25.05 –

Kitchen Conversations London: Creative Destruction

Photo: Thomas Zanon-Larcher
Photo: Thomas Zanon-Larcher

Thursdays 25 May, 29 June and 20 July
doors open 6pm for 6:30 start

The Future Laboratory
26 Elder Street
London E1 6BT

Tickets: £12 (include drinks and snacks)

Kitchen Conversations are inspired by the Eastern European tradition of critical discussions about art, world politics and dissatisfaction with the state of affairs that happened in private kitchens during the decades of communism. They are pockets of freedom, spaces for thinking out loud and dreaming up the future.

The first three Kitchen Conversations in London are curated by writer and curator Vicky Richardson and reflect our ambition to reject taboos and fixed positions. The term ‘creative destruction’ was originally coined by the economist Joseph Schumpeter in 1942 and is the title of a new book arguing for profound cultural, political and economic change. During three conversations this summer, we ask whether the creation of the new must go hand in hand with dismantling old ways of thinking and structures. Political ruptures in recent months appear to be destructive, but may have unlocked a new period of creative freedom where the old rules and certainties no longer exist.

Join us for talks, readings, screenings and debates over a glass of wine.

KC 03 Thursday 25 May: On Ruins, Wrecks and Renaissance

With Phil Mullan, Josh Wright and Richard Wilson

The first conversation opens with an economist, architect and artist each of whom has been inspired in different ways by industry. A screening of two works made within the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, the former home of The Wapping Project, and a provocation are the starting point for a conversation considering how we reconcile respect for the past with visions of the future, and how far we should we go in destroying work in order to move on.

An Extensive Walk (1993) by Josh Wright
Butterfly (2003) by Richard Wilson
Book: Creative destruction: how to start an economic renaissance (2017) by Phil Mullan

KC 04 Thursday 29 June: On Artists’ Response to Destruction and the Need for Unbounded Space

With Shona Illingworth, Andrew Hoskins and Elisabetta Gasparoni

Shona Illingworth’s film 216 Westbound considers the physical and psychological effects of an act of violence on John Tulloch, a survivor of the 7/7 London bombings and its wider social and political impact – as a consequence, John can no longer look up at the sky. Professor Andrew Hoskins, Interdisciplinary Research Professor in College of Social Sciences – Global Security, will join the conversation. Responses to this powerful work will come from Elisabetta Gasparoni, convenor of the Future Cities Project Readers Group.

KC 05 Thursday 20 July: On Destruction and Preservation in Creative Process

With Alia Syed, Noski Deville, Smout Allen and Agnieszka Studzinska

Cinematographer Noski Deville and artist filmmaker Alia Syed discuss creation and destruction in their collaboration. Poet Agnieszka Studzinska, author of Passage, and architects Smout Allen, whose work Infractus: the taking of Robin Hood Gardens, deals with the controversial demolition of Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1972 housing estate in east London, join the conversation on destruction and preservation.

Rare opportunity to see Alia Syed’s film Priya (2011) from 16mm print.

Our next publication of commissioned writing is launched during KC 05.
Pick up your copy free of charge.


Kitchen Conversations London are presented in partnership and with generous support of The Future Laboratory

The Future Laboratory is one of the world’s most renowned and respected futures consultancies. A leader in trend forecasting, consumer insight and strategic innovation, we give clients the confidence to make the right decisions and investments to survive and thrive in the future. The Future Laboratory ethos is simple: to help businesses make the future happen.


Phil Mullan is a writer and business manager, who researches, writes and lectures on economic, demographic and business issues. Currently working independently, in 2014 Mullan completed eight years in senior management roles with Easynet Global Services, an international communications services company. Previously he had been chief executive of the internet services and training company Cybercafé Ltd.
Phil Mullan is the author of Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance published on 29 March 2017 by Policy Press.

Richard Wilson  is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. He is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space which draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.
Wilson’s projects have generated universal critical acclaim. These include 20:50, a sea of reflective sump oil installed in the Saatchi Collection. Turning the Place Over a commission for Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture, 2008. Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea, his regional cultural Olympic exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 2012, and Slipstream, a major commission for Heathrow’s new T2 in April 2014. He has just closed a major solo show at the Annely Juda Gallery in London, 2017.

