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Raise the Roof: Meet the Artists

Our latest exhibition, Raise the Roof: Building for Change explores the narratives and attitudes embedded within the fabric of our own headquarters at 66 Portland Place, London, unpacking themes such as gender, race and imperialism through a series of new and exciting creative works.

Esi Eshun

Esi Eshun is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher and writer who works primarily with text, poetry, sound, voice, performance, archives, and still and moving images. Her work frequently centres on the intersection between environmental disturbances, imperial histories and their human and non-human consequences, while attempting to redress perceived differences between Western and non-Western knowledge systems. Although grounded in rigorous research, her work experiments with speculative narrative forms, notions of auto-theory and performative approaches to documentary making.

Her solo and collaborative projects have been presented at institutions including Tate Britain, Berlin Berlinale, Southbank Centre, Talinn Art Hall, Hess Gallery, Maritime Museum, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, Sharjah Architecture Triennial and the London International Festival of Architecture among others.

She has worked in association with the Crafts Council, Pitt Rivers Museum and the Archaeology Dept of the University of Ghana, on decolonising initiatives, and is a participating artist on When the Future Comes, a 30-year environmental art/research project. She is a lecturer at Central Saint Martins, and has written on cinema, art and music for publications including The Wire, Sight & Sound and New Internationalist magazine. 

Esi Eshun

Thandi Loewenson assisted by Zhongshan Zou

Thandi Loewenson (b.1989, Harare) is an architectural designer/researcher who mobilises design, drawing, fiction and performance to stoke embers of emancipatory political thought and fires of collective action, and to feel for the contours of other, possible worlds. Operating in the overlapping realms of the weird, the tender, the earthly and the airborne, Thandi engages in projects which provoke questioning of the status-quo, whilst working with communities, policy makers, unions, artists and architects towards acting on those provocations. 

Zhongshan Zou makes work that includes painting, filming, and architectural design. Trained as an architect (AA School) and engineer (Wuhan), he is the founder of JiaJi Architects in China. His interests lie in relation to spaces, policy, economy, and sociology.  

Artist details:

Thandi Loewenson
Zhonghsan Zou

Arinjoy Sen

Arinjoy Sen works as an architectural designer in London, while exploring his interests and research through an art-based practice. Sen’s concerns in his artistic practice ranges from the politics and aesthetics of architecture to the instrumentalization of spatial agents in socio-cultural and political phenomena. His work and interests have an acute focus on contested landscapes, citizenship, migration, narrative and spatial justice. Drawing plays a crucial role in Sen’s work, where it becomes an incubator for the exploration of narrative and space.

Sen’s works have been exhibited internationally at La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2023), V&A Museum, London (2023), Art Mumbai, Mumbai (2023), African Futures Institute, Accra (2023), and Pinakothek der Moderne Museum, Munich (2023). His work at the curator’s Special Projects, Guests from the Future at La Biennale di Venezia has garnered positive reception from the Guardian, the Observer, Dezeen, the Telegraph India, the Indian Express, the Hindustan Times, e-flux and Wallpaper*. Sen’s writings have appeared in the Architect’s Journal, the Architectural Review, the Funambulist, RIBA Designs on History, the RIBA Journal, the Indian Express and the Telegraph India among several others.

Arinjoy Sen

Giles Tettey Nartey

Giles Tettey Nartey is a British-Ghanaian designer, researcher, and architect. His research-based design practice encompasses filmmaking, installation, performance, and object design deeply rooted in West African culture and fosters a dialogue between craft and ritual. Alongside his design PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Giles teaches at the university, and also leads a diploma unit at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

In 2023, Giles was named a 'Future Icon' by Wallpaper* Magazine, an accolade recognizing emerging leaders in design and architecture. Additionally, his designs were celebrated by ‘Hypebeast’ as one of the ‘Best Furniture’ of 2023. Previously, in 2018, he was acknowledged by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a 'Black Architect of Tomorrow'. Giles's objects and films have been showcased at numerous places, including the Seoul Biennale and the London Design Festival.

Raise the Roof: Building for Change Exhibition

Open 27 April to 21 September 2024, The Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Please contact for more.

Giles Tettey Nartey
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