urban transformations.

Fitzrovia Noir (Garry Hunter and Suzanne Harb)
Established in 2008 by visual artists Garry Hunter and Suzanne Harb, Fitzrovia Noir originated from a collaboration on an immersive theatre project in Leytonstone. Their shared interests and deep-rooted connections to Fitzrovia led to the formation of Fitzrovia Noir, aimed at documenting and revitalising neglected urban spaces through art interventions. Over the years, they have engaged in diverse projects across the UK and abroad, revitalising underused buildings and fostering community engagement through creative outreach initiatives.


Samir Pandya

Samir Pandya is an Architect, Editor, and Assistant Head of the School of Architecture & Cities (University of Westminster).  He has pursued equity in architecture for much of his practice and academic career, and has held visiting and external posts in Cyprus, India, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, and schools across the UK.  He was recently one of fourteen tutors invited to lead a studio at the inaugural Biennale College Architettura at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale.  His latest edited book, After Belonging: Architecture, Nation, Difference (Routledge, 2023) examines the complex bond between architecture, spatial politics, and collective (non-)belonging.


1:20pm – Introduction by Samir Pandya

1:40pm – Screening and presentation by Vapaa Collective (Iines Karkulahti, Charlotte Nyholm, and Meri Wiikinkoski)

2:10pm – Screening and presentation by Katie John on Glenkerry House

2:40pm – Screening and presentation by Garry Hunter and Suzanne Harb (Fitzrovia Noir)

3:10–3:30pm Break

3:30pm Group discussion with all the speakers moderated by Samir Pandya

4:10pm Q&A



Finnish architects Iines Karkulahti, Charlotte Nyholm, and Meri Wiikinkoski of Vapaa Collective will explore the concept of care in public spaces and how it can be democratised and made more visible through collective action.

Since 2019, Vapaa Collective has focused on care, examining maintenance, repair, and building lifespans. These themes align with contemporary architecture and design cultures highlighting the connections between ideas, values, people, and our material reality.

Vapaa Collective’s three-part project series will debut in Helsinki, Finland, followed by installations and a symposium in London during the London Festival of Architecture in collaboration with Garry Hunter and Suzanne Harb (Fitzrovia Noir), and a residency in New York during Archtober later this summer and autumn.


Symposium: On Architectual Acts of Care on Saturday 8 June at 1pm-4.30pm at the Screening Room at Somerset House (WC2R 1LA, London). Free event, registration via Eventbrite is required, book your tickets here!


This project is commissioned by the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland in partnership with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and Consulate General of Finland in New York. The project is part of the pARTir initiative funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.


Image: Still from Vapaa Collective’s short film.

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