Museum of London



We didn’t just want to talk about making the city better: we wanted to actually do it, to help Londoners be agents of positive change in their city. We partnered with initiatives across London to improve air quality, connect neighbourhoods, and reduce food waste, helping Londoners to see themselves as agents of positive change. You can still take part in City Now City Future: just use these do-it-yourself resources and start improving your city.

Keep in touch to learn what we’re planning as we move towards the new Museum of London in West Smithfield.


The London Initiatives

May – December 2017


Community organisation Living Under One Sun.


We borrowed most of our major exhibition The City is Ours from Paris, but we wanted to give it a distinctly London touch. So we partnered with 25 projects across London who are working to make the city a better place. These 25 initiatives are doing everything from redistributing food waste to installing solar panels, helping deaf Londoners navigate the city to building sustainable housing.

Each of the 25 initiatives ran a lunchtime session in the museum, teaching visitors how they could make their own lives better.


25 ways to fix the city: meet the initiatives >

Museum of London


Voice Over Finsbury Park: an idea for future London

January – April 2018

Winner of An Idea for a Future London


In May 2017, we issued an open call for proposals for An Idea for a Future London – projects that would make a positive change in the city. We want to create prototypes of how citizens can live richer, more connected lives. The winners of the open call were Umbrellium and Furtherfield, who submitted VoiceOver Finsbury Park. It’s a hyper-local social radio project, allowing instant, open conversation between people who live in the same building, a tower block overlooking Finsbury Park.

A series of light antennae, LED nodes and radio boxes, operated by residents, were installed in homes and public spaces. They created a network of light and sound that can be heard and seen by the whole community. The aim of the project was to give neighbours who may never have spoken to each other a reason to chat and share ideas. We shared the results, including recordings and performances created by residents, in an exhibition at the museum.

What is Voice Over Finsbury Park? >

City Now City Future - Museum of London

Hackit worshops

June – December 2017

Our season was about making Londoners into more involved citizens, giving them the tools they need to make their city a better place. Our Hackit workshops taught skills for more sustainable living.

Sessions included: building a Bee Hotel; Rebel Gardening; Urban Foraging; Pickling and Preserving.


City Now City Future - Museum of London

Low emissions neighbourhood garden

October 2017 – April 2018

We partnered with the City of London to create this garden display in the spaces around the museum. The plants growing in it have been chosen for their ability to filter pollutants from the air. Even after the season is over, this display keeps doing a little to make the city better.


City Now City Future - Museum of London

London Urban Herbal

October 2017

We partnered with Company Drinks to produce this tasty soft drink, sold at our festivals and in the museum’s cafes.

Once a month,Company Drinks organizes a trip to gardens and growing spaces across London, where they hand-pick edible and medicinal plants. These drinks were made from herbs harvested in these wild urban spaces, putting a little bit of London in every bottle.

Museum of London


The Festival of Radical Fun

7 October 2017


City Now City Future was about empowering citizens to make the changes they wanted to see. This free 12-hour festival gave those skills to visitors in a celebration of Londoners doing it for themselves.

The museum was taken over by groups from the Restart Project, who fix and hack broken devices, to Disco Loco, who create do-it-yourself family parties. Dozens of creators, makers and artists encouraged visitors to take these practical skills back into their own lives.

Part of the Fun Palaces weekend of action, which saw public spaces across the capital transformed into places for people to come together, create, and make the city better.


Inside the Festival of Radical Fun >

Museum of London


Archikids & Celebrate Your City

22 – 23 July & 11 – 12 November 2017

Family Festivals transformed the museum into a place to play, learn and create

Archikids was a weekend of free architecturally-inspired activities and workshops led by architects, artists and designers for kids and their families to explore the city. We partnered with some of the other most exciting spaces in the City of London, from the Gherkin to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The museum was filled with special tours, performances, art activities and more.

Celebrate Your City explored digital technology in London. Our visitors were inspired by the digital technologies that shape how we live in the city at this weekend extravaganza of free family activities. We hosted digital workshops and demonstrations, craft activities, performances, tours and interactive storytelling.

Museum of London


Lady Lucy: portraits for services, gifts and favours

May 2017 to now


Artist Lady Lucy spent two months at the beginning of our City Now City Future season painting watercolour portraits of museum visitors. Each of them agreed to pay for their portrait with a favour, done for someone else. These pictures, gifts and connections create a network of generosity stretching across London.

For three years, artist Lucy Woollett has been painting portraits of strangers as a gift, and asking them “pay it forward” by doing something for another stranger. Each recipient could choose to give out another free favour, spreading the impact of Lady Lucy’s portraits across the city. Lady Lucy said she want to create “moments of connection between people, and conversations around gift exchange and alternative economies.”

Some of the services, gifts and favours include:

  • A full bike service and refit
  • A haircut
  • A selection of well loved Riot Grrrl and Punk records
  • Holiday hosting, food, driving and petrol
  • Shantala massage

See the portraits >