Inspiration | Provocation:
Essays on the Blurred Edges of the Built Environment
A natty little publication from London Society friends ING media, which you can get for free. Reviewed by Jessica Cargill Thompson
Innovation / Provocation is a collection of thoughts, essays, images, and general musings occupying the space between the built environment and everyday urban life. While the content is nothing if not eclectic – ranging from Brian Eno’s airport music to a 1980s property brochure starring a giant tie (ING is a communications agency specialising in the built environment and the book is essentially a creative calling card) – it includes are several pieces that offer provocative inspiration for a future London that values its past.
First to catch our eye was an interview with Michael Heseltine, former Conservative minister and key protagonist of post-industrial regeneration, particularly Urban Development Corporations. For younger readers, he’s largely responsible for what happened to London Docklands. This was a chance for interviewer Akil Scafe-Smith, cofounder of design collective Resolve, to challenge Lord Heseltine on his urban development legacy (AS-S: ‘displacement of existing communities’; MH: ‘a massive regenerative opportunity’), and what he might have done differently (talk to local people). The piece was extracted from a longer interview, and it’s a pity there’s no link to the full version.