A graduate of the Royal College of Art, James designs and makes places, spaces and things. His work can be characterised by the use of playful wit to challenge current socio-political themes. For more infomation email: me@jameschristian.co.uk.

Free Tr[Aid]’ imagines a future in which further budgetary constraints has lead to the privatisation of the United Kingdom’s International Aid commitments. The declining power of debt-ridden Britain, has led to the re-evaluation of the relationships with its former colonies.

Through a mechanism of ‘Reverse Imperialism’ the UK invites partner nations to earn their own aid by establishing self-run territories on British soil. Located in the hinterlands between the North Circular Road and the Brent Reservoir, the scheme explores the development of an Indian ‘Aid Earning Zone’ in suburban London, examining the associated political and cultural tensions.

Is a thin façade of socialist rhetoric enough to conceal the high capitalism lurking beneath?

‘Socialist Façadism’ is a parody of ‘Big Society’ politics and the use of socialist language to sell right-wing ideas to the general public. The project is superficially integrated into the surrounding community through the forced provision of formerly cut public services expressed in an architectural language of digitally fabricated cake icing.

Designed and built in collaboration with 6 of the other year out students from Wilkinson Eyre Architects for the London Festival of Architecture. The installation sought to offer passers-by a renewed perspective on the dull and familiar Benjamin Street Gardens in Clerkenwell. An abandoned maintenance hut, invisible in its ordinariness was enveloped in pink and at once transformed into a foreign object. Passers by, drawn inside found themselves in the inverted tree canopy observing distorted views of the landscape outside through a combination of mirrors and lenses.

Do we really need all those ancillary rooms just to ourselves? With energy consumption in the UK rocketing, the city of edited luxury proposes that our most energy intensive daily activities are removed from our homes and re-positioned into the surrounding community. This offers the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of greater luxury and amenity afforded by sharing spaces with others. It’s less wasteful, more sociable and more fun!

James Christian, Architecture, Design, RCA, Royal College of Art, Graduate Architect, Shift Happens, Free (TR)AID, Socialist Facadism, Edited Luxury, London, United Kingdom