London Festival of Architecture to focus on 'Care' in 2021

This year's London Festival of Architecture (LFA) will be on the theme of 'Care', organisers have announced.

Since its foundation in 2004, the LFA has always been organised around a central theme such as 2020's 'Power', or 'Boundaries' in 2019.

This year, in the face of the COVID-19 devastation and the deeply shocking revelations of the ongoing Grenfell Tower Inquiry, its network of event organisers, supporters and followers is being encouraged to examine how we can better care for ourselves, our cities and the environment.

Tamsie Thomson, managing director of NLA, which co-ordinates the London Festival of Architecture, said the theme could explore both the level of care seen in many architectural professionals exemplary response to the coronavirus and the care needed to design for net zero outcomes, but also the appalling lack of care apparent in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

"A lesson from the pandemic is that we need to find ways to use architecture and technology to reconnect with each other, to build care and empathy," she said.

"From inaccessible playgrounds to sometimes outright hostile design, it sometimes seems there's a distinct lack of care in our built environment. 

"Grenfell shames us as a systematic lack of care and accountability is exposed, while the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent BLM protests highlighted inequalities that are too often built into our cities and surroundings.

"We can do better, and this year's COP26 Summit will be an opportunity for our industry to take responsibility and demonstrate its care for future generations through responsible design and environmental leadership.

"As we look towards a post-Covid world, architectural professionals need to help people create a safer and more inclusive built environment."

The call for entries is now open and anyone with an interest in the built environment is encouraged to submit proposals for physical and digital events at by the deadline of 7 March.

The 2021 LFA take place from 1 to 30 June.

This article originally appeared on Architects' Journal

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