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RIBA Building Futures debate: Is the value of design measurable?


04 February 2011

Press office contact:

Mina Vadon
T: +44 (0)207 307 3761
E: mina.vadon@riba.org

Time and date: 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Tuesday 15 February 2011

Location: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1

Building Futures, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) think tank, will be hosting the latest in a series of highly topical and provocative debates, this time questioning whether the drive towards low cost building has bred a generation of cautious designers whose visionary ideals have been lost to number crunching?

The debate is taking place at the Surface Design Show 2011 on Tuesday 15 February 2011, and will feature contributions from:

For the Motion

Professor Robert Adam, Adam Architecture

Denise Chevin, Journalist and former Editor of Building Magazine

Against the Motion

Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects

Professor Bill Hillier, Space Syntax

The debate will raise questions over the value of the immeasurable aspects of design against the more quantifiable, such as cost and sustainability, and question whether we are ethically bound to move towards the aesthetic austerity associated with economic responsibility, or can we still encourage the unfettered extravagance of boom times? Is it a case of either/or, or can we have the best of both worlds? Is austerity necessarily a bad thing? Is good design an unaffordable luxury? Is 'frumpitecture' and 'new puritanism' a sign of the times, or simply a stylistic movement? Are bad architects hiding behind the banner of sustainability as justification for poor design?

Notes to editors

To register for your complimentary ticket, which includes entry to the Surface Design Show, please email BuildingFutures@inst.riba.org, and provide your full name, job title, company and address.


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