Panel Discussion

Event Name: Building Cultures: Can Artists Make Great Places?
Venue/Location: Camden Centre, Kings Cross
Date: 20th September 2007
Supporting Organisation(s):
LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange)

Chair/Other Speakers:
Dr Cameron Cartiere (Arts Policy and Management, Birkbeck College, Chair); Robert West (Head of Urban Design and Renewal, Camden Council); Paul Goodwin (Goldsmiths, Urbanist and Curator (working with Communities in regeneration areas like Peckham)); Andrea Phillips (Assistant Director of MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London); Sue Ridge (Artist and Research Fellow Chelsea College of Art and Design)

Part of London Design Festival and Urban Design Week 2007 this conference explored the role of the artist in urban regeneration.


Creativity, Culture and Change were the themes of a one-day conference on leading regeneration projects through art and creativity with a focus on the mega-development at Kings Cross. The event included presentations of Artists for Places - a partnership between CABE, A&B and Arts Council England; an evaluation by Comedia on the PROJECT scheme to support public art strategies embedded within the planning system; an open forum with key speakers on art, architecture, landscape and planning, debating the role of art and cultural activity within the design of the built environment.

Developing out of the 20th September conference Can Artists Make Great Places? Create KX and LCACE with the support of London Borough of Camden, invited participants to explore the past, present and future of public art strategies for central London's biggest redevelopment in over a hundred years.

A choice was offered of two guided tours around King's Cross or along the Euston Road charting previous public realm commissions and interventions and revealing the physical and social landscape within which the new art and cultural activity will be sited. Followed by lunch, discussion and debate drawing together the themes of the conference with the issues and opportunities arising in King's Cross.


York Way/Caledonian Road: accompanied by Gill Henderson Director of CreateKX and Mark Hammill of Broadway Malyan and formerly Senior Planner for King’s Cross at Islington Council, the idea is to show you the post-industrial canvas on which the new development is being painted and to grasp the unique nature of the place and its people. We’ll take a look at the P&O development at Regent’s Quarter with its public art commissions and King’s Place (new home of Guardian Media Group and the King’s Place Trust and due to open in Autumn 2008) before visiting the railway lands that will be the site of King’s Cross Central and the Granary that will be the new home of Central St Martins. We’ll get a bird’s eye view of St Pancras and the current industrial landscape behind the stations and then end with a visit to a very important youth art projects situated in the heart of the area to the north East of King’s Cross. We’ll throw in a hidden underground stable, a secret garden next to St Pancras and a gothic folly.


Euston Road. Intended as a grand boulevard lined with public institutions a combination of opportunistic development and incomplete masterplans have created a traffic congested place unfriendly to pedestrians marking the boundary of central London. The walking tour will use the public art commissions that line Euston Road to review the last ten years of development as well as future site opportunities. Locations include:

Public realm in front of King's Cross Station - proposed for major redevelopment; British Library Plaza - Public Art by Eduardo Paolozzi and Antony Gormley; Euston Station - optioned for redevelopment by British Land; Regent's Place - Public Art by Michael Craig-Martin, Langlands and Bell, Antony Gormley, Extension site by Terry Farrell and Wilkinson Eyre; Euston Road Underpass - Design for London lead project for new public realm based on Terry Farrell masterplan; University College London Hospital - Public Art by John Aiken, Susan Collins, Bruce Mclean and others, new cancer wing designed by Nicholas Grimshaw; Wellcome Foundation - Chance to view up close Thomas Heatherwick Studio's award winning 'Bleigiessen'.
Wellcome Collection. Exhibition space and study centre opened June 2007.


Panel discussion concerning the role of artists in development.

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