HPA Celebrates Lancaster Litfest - HPA

HPA Celebrates Lancaster Litfest

In celebration of Lancaster Litfest (8-26th March), we thought we’d share our current reads at hpa and sister company Woohoo, celebrating our wide range of interests and ideas within the studio.

Jess, our heritage consultant has recently developed new admiration for the colourful life of former Lancastrians as a result of the ‘Dated Buildings of South Lonsdale’. It’s an incredibly detailed account of all the date stones on buildings in our area and includes some interesting family history, helping us connect with buildings on a human and personal level. Another recommended read is  Leonara Carrington’s biography.  Leonara is a famed surrealist artist who lived her adult life in Mexico City, where she is still celebrated. Leonara was born in Clayton-le-Woods and moved with her family to Crookey Hall, to the south of Lancaster. When studying Art in London she ran off to Paris with her lover/mentor Max Ernst where she befriended Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp! The love affair ended badly and she was caught up in WWII before heading to America and then Mexico. Crookey Hall, Leonara’s Lancashire upbringing and the strained relationship with her family are believed to be the origin of the subjects she used in her works which included witchcraft, animal rituals and mystical creatures.

Simon, Woohoo’s Sustainability Consultant, recommends Merlin Shelldrake – Entangled Life and concludes that it changes the way you look at the world – arguably fungi actually run it and the internet is pre-historic compared to the information transfer in fungal networks!

With a love of the connection of places and landscapes, our studio manager Esme recommends The Western Seaboard by Mary Miers. This illustrates how architecture is inextricably linked to its place, environment, and history.

Emma our Part I shares her admiration of The Pattern Book by Christoph Alexander which has helped her when considering key features to emphasize in designs, making them more interesting. Emma found this an essential read when studying at Liverpool.

As a die hard Morecambe fan and season ticket holder it’s only right that our apprentice Joe is reading The Football Stadium Guide by Peter Rogers. He is on a mission to visit as many football stadiums!

Our graduate apprentice Holly has been reading Queer Spaces: An Atlas of LGBTQIA+ Places and Stories. The book explores how the LGBTQ+ community have triumphed representing themselves through design and architecture, as we see at the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre in London, Coppelia in Havana and The Victorian Pride Centre in Melbourne. Holly continues to research queer spaces for her postgraduate dissertation.

Inspired by a trip to the Necropolis in Glasgow, Director Richard reads Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’, a moody, gothic, fantasy thriller with a few architectural undertones helping to set the scene.

Our Director Zoe explains she has just started reading Architecture and the Face of Coal: Mining and Modern Britain to help her design with more awareness of modern industrialism in Britain. This book explores the relationship between architecture and Britain’s coal fields, highlighting examples of iconic and avant-garde forms (including Bauhaus-trained Egon Riss’s sculptural and modernist designs for the ‘super pits’). 

Litfest aims to stimulate, promote and reflect the best in contemporary literature, illustration and ideas in the UK and beyond. As one of the oldest literature festivals in the country, the Lancaster based festival has successfully created a wide variety of events since 1978.

For more details and listed events: https://litfest.org/

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