About

In 2013, Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Simon King co-founded The Walkative Project. Through participant and guest-led walks, written and visual documentation, the project explores how walking can trigger processes of thinking, researching, collaborating and making.

We organise walks in which artists, architectural critics, film makers, critical spatial theorists and writers respond to textual, visual and verbal prompts (but also have free reign to respond more personally).

Walkative at the Royal College of Art

Emerging from the project in 2015, The Walkative Society is a Royal College of Art student-led society emphasising walking as a means of discovery and a place for dialogue and exchange. Each year the society is led by two presidents from the student body.

The Walkative Society Presidents

  • 2015/16 – Simon King (Birkbeck PhD Candidate) and Tom Spooner (MA Visual Communication)
  • 2016/17 – Camila Botero (MA Sculpture) and Paula Smolarska (MA Sculpture)
  • 2017/18 – Caterina Gobbi (MA Performance) and Christopher Taylor (MA Sculpture)
  • 2018/19 – Kenji Lim (MA Sculpture) and Joao Villas (MA Printmaking)
  • 2019/20 – Katharina Siegel (MA Sculpture) and Adalberto Lonardi (MA Interior Design)
  • 2020/21 – Alastair Kwan (MA Sculpture) and Pat Wing Shan Wong

Designers in Residence

Walkative Across RCA

Taking place as part of Across RCA, the Royal College of Art’s annual week long series of cross-disciplinary projects, Walkative’s propositional starting point was that the city / London contains narratives, knowledge and contested materialities best accessed through walking. The projects between 2013 – 2015 brought together a new trans-disciplinary field of artists, writers, musicians, human geographers and philosophers to consider further how, for student practitioners in art and design, the city walk can inform and trigger new processes of making, thinking, researching and communicating.

Contributors

Current

Norman Klein

is an urban and cultural historian who is identified very much with Los Angeles. Among his best known work: History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory; The Vatican To Vegas: The History of Special Effects; The Imaginary 20th Century; Tales of the Floating Class. He is a professor in the School of Critical Studies, at California Institute of the Arts, in Los Angeles.

Richard Wentworth

is a chronicler of daily life. Since the 1970s he has played a leading role in British sculpture, isolating both the formal and sculptural qualities of everyday objects. His extensive archive of photographs, Making Do and Getting By(1974 onwards), captures the provisional ways in which people modify the world they inhabit. It suggests an infinite syntax of adjustment, modification and appropriation. The private smile which spectators experience when looking at Wentworth’s work is associated with a deep human capacity to associate the inventive and creative with an internalized highway code for survival.

John Troyer

is an RCUK Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath. He is also a member of the Centre for Death and Society. John received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society in May 2006. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Technologies of the Human Corpse was awarded the University of Minnesota’s 2006 Best Dissertation Award in the Arts and Humanities. From 2007-2008 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University teaching the cultural studies of science and technology. Within the field of death studies, John focuses on delineating and defining the concept of the dead human subject. John is in the closing stages of a case study looking at mercury emissions and heat capture technology in UK crematoria.

Peter St John

is a founding partner at Caruso St John Architects. He studied architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Architectural Association, and worked for Richard Rogers, Florian Beigel, Dixon Jones, and Arup Associates prior to establishing the practice with Adam Caruso in 1990. The practice came to public attention with the New Art Gallery Walsall, a commission won in an international competition in 1995. From these origins in the visual arts, the practice has extended its expertise and gained an international reputation for excellence in designing contemporary projects in the public realm. In Autumn 2013 Caruso St John completed the first phase of the masterplan for the restoration, refurbishment and extension of Tate Britain. The project focused on the restoration of galleries in the south quadrant, and on opening up new circulation spaces and public areas around the Rotunda near the Millbank entrance. The project opened to wide acclaim and has been awarded RIBA London and RIBA National Awards as well as the RIBA English Heritage Award for Sustaining the Historic Environment.

Jo Stockham

is an artist working primarily with print and installation. She often deals with the histories of a site, environment and community, using found materials and archive sources. Her current work explores the histories of technology and manufacturing as a subject. She is Professor of Printmaking at the Royal College of Art and current research projects includes an examination of the languages surrounding computing, craft and materiality. She has exhibited widely and undertaken research residencies as Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge (1989) The Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (1997), Yaddo, New York 2001 and Wimbledon Centre for Drawing 2007.

Phil Smith

(Crab Man, Mytho) is a performance-maker, writer and ambulatory researcher. He specialises in creating performances related to walking, site-specificity, mythogeographies and counter-tourism. He writes and performs ‘mis-guided tours’, gently subverting sites of heritage. He is a core member of site-based arts collective Wrights & Sites, a co-author of the company’s various ‘mis-guides’ including ‘An Exeter Mis-Guide’ and ‘A Mis-Guide To Anywhere’, and is presently working on their next publication: ‘Architect Walkers’. He has recently been performing with Jane Mason in ‘Life Forces’, devising and performing ‘Calton Hill Constellations’ with Siriol Joyner for Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians, and developing a ‘common dance for threatened subjectivities’ with Melanie Kloetzel. Also working as a Site Artist for Tracing the Pathway’s ‘Groundwork’ project in Milton Keynes and is developing a new idea for a festival in the city in 2017.

