Theatrum Mundi established as an independent charity at Somerset House

13 October 2017

Theatrum Mundi, which has been based at LSE Cities since 2012, is moving to Somerset House. Growing out of a series of conversations bringing together artists, performers, and urbanists to discuss shared questions about the ways culture produces public life in cities, Theatrum Mundi has developed into an independent charitable organisation.

Founded at the LSE in 2012 by urbanist and sociologist Professor Richard Sennett, Theatrum Mundi (TM) convened workshops, conferences, and publications examining the design of the urban public realm through the crafts of artistic practices such as choreography and music, and assembled a network of young artists and urbanists that generously contributed to its work. As it grew, TM coordinated more ambitious projects, such as a series of international design challenges asking whether political ideals can be designed into the city and developing programme with partners such as Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and weareherevenice.

Within the last year at LSE Cities, under the directorship of Adam Kaasa, TM has commissioned a film bringing to life the Quito Papers with UN Habitat and presented it in events in Paris, New York, and Beijing; undertaken a major piece of research on cultural infrastructure in London to be launched at Museum of London on 14th November; created a series of experimental seminars with architects and musicians at the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris; and produced its first book from a series of workshops on speculative fiction to be launched at Somerset House on 20th October.

TM will continue to create programmes and partnerships that aim to enrich urban design and research through encounter with arts practices, as well as providing a setting for rich critical discussion between its network of collaborators. In London, TM will be led by John Bingham-Hall, who has been with the project since 2015, with a board of trustees chaired by Richard Sennett. Through a new link with Columbia University, TM will also expand its activities in New York and Paris, as well as creating an exchange with Beijing with support from the Kaifeng Foundation.

Upcoming programming includes workshops on urban sound, a salon at the Museum of London, and film screenings raising questions about culture in migration. A full announcement detailing new staffing and programmes will be released in January 2018.

In other news: TM is recruiting for a researcher and a coordinator, so please get in touch here if you are interested in working for the new charity.