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RIBA think tank debates whether we can build happiness


31 May 2007

Press office contact:

Melanie Mayfield
T: +44 (0)207 307 3662
E: melanie.mayfield@riba.org

Building Futures/Evening Standard Homes & Property debate:
"This house believes you can't build me happiness"
31 May 2007 at 7pm, Building Design Partnership, 16 Brewhouse Yard, EC1
Can architecture make us happy? Is the planning process inhibiting our happiness?
There is no easy formula for creating happiness as it is dictated by a number of characteristics: the visual quality of our environment; our exposure to daylight, colour, views, and access to other people; and our environments' reliability, cost, and fitness for purpose. There are diverging perspectives on whether happiness should be a specific design priority for architects. Supporters believe happiness is a vital consideration; opponents criticise prioritising such an abstract and nebulous issue.
The motion, This house believes you can't build me happiness, will be debated on Thursday 31 May at 7pm at Building Design Partnership, 16 Brewhouse Yard, EC1. The event has been organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) think tank, Building Futures, in conjunction with the Evening Standard's Homes & Property magazine.
Architect Alex Lifschutz and artist Peter Fink will be speaking for the motion. Consulting engineer Jane Wernick and architect Kathryn Findlay will be in opposition. Pooran Desai, co-developer of BedZed at BioRegional development group, will be speaking from the floor on behalf of the motion, and architect Rab Bennetts, of Bennetts Associates Architects, will speak for the opposition. The debate will be chaired by Philippa Stockley of the Evening Standard.
Tickets to 'This house believes you can't build me happiness' are FREE, but limited, and must be booked in advance from buildingfutures@inst.riba.org

Notes to editors

1. For more press information, or to book a press place, contact Melanie Mayfield in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3662 or melanie.mayfield@inst.riba.org
2. Building Futures is the RIBA's think tank on issues affecting the future of the built environment. It was established to create space for discussion about the needs of society from our built environment and, consequently, the built environment professions in 20 years and beyond. The group aims to highlight and promote those working with new technologies and developing new ideas, which will contribute to the future of our towns and cities and address society's changing demands over the coming years. How and where will we be living in 50 or 100 years' time? What technologies will architects be using to design new buildings and what materials will be specified? How will the inevitable new technologies affect the buildings and places we use every day? The Building Futures programme is ongoing and includes exhibitions, debates, events and research activities. For more information visit www.buildingfutures.org.uk


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