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RIBA Summer Talks Programme 2009 - International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change


15 April 2009

Press office contact:

Beatrice Cooke
T: +44 (0)207 307 3813
E: beatrice.cooke@riba.org

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust is pleased to present a further programme of lectures in its acclaimed series International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change in association with Gleeds.The highlight of the summer programme will be the RIBA Trust Annual Lecture, to be given by HRH The Prince of Wales on 12 May, as part of the RIBA's 175th Anniversary celebrations. Other talks include Michael Pawlyn at the Guardian Hay Festival, Peter Head's lecture 'Entering an Ecological Age' and two Denmark: Designing for Climate Change talks by four Danish architecture practices.  

The International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change series takes as its premise that architecture and the design and use of our built environment is an integral part of the climate change challenge. This series brings together visionary thinkers and innovative practitioners from a range of disciplines to provide a forum for engaging with some of the key issues affecting architecture and the built environment now and in the future. This programme aims to inspire diversity in our thinking about architecture and its relationship to issues of global governance, ecology, the environment, science, engineering, technology, energy production, resource dependency, food production and international development, amongst many others.


International Dialgoues: Architecture and Climate Change is curated by Tamara Horbacka, RIBA Trust and sponsored by Gleeds. Developed in partnership with BioRegional One Planet Communities® and Futerra.


Details for the series are as follows:


HRH The Prince of Wales

RIBA Trust Annual Lecture 2009

Tuesday 12 May, RIBA

The RIBA Trust Annual Lecture is given by a non-architect on a subject of direct relevance to the built environment. The contents of this lecture will not be known until delivery, however sustainability is expected to feature. This lecture is by invitation only and takes place as part of the RIBA's 175th anniversary celebrations.


Denmark : Designing for Climate Change – Talk 1

3XN and Tegnestuen Vandkunsten

Tuesday 19 May, 6.30pm, RIBA, Jarvis Hall

Kim Herforth Nielsen is the nerve and epicentre of the Danish practice 3XN which has received acclaim for projects such as Ørestad College, Kubus in Berlin and the Het Muziegebouw concert hall in Amsterdam. To encourage architectural innovation the 3XN Research & Design wing focuses on the use of intelligent materials, new technologies and sustainability.

Tegnestuen Vandkunsten are the recipients of the prestigious 10th Alvar Aalto Medal 2009. For almost forty years, Tegnestuen Vandkunsten have focused on pioneering residential architecture and housing developments, designing for convertability and communality with a strong focus on residential involvement, dense-low rise, and most critically, sustainable development.

In partnership with the Danish Architecture Centre, the Architects' Association of Denmark and the Embassy of Denmark


Denmark : Designing for Climate Change, Talk 2


Tuesday 26 May, 6.30pm, RIBA, Wren Room

COBE are a young innovative Danish architectural practice, who are the recent winners of two prestigious design competitions for Nordhaven, a competition to design a new harbour front in Copenhagen and for a new Kulturhus in north-west Copenhagen. Principle founders, Dan Stubbergaard and Vanessa Carlow, develop sensitive and collaborative design solutions with a rigorous belief in the interdisciplinary co-operation with other professions.


CEBRA, based in Århus and founded in 2001 by the architects Mikkel Frost, Carsten Primdahl and Kolja Nielsen, have realized a wide range of building projects. They won the Golden Lion at the 2006 International Architecture Biennale in Venice and have been commissioned to design a major exhibition on climate change for COP15, which will be taking place in Copenhagen in December 2009.

In partnership with the Danish Architecture Centre, the Architects' Association of Denmark and the Embassy of Denmark


Guardian Hay Festival 2009

Michael Pawlyn

Architecture and Biomimicry

Wednesday 27 May, 4.00pm, Hay-on-Wye

See www.hayfestival.com for more information and booking

Michael Pawlyn was one of the lead architects behind The Eden Project in Cornwall and founder of Exploration Architecture. Pawlyn believes that for every problem we face, from generating energy to manufacturing materials, there are examples from nature to give us inspiration. Importantly, the solutions are often more profitable than traditional approaches, as well as radically reducing the impact on the environment.

Michael Pawlyn is a founder member of the UK Green Building Council and a committee member of The Edge, an environmental think-tank.

Peter Head

Entering an Ecological Age

Tuesday 2 June, 6.30pm, RIBA, Jarvis Hall

Arup director, Peter Head explores how the world can begin to make the transition towards an ecological age of civilization. Through this talk, he will explore how human development is now following a dangerously unsustainable path globally, with waves of investment in low and middle income countries accelerating this problem as they follow an unsustainable model. In particular, he will focus on urban areas and methods of food production which consume land and non-renewable resources inefficiently and how, in order to do something to turn the situation around, we will have to move towards an ecological age.


Notes to editors

Notes to editors

  1. For further press information please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office, 020 7307 3813; beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org


  1. International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change is sponsored by Gleeds. The programme was developed in partnership withBioregional One Planet Living® and Futerra.The programme was initiated and curated by Tamara Horbacka, Curator - Talks, RIBA Trust. The RIBA Trust manages the cultural assets of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the internationally recognised collections of the British Architectural Library. It is the UK's national architecture centre, delivering the RIBA Awards and RIBA Stirling Prize (live on Channel 4); the Royal Gold Medal; International and Honorary Fellowships; a full programme of lectures, exhibitions, tours and other events and an education programme.


  1. The RIBA Trust talks take place at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD.  Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street.  The RIBA Trust exhibition spaces are open Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm and Tuesday 10am – 9pm, Tel: 020 7580 5533. To book tickets for the RIBA/Guardian Hay Festival talk please visit www.hayfestival.com or call the booking line 08709901299


  1. Unless otherwise stated, tickets cost £8 (£5 RIBA members, students, concessions). To book, download a ticket booking form from www.architecture.com/programmes or call the RIBA Trust booking line 020 7307 3699. Tickets can also be purchased from the RIBA Bookshop, 66 Portland Place.


  1. The vision of One Planet Living® is a world in which people everywhere can lead happy, healthy lives within their fair share of the Earth's resources. To find out more visit www.oneplanetliving.org 


  1. Futerra is a specialist communications consultancy which advises NGOs, public and private sector clients on issues of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.  For more information visit www.futerra.co.uk.


  1. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the RIBA. To celebrate this milestone the Institute is looking forward to a programme of special events to be held throughout the year that aims to show the breadth of our activities throughout the world of architecture, engage an even wider public and celebrate the benefits to society of good design. For further information visit www.architecture.com



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