Phil’s publications include Walking’s New Movement (2015), On Walking, Enchanted Things, and the novel Alice’s Dérives in Devonshire (all 2014), Counter-Tourism: The Handbook and, with Simon Persighetti, A Sardine Street Box of Tricks (both 2012) and Mythogeography (2010), and as a co-writer Ways to Wander (2015) and Walking, Writing and Performance (2009). He is currently writing a book on ‘Zombie Walking’. He is also the company dramaturg and, with Paul Stebbings, co-founder (in 1980) of TNT (Munich), the world’s leading company touring English language theatre to non-anglophone countries. He is an Associate Professor (Reader) at Plymouth University.

Peter Sheppard Skærved

is the only British violinist to have been invited to play on Paganini’s violin il Cannone more than once (five times in particular) and he regularly gives recitals on the prestigious collection of historic instruments at the Library of Congress, Washington. He is also acclaimed for his collaborative work with museums, working regularly with the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Galleries, Victoria and Albert Museum and   worldwide. He plays on a 1698 Stradivari owned by Joseph Joachim from the collections of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is the Fellow of Performance Studies.

Steve Pile

is professor of human geography with the Open University. His main research centres on the relations between places and power. He is author of Real Cities (2005) and The Body and The City (1996), and editor, with Paul Kingsbury, of Psychoanalytic Geographies (2014). He is currently working on early Freudian psychoanalysis and geographies of the body.

Sean Patterson

is an actor and urban walking tour creator and guide.  He has an MA in London Studies from QMUL and is a qualified Clerkenwell and Islington guide as well as a qualified City of London guide.  Sean has a particular interest in Charles Booth’s socio-economic mapping of London in the late nineteenth century and a series of walks look at specific districts.  His walks follow Booth’s actual route and Sean reads from Booth’s aide memoire notes compiled at the time so that walkers can compare actual sites over a period of more than a hundred years. Walkers are also invited to read extracts from a variety of historic and present sources that attempt to excavate London’s past, present and future.

Laura Oldfield Ford

is a London-based artist and writer concerned with issues surrounding contemporary political protest, urbanism, architecture and memory. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007 she has become well known for her politically active and poetic engagement with London as a site of social antagonism. She is the author of Savage Messiah.

Past

Max Kohler

(b. 1996) is a writer, programmer, and designer based in London. Recent essays include Zoom Zoom Zoom, and Cloud Visions (forthcoming). He holds an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art.

Aethan Wills

was born in Japan, but has spent most of his life in London. He studied Fine Art BA (Hons) at the Byam Shaw School of Art and is now completing his MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. He often travels to Japan to conduct reach towards his practice and has widely exhibited in galleries both nationally and internationally.

Gabor Gyory

, born 1983, is an artist, curator and writer and co-director of London gallery Twelve Around One. Recent exhibitions include Salient, The Dye House, Peckham, which included Juliette Bonneviot, Samuel Fouracre, Christian Hidaka, Sara Ludy, Thomas Lock, Ben Sansbury & Daniel Swan; and Phosphene, The China Shop, Oxford, which included Majed Aslam, Joel Beach, Jack Brindley, Markus Karstiess and Adam Thompson.

Steven Eastwood

is a filmmaker whose work spans fiction, documentary and artists’ moving image. His films have been screened and exhibited internationally to acclaim. He has published numerous articles and chapters on cinema and regularly curates screenings. In 1997 he formed the production company Paradogs Films. Paradogs’ second documentary, Those Who Are Jesus (2001), was nominated for best documentary newcomer in the prestigious Grierson Award at BAFTA. Eastwood gained a theory-practice PhD through UCL, The Slade in 2007. His work currently deals with the ‘event’ of filmmaking as a site for performing difference. His films veer between genres, embrace difficulty and lack of conclusion and freely-play between fact and fabulation.

Alexander Duncan

, born 1985, is an artist living in London. He moved here from Swansea in 2011 and is currently studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Alex works primarily with sculpture, photography, sought objects, video and drawing. Recent shows include Raised Beach, MOSTYN, Midden, Vulpes Vulpes and Cabin Fervour, a residency in collaboration with Live Art/National Theatre of Wales. Alex will be showing work at Leicester Festival 2014 in November.

Amy Blier-Carruthers

is a Lecturer in Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Her PhD (King’s College London) compares live performance and studio recording, using both analytical and ethnographic methods (currently being prepared for publication). Her research and teaching interests are often interdisciplinary, and revolve around subjects involving performance style, recording practices, ethnographic approaches to classical music-making, innovative performer-led concert practices, the history of performance on recordings and the aesthetic and cultural contexts of these. She has recently presented at conferences in Singapore, Quebec, Vienna, Tel Aviv, London, and Cambridge, and is a core member of the AHRC Research Network ‘Performance in the Studio’.