ArDe architecture and design event to take place in June 2016 at London's Somerset House

Dezeen promotion: a new event aiming to unite the disciplines of architecture, art, design, development, property, technology and finance will take place at Somerset House in London from 5 to 12 June 2016.

The eight-day exhibition and conference aims to question how the city can respond to issues including swelling populations and changing global markets.

ArDe will be curated by landscape architects Martha Schwartz Partners, curator Jane Withers, and architect and Dezeen columnist Sam Jacob. It will host a varied programme of interactive installations and events.

ArDe Festival promotion
The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House – photograph by Marcus Ginns

"ArDe is a show that brings together worlds of architecture, property and design to create a unique dialogue about the future of our cities," said Jacob. "Sited right in the heart of London, it's about creating a public debate with the city and its citizens too."

A series of curated installations entitled New Rituals for Urban Living will give visitors a glimpse into what will become of our living spaces. Ideas surrounding the near future of London will be showcased in a multimedia space titled Property Exhibition.

Here, the public will be able to explore groundbreaking developments within the city that are responding to the changing needs of its inhabitants.

Alongside the exhibition, a two-day ideas conference will take place at King's College. This will bring together planners, politicians, sociologists and designers to answer questions surrounding population growth, climate change and resource scarcity.

"ArDe is in a position to engage finance with architecture and to research serious issues of housing and development alongside the pleasure of art and design and explore how each informs the other," said Financial Times architecture critic Edwin Heathcote. "It has the potential to become the complete event for city life."

ArDe Festival promotion
The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House – photograph by Richard Bryant

ArDe will take place from 5 to 12 June 2016 at Somerset House, which is also a hub venue for the annual London Design Festival and will host next year's inaugural London Design Biennale.

Read on for more information from the organisers:


ArDe: a new contemporary architecture, landscape and design fair. Exploring the near future of a world city

ArDe is a new concept eight-day exhibition and conference that will, for the first time, unite the disciplines of architecture, art, design, development, property, technology and finance.

It will ask big questions about how the city can change and adapt to respond to new paradigms, swelling populations and global markets, proposing ways for all those involved in the urban fabric to work together to create resilient, sustainable and beautiful cities.

Architecture curator Sam Jacob says: "ArDe is a show that brings together worlds of architecture, property and design to create a unique dialogue about the future of our cities. And, sited right in the heart of London, it’s about creating a public debate with the city and its citizens too."

ArDe Festival promotion
ArDe will include interactive installations similar to Cornelia Parker's The Maybe at the Serpentine Gallery with Tilda Swinton. Photograph is by Hugo Glendinning

Through immersive, interactive and sometimes performative installations and events, ArDe will explore the urgent issues of today's and tomorrow's built environment by examining the daily rituals that we perform in our cities - from eating to sleeping, washing to travelling, playing to working. In the near future, will we be working from bed, or sleeping in the office? Will we wash in communal bathhouses, drink from public water troughs, or play at work? Visitors will be invited on an experiential journey through a series of uniquely curated installations, entitled New Rituals for Urban Living, that give a glimpse into the future of our living spaces - environments that question and provoke, that encourage us to safeguard our future, whilst savouring our present.

The ArDe Property Exhibition's multimedia environment will present the near future of London, showcasing the schemes that are helping to position the capital as one of the greatest cities in the world. The public will be able to 'visit' the schemes of today and tomorrow, the groundbreaking developments that are responding to users changing needs and impacting on our urban landscape, the out-of-the-box thinking that is the future of city making.

Alongside the exhibition, a two-day ideas conference at neighbouring King’s College will bring together the major players in the built environment – from planners to politicians, sociologists to designers – to ask big questions about population growth, climate change and resource scarcity.

ArDe Festival promotion
ArDe curators Sam Jacob, Jane Withers, Kate Sweeney, Markus Jatsch

Founder and CEO of ArDe, Esperanza Koren, says: "It is becoming clear that nothing of note can be done without an integrated approach. We need cross-disciplinary activity to create cities that will work for future generations".

ArDe advisory panel members Vicky Richardson (British Council) and Edwin Heathcote (critic) say: "It's long overdue that one of the world's leading cities for architecture had an exhibition bringing together architects, designers, developers, manufacturers, students and the public." (Vicky Richardson)

"ArDe is in a position to engage finance with architecture and to research serious issues of housing and development alongside the pleasure of art and design and explore how each informs the other. It has the potential to become the complete event for city life." (Edwin Heathcote)

Somerset House, the setting for ArDe, has a long history of public exhibition and performance. Queen Anne of Denmark used it as a testing ground for ideas about the 17th century city, displaying these through masques written by Ben Johnson, with set design by Inigo Jones. Many of the concepts presented at court in this manner did make it out into the city of London as we know it today, albeit in more practical forms. ArDe will pick up on this legacy, as well as paying tribute to Somerset House’s 2016 Utopia celebrations, embracing the notion that exhibitions have the potential to transform dreams about the city into reality and presenting us with a compelling and inspiring portrait of the near future of a world city.

www.ardefair.com