XXAOC - Searching for Female Architects of Colour

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We are delighted that Sarah’s Article on documenting women of colour in architecture has been published by Justine Clark and the wonderful team at Parlour. 

Read the article here

We are very grateful to @_parlour for giving a platform to the important issue of minority representation in architecture. XXAOC wants to find and share the stories of #FemaleArchitectsofColour. Please join our mailing list to get involved! https://xxaoc.com 

To find out more about the project or get involved, please join the XXAOC mailing list. https://buff.ly/2H7uAVH

Source: https://archiparlour.org/searching-for-fem...

The Making Of 'She Draws:She Builds'

Studio Aki is part of a meet-up of North London female architects, founded by Anna Schabel. Conversations encompass our practice as architects and beyond; work, life balance and the future of the profession. At  meetings over pizza and wine the the group discussed various ways of bringing their conversations to a wider audience. Several possibilities were considered, including the idea of a film.  

Sharing stories, particularly on film, is something we have a passion for; Sarah wanted to help turn this into a reality and so offered to direct and make the film. 

In February of 2017 the process of interviewing women began, initially we spoke to women  from the group but eventually this broadened this out to include women from various backgrounds and at all stages of their careers.  Lots of wonderful material was gathered and Sarah then started the difficult process of editing it down to thirty minutes or so, to create the shared story that is the She Draws:She Builds film.  There was about fifteen hours of footage to be distilled down to thirty minutes and we also needed a way of separating the film into chapters; this is partly how Sarah developed the idea of the hand sketching moteif, which repeats throughout the film.

At the end of 2017 She Draws was screened at the RIBA and we now look forward to further screenings as part of International Women's Day at RIBA London March, as part of Ethel Day at RIBA North this summer and possibly further afield.

More about the process of making the film to follow...

#Hackneystories Continues @BernsteinsBar

Adam @bernsteins

Adam Bernstein has a love of food and London's history which are palpable within minutes of striking up a conversation with him. He has always loved to cook and his passion for traditional Jewish and London foods lead to the creation of Bernsteins Bar. We talked about Old Jewish London and the rag trade, the link between food and culture, the richness that waves of immigration have brought to London life, the pros and cons of gentrification and the tragedy of Brexit...On Monday I will be interviewing Adam's business partner Ben about the Antipodean side to the business...one of my favourite things in the world...Coffee!

#HackneyStories for #Cine-Theatre

This week I photographed the proprietor of a of one of the oldest surviving shoe repair shops this part of North-East London, which also happens to sit in one of the city's oldest terraces.  The interview was part of a series I am carrying out for Hackney Stories, to be part of The Cine-Theatre project. Hackney Stories tells the modern history of Hackney through the memories  of those who have migrated here, whether from near or far.

Ahmed's story could be from the present day, he arrived aged 10, accompanied by his parents and siblings, fleeing war and hoping to start a new life. His father soon set up the business he now runs  and like many others they became part of the rich texture of our city. He has run this shop for 35 years, taking over from his father in the late 70s. Trained by his father a shoemaker, he  has a passion for giving new life to shoes and is possibly one of the most experienced shoe repair men you will find in this part of town and his shop sits in own of the city's oldest terraces. Please share the hashtag #cine-theatre and support us on Spacehive: https://www.spacehive.com/millfields-theatre.

The Cine-Theatre In Development 1

The Transformative Power of Cinema and Theatre

Theatre of Pallets - Cine on Millfields Park 

Theatre of Pallets - Cine on Millfields Park 


Harking  back to the ancient amphitheatres of Greece and the american drive in cinema tradition, The Cine -Theatre is envisaged as an installation which will transform the site of the Old Paddling Pool at Millfields Park into a dual function pop-up; a cinema and open air theatre for, a day during the month of June.  The project is also viewed as a test bed for future Cine - Theatre pop-ups, which it is hoped could happen at other under used sites across London and beyond. 


In September 2014, as part of an MA, I visited the ancient Epidaurus theatre at on the Argolid peninsula in the Peloponnese.  Famed for it’s remarkable acoustics, which mean all 14,000 members of the audience would be able to hear a whisper at the centre and it’s fine symmetrical structure, it was built by the architect Polykleitos on a site close to the ancient sanctuary at Askelepios.


Informed by this visit, the ancient Greek and African traditions of oral storytelling and the Greek placement of theatre at the social and political centre of it’s society, the Cine-Theatre seeks to re-activate the Old Paddling Pool site and turn it into a place of storytelling and community activity for a day.  It is a piece of concreted ground that, no having particular facilities, is disused most of the time but that nevertheless presents an exciting invitation.

Hosting the programmes of cinema and theatre the Cine will seek to activate the site with dual modes of storytelling.


In the ancient world it was believed that theatre performed an important social function; having the power to heal the mentally and physically ill.  Whilst, in the modern era we may not believe in theatre has medical powers, it  could be argued that it offers an opportunity for catharsis, sharings, and airings which can be a catalyst for conversation and reflection. As such theatre has the potential to contribute to the healing of social ills.  Cinema, a more modern form of storytelling possesses a similar quality, it’s existence in dematerialising darkness augmenting it's power to transport. Both media possess the power to create dreamlike suspensions of reality, and a delicate, ephemeral and transformative power – little pieces of magic people can share and take away.  

All Images © Sarah Akigbogun

All Images © Sarah Akigbogun