My review of the fab V&A exhibition featured on Kultureflash
Nineteen international architects were invited by the V&A to develop designs that explore the notions of retreat and refuge. Seven of the resulting "havens" have been built and are currently dotted around the museum's staircases, galleries and garden. So where can we retreat to? The response is far from the series of cabanons one might expect and includes a "floating" tea-house (Terunobu Fujimori), a book tower with 6,000 titles (Rintala Eggertsson Architects) and a transparent inside/outside tree (Sou Fujimoto). All at a reduced scale, the constructions have allowed the architects to experiment with proportion and materials, while enabling the visitor to interact truly with architecture rather than simply glancing at scale drawings. It is an architecture exhibition at its most playful and tactile. Intriguingly, Carlos Teixeira's shelter, Spiral Booths, is informed by the word "to retreat" as a verb, implying falling back -- which does much to explain the intense installation and performances by Seven Sisters Group and The Lab Theatre Collective. Climb a ladder to the proposed sanctuaries and keep an eye out for future exhibitions curated by Abraham Thomas, who going by this is one to watch.
NB: runs till 30/08. Woodshed jazz improvisation sessions take place every Friday till 23/07 in the Porter Gallery, Spiral Booth performances run from now till 25/07 and Friday Late Summer Camp hosts events from carpentry workshops to singing around a campfire in true DIY style on 30/07 and 31/07.