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Royal College of Art at Future Cities Forum

RCA PhD researcher Kyung Hwa Shon's art work at White City Place, London

The Royal College of Art will be contributing to our next Future Cities Forum, 'Intelligent Cities' on 3rd July, about its move to White City Place, London, to set up an important campus, while creating strong links with the surrounding community.

Dr Tarsha Finney will join our discussions and is an architect and urbanist, Senior Research Tutor and Programme Lead on the City Design MA in the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

Previously, she was Visiting Professor in the School of Architecture at the RCA, leading the intergenerational Cities Research Cluster. Her work is focussed on housing, the city and urban change.

Her research crosses several areas: domesticity, the housing project and the role of multi-residential housing in the constitution of the city since the 19th century; architectural typology and notions of architectural disciplinary specificity and autonomy; the architectural urbanism of innovation of cities and the relationship between spatial performance, ownership and governance structures in urban resilience and transformation in cities with particular reference to ideas of alternate housing and neighbourhood models.

Building connections and profile within the community has become essential in recent times for creative place-making and the identity of new districts.

The reaction to the devastating fire in the Glasgow School of Art has shown the importance of the institution to Glasgow (as well as to the global arts community and admirers of Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and the years of work that have gone into providing artists with the right environment in the city in order for their talent to flourish.

This theme was explored in our January forum at RIBA (Art, Investment and Cities) where the Director of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, James Knox, spoke about how the city is an ideal haven for new artists.

James stated: 'It is tough (being a young artist) - and the Fleming-Wyfold Foundation (which owns the biggest collection of Scottish art outside institutions) runs a generous bursary for the best student out of Scottish art schools annually with a year of mentoring from a top curator.

'We put on a show for the graduating Glasgow art students in London at the Royal Scottish Academy. Mentoring is also very important, as there is a very high attrition rate among artists. The great thing about Glasgow is that studio space, like Berlin, is very cheap. Berlin has been so popular that there is hardly room for tourists now! Glasgow is a better long term bet as there are very good value studios and a strong community of artists of all ages, who help each other'.

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