At 66 Portland Place
Architecture can be used and experienced in a surprising multitude of ways, as a RIBA event showed last weekend. On Saturday 19 May the RIBA British Architectural Library organised a public workshop bringing together architecture, photography and the urban sport of parkour – a method of moving around the city through new and efficient means.
Run, Jump, Shoot began at the RIBA’s headquarters, 66 Portland Place, with an introduction by RIBA Education Curator Elizabeth Grant, and followed by two speakers: Justine Sambrook, Assistant Curator of the RIBA Library Photographs Collection; and Andy Day (www.kiell.com), a photographer whose work focuses primarily on parkour and free running.
Justine spoke about the history of architectural photography and highlighted some of the unique images in the RIBA’s collections. Images included those from the short-lived and experimental Manplan magazine published from 1969-1970, which was described as the “high watermark of photojournalism applied to architectural photography”. During the session, participants handled original photoprints from the Photographs Collection, normally kept in climate-controlled stores for conservation reasons.
Andy spoke about the background to his photography and early involvement with parkour and his current work with Parkour Generations.
At Elephant and Castle
The second half of the day was held offsite at an abandoned housing estate in Elephant and Castle, South London. On arrival, athletes from Parkour Generations took workshop participants to locations around the estate and showed them how this art form involving the movement of the body works with the architectural space around them – a perfect photo opportunity for all those attending the workshop!
Run, Jump, Shoot brought members of the public together to see the work of parkour practitioners, and gave a fresh viewpoint on architecture and photography. A big thank you to all the speakers, athletes and participants.
Justine and Andy will be taking part in a panel discussion on architecture, photography and free-running at the UCL One Day in the City festival on 15 June 2012. They will be joined by Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Material from the RIBA’s collections, Andy’s own work and photographs submitted by participants will be discussed as part of the panel presentation.