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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Events
  3. URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities

URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities

  • 06:00 - 26 February, 2015
URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities
URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities, 'New St James' Park'. Image Courtesy of Ned Scott
'New St James' Park'. Image Courtesy of Ned Scott

URBAN TALES will showcase three distinct architectural artwork series exploring visions of narrative based city redevelopments. Featuring RIBA Presidents Medal-winning work, these original and engaging threads of imagery from UCL architecture graduates Ned Scott, Nick Elias and Anja Kempa objectify fiction and challenge political reality. The exhibitors question the role of architecture in a changing world and use fictional narratives to design fantastical, but possible, cities. URBAN TALES will kick off with an opening party on Friday, March 6 and remain on view through April 10, 2015 at Carousel London. Read on to learn more. 

The exhibition's three featured projects have been widely credited and critiqued and are a must see for anyone interested in poetry, drawing, story-telling as well as architecture. The drawings themselves stand alone from the rich narratives as individual works of art with incredible detail. They capture moments in time of these wondrous worlds, and explore the potential future of London, Slough and Tokyo.

Located in the heart of Marylebone’s burgeoning restaurant scene, Carousel’s stylish three-storey space is home to a carefully curated programme of chef residencies, art exhibitions, acoustic sessions and events - offering contemporary design and art in its most innovative, yet unconventional state, Carousel welcomes you to this imaginarium from the 6th March to the 10th April.

Featured Projects

Nick Elias: PoohTown

Recent winner of the 'most prestigious international award in architectural education', the 'Royal Institute of British Architect's Presidents Silver Medal', Nick Elias, exhibits his project "PoohTown". PoohTown uses the world of Winnie the Pooh to propose a happier Slough. The project philosophises over today’s cities potential to prescribe policies of happiness alongside familiar amenities; a concept potentially absent in today's city planning. "Empirical research suggests people are happiest when playing an idealised, fictional, representation of themselves – from putting make-up on to proving organic credentials at the farmers' market. Guests to PoohTown indulge in this tendency and become the fictional, happy, Christopher Robin by visiting Pooh and friends (each representing a specific ‘happiness’) on a proposed pilgrimage." Explains Elias.

Courtesy of Nick Elias
Courtesy of Nick Elias

PoohTown questions the raw matter of what humans want: In designing for emotion, happiness, it has been possible to test the purpose of architecture in a changing world. PoohTown therefore proposes it is more sustainable to design infrastructure for an emotional state; for if we are content through it, we may ask less from the Earth to satisfy our physical state.

Courtesy of Nick Elias
Courtesy of Nick Elias

Ned Scott: The War Rooms, London

The War Rooms takes a science fictional premise, in which the UK’s energy supply networks are terminated following an Energy War in 2050, in order to explore the implications of the decentralisation of the UK’s energy networks and the implementation of a closed-loop agrarian economy.

'Howard Boulevard'. Image Courtesy of Ned Scott
'Howard Boulevard'. Image Courtesy of Ned Scott

The science fictional scenario presented and the subsequent urban strategies proposed address the challenges the UK faces regarding energy security and fuel poverty and speculates on the hypothetical consequences of a future where the many risks associated with the UK’s long term energy strategy come to bear. The War Rooms, St. James’s Park introduces an institutional framework for agrarian reform, inspired by Ebenezer Howard, which operates on three simultaneous scales representative of the three protagonists of Clifford D. Simak’s, City: Man, Dog and Ant.

Anja Kempa: Remembering Spring, Tokyo

Climate change threatens the cultural identity of Tokyo. As seasonal shift takes effect, Japan’s iconic emblem of Spring, the cherry blossom faces extinction. The flower’s symbolism is inseparably linked to Japan’s seasonal culture and the country’s traditions face potential decline. Longer summers and shorter winters have resulted in a city without spring, where native culture must adapt to modern society to survive.

'Celebrating Tradition'. Image Courtesy of Anja Kempa
'Celebrating Tradition'. Image Courtesy of Anja Kempa

The scenario of Remembering Spring speculates on the future impacts of climate change on Tokyo, and in response, proposes the integration of an urban Japanese garden infrastructure, revitalising native symbolism and traditions to inform a sustainable energy initiative through the recreation of spring. In the Edo period, samurai armies protected Japan’s territories; in the 21st century, geisha choreograph Japan’s efforts to combat climate change whilst remembering its cultural legacy.

'library of memory'. Image Courtesy of Anja Kempa
'library of memory'. Image Courtesy of Anja Kempa

For opening times and to book an appointment, contact Anja Kempa at

  • Title

  • Website

  • Organizers

    Anja Kempa, Ned Scott, Nick Elias
  • From

    March 06, 2015 12:00 AM
  • Until

    April 10, 2015 12:00 AM
  • Venue

    Carousel London
  • Address

    71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London W1U 8AB, UK

Text via Anja Kempa, Ned Scott, and Nick Elias

Cite: "URBAN TALES to Explore the Future of Cities" 26 Feb 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884