On Tuesday, artist Jessie Brennan came to the RIBA Bookshop to present her book Regeneration! Conversations, Drawings, Archives & Photographs from Robin Hood Gardens. The book was very well received by an engaging crowd that took part in a conversation between Jessie and writer Richard Martin. Amongst our guests we had architects, artists, activists and former residents of the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate who discussed their experiences and ideas about the significance behind the life, evolution and demise of this iconic symbol of social housing in Britain.
This is an important book that closes the last chapter in the history of this London brutalist symbol at the forefront of a heated debate since it was first threatened with demolition. But it is also the beginning of the next chapter in the history of London, a city in the midst of rapid transformation through the process of urban regeneration, which no one yet really knows how to envisage. How will communities transform? How will areas change? Who’s moving out? Who will move in? and what will London life feel like at the end of this process? As London continues to regenerate, more people are joining the debate about the future of our city and the people who live in it. This book seeks to record the unheard voices of some of those at the centre of this change, the residents of Robin Hood Gardens.
The book includes archival photographs and drawings of the estate, as well as conversation pieces with some of the residents of Robin Hood Gardens, essays by Owen Hatherley and Richard Martin, and a set of pull out prints of the artist’s work A Fall of Ordinariness and Light. The drawings are exquisite representations of the estate made with graphite on paper and were commissioned by the Foundling Museum. You can take a look at them by following this link. If you would like to buy prints of the work, you can enquire with one of our booksellers. To buy a copy of the book please come into the shop at 66 Portland Place or visit our website.
Thank you Jessie, Richard and everyone that came to the book launch for helping us make the Bookshop a place that inspires and generates ideas and interesting dialogues.