The People's Canopy. Preston And Beyond

The People's Canopy. Preston And Beyond

Jan, 7 2016

~Can you conceive the idea of having at least 50 volunteers operating a large structure simply by cycling? Even so, can you imagine it reaching the far corners of the Earth, without a puncture?

Well,  last September ( 2015) this dream was realised. Utilising a giant red canopy with a series of wheels at it’s base, this monster in the cycle world came to Preston as part of the Lancashire Encounters Festival  and since it’s launch in Preston it has now made it half way round the world!

‘The People’s Canopy’ originally cycled the streets of Preston ( the flag market and Birley Street ) and travelled across various locations throughout Preston.

Now, ( 2016) The People’s Canopy is making further strides in Hong Kong for an architecture festival.

The brainchild of the concept, Canopy designer and architect James Shen
 expressed these words of joy and how it was born and how it is progressing,

“We are proud to have the People’s Canopy featured in the 2015/16 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture. The People’s Canopy project was conceived to bridge across locations and cultures and now it connects islands. After its launch in Preston, Hong Kong is the second site to host the People’s Canopy; an apt location to highlight the historic and cultural ties between these two parts of the world.”

The idea actually began a year earlier. Professor Charles Quick of In Certain Places at UCLAN helps us to see it’s origin,

“The People’s Canopy project began during a visit to Beijing by In Certain Places in 2014, and developed through an on-the-ground engagement with the people and places of Preston by People’s Architecture Office.”

Charles also highlights the significance in bringing countries together and the triumph this results in,
“The presentation of the Canopy at the 2015/16 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, marks a new, important step in this cross-cultural collaboration, which celebrates the connections and specificities of two
very different places.”
Lancashire Encounter was a three day celebration of the arts and culture in Preston that took place towards the end of September last year ( 2015).

Whether Preston intends to repeat a similar landmark event such as The People’s Canopy remains to be seen but keep an eye out in Preston city centre if you see a large red attraction with a number of wheels and a  range of eccentric volunteers steering it!