18-21 Sept 2019 | Olympia London




Space Gap

Space Gap is a pavilion and event programme exploring the disparity of space allocation in London. 

Space Gap is a pavilion and event programme exploring the disparity of space allocation in London. 

Brought to you by Unknown Works + Hildrey Studio.

Set in front of Olympia, design and social issues from homelessness to ghost mansions were tackled through immersive installations, film screenings, performances, talks, debates and in the pavilion design itself.

The cliché of London as a tale of two cities is well-worn, but London truly is a city of contradictions. Seemingly one of the most progressive and dynamic cities in the world, it is the richest part of the country, but also experiences some of the worst living conditions available, and with an unprecedented number of people on the brink of homelessness.

A take on the ‘wealth gap’, The Space Gap can be understood as a gap in the distribution of space between one group and another within the city. The pavilion makes physical this disparity. An open forum space is set beneath a three dimensional ‘volume diagram’ that makes visible the shocking split in size and scale between the largest homes available, and the smallest spaces that people are forced to live in.

The pavilion hosted a programme of events that ran over the course of the LDF aiming to bring together people with first-hand experience of these issues and those with a responsibility to enact change. The Space Gap engaged with social workers within local authorities, their clients who are forced into overcrowded living conditions, artists and filmmakers investigating all of the above issues in a variety of different media and as well as charities working within the realm of homelessness and provision of housing, we are expanding the conversation to architects, designers, developers, policy makers and the wider public.

Panel Discussions

The Policy Gap Wednesday 19th September, 7pm

With the government having described the housing market as ‘broken’ and the private market struggling to meet current housing needs, what role should the public sector and its policies play in fixing it?

This panel will discuss the role of policy in tackling the housing crisis, including the constraints and opportunities it brings.

Louise Wyman - Head of Strategy, Homes England
Melissa Kerschen - Senior Communications Manager, Glass Door Homeless Charity Cllr Johnny Thalassites - Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
David West - Director, Studio Egret West
Greg Beales - Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns, Shelter (TBC)

Chair: Tom Copley, London Assembly

The Design Gap Thursday 20th September, 7pm

With the design of our cities generally imposed upon, rather than specifically chosen by, its end users, what responsibility do designers have to protect their interests and how able are they to act?

This panel will discuss the role of design, and of the designer, in tackling the housing crisis.

Alice Brownfield - Director, Peter Barber Architects Geoff Denton - Partner, White Arkitekter
Heinz Richardson - Director, Jestico + Whiles
Ed Thomas - Insight Lead, The Collective
David Tovey - Ex-homeless artist, Shelter commissioner

Chair: Tamsie Thomson - Director, London Festival of Architecture

The Space Gap Friday 21st September, 7pm

From those with no home to those with empty homes, how do we bridge the space gap?

This panel will discuss who has the right to space in the city and how we deal with this in the future.

Patrik Schumacher - Principal, Zaha Hadid Archtiects James Murray - Deputy Mayor for Housing (TBC) Alastair Parvin - CEO, Open Systems Lab
Tom Copley - London Assembly

Polly Neate - Chief Executive, Shelter (TBC)
Cllr. Aarien-Uday Areti - Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Getting here

Getting here

Olympia London is just a short walk from Barons Court, West Kensington, Earls Court, Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and High Street Kensington. You can reach any of these stations via foot in less than 20 minutes.



Event Partners

  • BIID
  • Cedia
  • Clerkenwell design week
  • Design Guild Mark
  • Design j
  • Design London
  • Design Shanghai

Media Partners

  • darc
  • designboom
  • DeZeen
  • Hospitality Interiors
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