Joe Walker: A Time for Place


London is a world city. It is simultaneously expanding and contracting, growing ever-outwards – and upwards – yet on the brink of divorce from the neighbouring continent. The next generation of designers must deliver fresh thinking to tackle issues that range from the scale of the street to global climate change. We asked pioneering graduates from the LSA how they’d adapt London to ensure that it is inclusive of its citizens, integrated with nature and fit for the future.

Framing a cultural response to the ills of the modern world, this project seeks to help the public become more emotionally resilient and content in everyday life.

‘We have lost sight of what is important in cities,’ says Walker. ‘Capitalism has pushed us into a state of striving for a better life through hard work. Our values have been distorted through this culture, leaving us little space to evaluate and answer our deeper needs.’ He argues that the pressures of modern life lead to anxiety, loneliness and stress, leaving little time or space for citizens to focus on their emotional and social needs.

His proposal opens up and remodels an office block above Charing Cross station to carve out a variety of public and private spaces for socialising, relationships, work, learning and leisure. The injection of new cultural and social space at the heart of the city recognises the fundamental value of personal fulfilment, human interaction and contentment to the quality of civic life.