Welcome to this special edition of Here & Now, the Journal of The Academy of Urbanism.
We are devoting this issue entirely to the memory of John Thompson, the founder and Honorary President of the Academy of Urbanism. We have collected together articles from friends and associated of John with memories of his career and his role in founding the AoU.
In this issue George Ferguson remembers when he asked John to set up what became the Academy of Urbanism, Marcus Adams and Charles Campion recall a friend and colleague, Nova Thompson writes about her best friend of 35 years, and Janet Sutherland remembers her time working with John at Camden Council. Meanwhile Yingying Tian tells the story of how John applied his workshop techniques in China and Tony Reddy recalls John’s influence in Ireland. Kevin Murray remembers John as a force of nature, Jas Atwal describes how she first met John over 20 years, and Kerri Farnsworth wonders what he did to upset that Basque waiter. Finally your editor, David Rudlin admires the way that John handled a difficult gig in Hulme.
John proposed a 5,000+1 year vision
Yingying Tian Remembers the legacies that John left in China: towns, communities and inspired people.
No impediment could be allowed to interfere with the Academy’s ambition
Tony Reddy recalls a conference presentation by John in Kilkenny in 1992 that had a huge impact on Irish Architects and described how they worked together in the early days of the AoU.
Nova Thompson on life with John, her best friend for 35 years. A life that was nothing but eventful and in which she experienced and learned so much.
The man in the middle
Kevin Murray remembers John as something of a force of nature – hard to avoid and often even harder to resist, even by those coming initially from a very different perspective.
No potatoes for you!
Kerri Farnsworth recalls John as a friend and mentor but still wonders what he did to upset that Basque waiter.
It’ll be fine, it happens all the time
Jas Atwal, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism describes how she first met John over 20 years ago and couldn’t have imagined what an impact he would have on her and her professional life.
How genuine engagement can identify real solutions
Janet Sutherland remembers working with John while at Camden Council when HTA were planning the regeneration of the Maiden Lane Estate.
Learning from good places, and a dogged determination to do something about it
George Ferguson remembers his time as president of the RIBA when he asked John to set up what became the Academy of Urbanism
Running a workshop is like walking a tightrope
David Rudlin remembers a particularly challenging community planning weekend run by John in the Hulme Estate in Manchester.
It’s not just about bricks and mortar, it’s about people’s lives
Marcus Adams and Charles Campion mourn the passing of a friend, colleague and mentor and reflect on John’s remarkable 50 year career.
The AoU Journal is sponsored by Space Syntax