Papering over the cracks of a burnt-out, bought-out society

Making It Happen RIBA exhibition poster. Graphics by Dan Cottrell

RIBA’s community architecture exhibition could be a creative celebration of the human spirit but somehow fails to ignite Phil Pawlett Jackson

The fabulous varied textures of hand-thrown clay pavers. The subtle shimmer of a mirrored cabin built by enterprising students on a Scottish loch. The luminous airiness of an east London library reimagined as an elegant carnival of inclusive learning. The crowd-funded grandeur of a resurrected Victorian pier.

I love community architecture and the RIBA’s new show, Making It Happen, brings together four heart-warming and deeply humane passion projects in a playful and immersive installation.

The display, at 66 Portland Place’s Architecture Gallery, eschews glamorous press photography and instead takes us inside reproduced fragments of the buildings. And from within these 1:1 scale models the stories of communities of makers are told through video portraits and handmade artefacts.

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