The Short Continuous Picnic was selected by the 2008 London Festival of Architecture
15 Aug 2013
The month-long London Festival of Architecture aims to celebrate and generate debate about the future development of London. During June and July 2008, a series of events took place in five defined “hubs” across London.
The Short Continuous Picnic developed the festival's theme of FRESH in relation to food. The idea for the picnic comes from Bohn & Viljoen’s work exploring the negative environmental impact of remote food production and the possibilities and benefits arising from the introduction of urban agriculture into cities.
The Short Continuous Picnic aimed to generate discussion about how London could reduce its ecological footprint by introducing urban agriculture as an element of a sustainable infrastructure and drew directly on Bohn & Viljoen’s Continuous Productive Urban Landscape concept. It demonstrates how open urban space could be used differently and explores issues related to local food production and its potential impact on urban design.The Short Continuous Picnic happened on Saturday the 5th of July 2008 along Malet Street and Montague Place (behind the British Museum) and Russell Square, a route of approximately one kilometre. Roads will be closed to traffic and up to 20,000 people are expected to join in a day-long celebration of food and the city. An “inverted market” ran during the morning, at which members of the public were asked to bring rather than buy fruit and vegetables for the picnic.
The produce was categorised in relation to the distance they had travelled from farm to market. The picnic proper, which ran during the afternoon, was followed in the evening by a community composting event. Undergraduate students from the University of Brighton's Architecture and Interiors and Urban Studies programmes, local schools and community organisations are involved with setting up the event.
Apart form funding for the event by LFA08, Bohn & Viljoen Architects, run by Brighton researchers in architecture Andre Viljoen and Katrin Bohn have been successful in securing funding from the London Development Agency's Small Grants Scheme “Sustainable Food for London”.