A City to Connect In

'A City to Connect In' was a film made for the 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism based on IF_DO's ongoing research into designing spaces for social connection, particularly as a means of combatting the issues of loneliness and social isolation within our cities. It features an installation undertaken as part of the Loneliness Lab on the Draper Estate in Elephant and Castle, in South London. Dozens of yellow balloons were installed in an underused undercroft on the Estate, at the base of one of the towers, creating an unexpected disruption to the residents day-to-day experience. A baggage tag hung from each of the balloons, with passersby encouraged to write messages and stories onto the tags--from an elderly woman who had watched the Estate being built and had lived there ever since, to a Somalian man who had recently arrived. These messages were there to be read by others, prompting conversations and connections amongst neighbours.