Designing for a Living City Exhibition -The Barbican

Designing for a Living City

As the weather is getting warmer with the beginning of Spring, I decided to take a trip to the Barbican in East London to visit the “Designing for a Living City” exhibition. 

Being perhaps one of the largest example of the Brutalist style worldwide, the Barbican is always breathtaking and one of my favourite spots in the city architecturally. 

Conceived in the climate of Post World War London by Chamberlain, Powell and Bon the complex is an example of a Utopian dream of manageable high density inner city living with public areas such as restaurants, schools, cinemas and theatres integrated into residential neighbourhoods. 

With such a rich and controversial history, the exhibition included original landscape plans, architectural illustrations, leaflets and brochures. 


As a Millennial, I found the hand drawn nature of the original documents the most interesting.  I found it refreshing to see the use of watercolours for what would now be computer renders.  Although able to transfer more of the architect’s illustrative style; I didn’t envy having to hand write endless pages of scheduling without a single mistake.

The exhibition is running until mid October so catch it if you have an hour or so free.