Josh Wright is an Australian architect behind London based practice Shed 54, which converted the derelict Wapping Hydraulic Power Station into a home for the renown arts organisation The Wapping Project. The practice has focused on medium scale modernist projects, which emphasised alternative technology and environmental concerns in an urban context, and covered residential, commercial, retail and arts projects. It made pragmatic use of basic building materials such as concrete, steel, glass and timber to underline its sustainable, low energy ethos. The materials were used in ways, which emphasise their essential characteristics, creating a fundamental aesthetic, which exposes their beauty.

Shona Illingworth is a Danish Scottish artist who works across a range of media including video, sound, photography and drawing. She is known for her immersive video and multi-channel sound installations, and evocative, research-led practice in which she explores the dynamic processes of memory, cultural erasure and construction of histories in situations of social tension and trauma. Her work has been exhibited internationally, with shows at the Museum of Modern Art, Bologna, FACT, Liverpool, UNSW Galleries, Sydney and the Wellcome Collection, London. She has received high profile commissions from Film and Video Umbrella, the Hayward Gallery, London and Channel 4 Television. Upcoming exhibitions include The Power Plant, Toronto, and Imperial War Museum, London, and a book on her recent work will be published in 2019.

Andrew Hoskins is Interdisciplinary Research Professor in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. His research connects multiple aspects of emergent digital society: media, memory, conflict, risk, security, and privacy. His latest book (with John Tulloch) is: Risk and Hyperconnectivity: Media and Memories of Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press, 2016) and his edited Digital Memory Studies: Media Pasts in Transition will be published in August by Routledge.  He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Sage journal of Memory Studies and founding Co-Editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series Memory Studies. His AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship with the British Army’s Historical Branch in Whitehall and The National Archives exposed the impact of cultural, technological, economic, and policy change on organizations, archivists, and records, and on the history of warfare (archivesofwar.com).

Elisabetta Gasparoni is Convenor of the Future Cities Project Readers’ Group, and since 2013 has been a researcher and producer for the international festival the Battle of Ideas organised by the Institute of Ideas. She is a linguist with expertise in Italian literature and language, art and urban theory. She has taught in Milan, Hamburg, San Francisco and London, and has been engaged in academic research on Italian modern literature since 2014. At present she is completing a book about the life and work of Sicilian writer Maria Messina whose place in twentieth century fiction has been long forgotten. Her next project will explore the historical, political and cultural relationship between the novel I promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni and the opera Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.

Alia Syed is an artist filmmaker born in 1964 in Swansea, Wales. Syed lives between London and Glasgow. Syed has been making experimental films for over 25 years.Syed’s recent works combine her interest in storytelling with a compelling presentation of history as visual narrative. Her unique approach sutures different subject positions in relation to culture, diaspora and location. She was shortlisted for the 2015 Jarman Award and her latest film On a wing and a prayer was shown at the 2016 London Film Festival.

Noski Deville is a filmmaker, cinematographer and a Senior Lecturer at UCA. She is committed to education and training in film, and has lectured and technically tutored at many respected and influential institutions including UCA, Goldsmiths College of Art, Portsmouth University, The Slade School of Art, Sankofa Black Film & Video Workshop, and the London Filmmakers Co-Op.
She has a long established and continuing career as a Cinematographer/Director of Photography, both within the commercial sector and in the field of Fine Art practice. She has worked with many high profile artists including Steve McQueen, Isaac Julien, Alia Syed and Jananne Al-Ani.
In 2015, Noski won the Jules Wright Award for her extensive and long standing contribution to art as a cinematographer.

Agnieszka Studzinska has an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA. Her first debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear (2014). She is currently working on her third collection of poetry as well as her PhD at Royal Holloway; ‘The house a shelter for imaginings” – The Poetics of Literary Home-Making in Poetry: Home in Poetry and Poetry as Home.

Smout Allen
Mark Smout — Professor of Architecture and Landscape Furtures, and Laura Allen — Professor of Architecture and Augmented Landscapes are based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
Their work takes two routes, architectural competitions, where the particular rigour of the competition brief, site and program provide the basis for new investigations and, conceptual design projects which test out the agenda and methodology of the design research practice. They focus on the dynamic relationship between the natural and the man made and how this can be revealed to enhance the experience of the architectural landscape.