The People’s Canopy

  • Artists: James Shen (People’s Architecture Office)
  • Location: Preston, Hong Kong, Leuven, Shenzhen
  • Date: 2015 –
  • Produced by: In Certain Places and People’s Architecture Office
  • External links: The Peoples Canopy


People’s Canopy Hong Kong, China, images courtesy of People’s Architecture Office 1
Material and Skills Architecture


The People’s Canopy took centre stage and provided the infrastructure for the inaugural Lancashire Encounter festival, which has since become a biennial event. First appearing at the university, they were cycled into the city centre by over 50 volunteers and accompanied by a procession of cyclists from all over Preston. The canopies were host and home to commissioned artworks, community gatherings, performances, workshops, meetings, interventions and a wide spectrum of creative activity. For three days it provided a social space in which communities from both the university and the wider city could share ideas, culture and traditions.

This success provided the impetus for a biennial festival board. The first large-scale festival in 2016 more than doubled visitor figures, with 43,000 attendees. At the same time, the Canopy has also been adopted by local governments overseas, in cities such as Leuven, Belgium and Yantai China, to facilitate increased cultural and social engagement within their public spaces.

Partners:  Preston City Council Events Team, UCLan Sport, Preston City Council Cycling   Development team, Cycling Preston. 

Supported by:  Preston City Council, Arts Council England, UClan.

Peoples canopy Leuven, courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Leuven, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Shenzhen, courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

People’s Canopy, Shenzhen, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Leuven, courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Leuven, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

People’s Canopy Preston, UK images courtesy of In Certain Places

People’s Canopy, Preston, UK image courtesy of In Certain Places

People’s Canopy Preston, UK images courtesy of In Certain Places

People’s Canopy Preston, UK, image courtesy of In Certain Places

Peoples canopy Shenzhen, courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Shenzhen, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

People’s Canopy, Hong Kong, China, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Off

People’s Canopy, Hong Kong, China, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Off

Peoples canopy Shenzhen, courtesy of People’s Architecture Office

Peoples canopy Shenzhen, image courtesy of People’s Architecture Office