How can temporary built projects create a more sustainable and equitable city?

In this conversation, we’re discussing how we can test new ideas for the public realm with temporary built projects, and the role they can play in shaping a more sustainable and equitable city.

We’re focussing on two installations that formed part of the London Festival of Architecture 2023 programme. The projects mentioned in this episode are in-situ until August. Find out more information on about On Tenterground and Common Ground on the LFA website.

For the first conversation we’re joined by Lydia Allain Chapman, who oversees all built projects and competitions at the LFA. We then speak with Marwa El Mubark (Saqqra) and Nasios Varnavas (Urban Radicals), two of the designers behind Common Ground. We close with a conversation with Chāo Gāo, founding director of ciaociao design, whose On Tenterground is currently installed in Aldgate.


URBAN RADICALS is a collaborative studio that designs objects, rooms, architectures and landscapes. The studio started out in 2019 as a duo between architects Era Savvides and Nasios Varnavas, and is now an expansive network between friends, colleagues and expert collaborators, solving design problems across contexts and scales.

Ciaociao Design is a design studio focusing on landscape architecture and art installations, founded by Chao Gao in 2020. Ciaociao Design’s ethos is to create sustainable and memorable spaces for everyone. Chao is a chartered Landscape Architect who has over ten years experience. She has successfully designed and delivered many notable UK and international projects.

Saqqra is a new collective founded by writers and researchers Marwa El Mubark and Niall Bridgeman. Saqqra is interested in decolonizing and decarbonizing construction industry and just wider conversations around architecture. Both Marwan and Niall also teach at Kingston and UEL.



This episode was produced and edited by Katya Spiers.
You can find a transcript of the conversation using the link below:

Download the transcript


Images: On Tenterground © Luke O’Donovan, Common Ground © Joe Howard @ Bar Productions

Image description: A compilation image of Common Ground and On Tenterground, the two LFA projects mentioned in this podcast. The upper image of Common Ground is a close up showing the materiality of the project. The bottom image is a close up of the sails which form part of Tenterground.