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RIBA summer 2011 talks and events


28 April 2011

Press office contact:

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

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has a busy summer programme of talks, tours and events around the UK. Highlights include the 2011 Annual Discourse by Ken Yeang who will present his latest research and ideas on green design and Architecture Festivals in Liverpool and Newcastle. An RIBA curated talks series at London's Southbank will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain and feature leading architect Nicholas Grimshaw. The RIBA has also curated talks at the Tate Britain on James Stirling and for the Mayor of London’s Shubbak season on Arab Culture.

The Reshaping Britain series looks at the drivers behind our changing cities and spaces with talks in London and Birmingham. Two significant debates take place at the RIBA's headquarters at 66 Portland Place and the RIBA's Closer Look series of talks continue at the V&A, including Nicholas Cooper discussing the architectural photography from 1870 -1930 by Bedford Lemere & Co to accompany the RIBA+V&A exhibition.

Further information and a pdf of the full What's On guide, including exhibitions, is available at www.architecture.com/programmes.

The full RIBA Summer 2011 talks programme follows (please note they are listed by region/venue rather than chronologically):



Architecture: At the Edge of Divergence
Tuesday 24 May, 6.30pm, £8.50/£5.50

Australian architects Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury reflect upon the wisdom that can be learned from their lands, and from their elders, and how they each have explored, through their own architecture, the divergent paths that lie ahead.


19th Century Highlights from the RIBA Library Photographs Collection
Thursday 9 June, 1pm - Free and drop in, meet in reception

Discover some of the gems of the RIBA Library’s extensive collection of 19th century photographs. View original material at close hand and hear about the role and the development of architectural photography in the second half of the century. With Valeria Carullo, RIBA.


Design Bites
Tuesday 14 June, 6.30pm, £8.50/£5.50

The inaugural RIBA London and Restaurant & Bar Design Awards event reviews a selection of pioneering restaurant and bar designs, with speakers including Fergus Henderson (chef and hotelier), Ab Rogers (designer) and Noel Hunwick (Inamo Restaurant). A must for those with an appetite for design! Talk attendees receive a 10% discount on the food menu in the RIBA restaurant. Visit architecture.com/ribalondon for details.


The RIBA Annual Discourse
Ken Yeang
Wednesday 15 June, 6.30pm, £8.50/5.50

Dr. Ken Yeang, Chairman of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, is recognised internationally for his focus on sustainable design. Extending over three decades, his work explores the aesthetics of what ‘green’ should look like. Dr Yeang presents his latest research and ideas on green design, illustrated by his firm’s recent designs, masterplans and built work, alongside novel technical solutions to complex ecological issues.

The lecture will be followed by a reception and book launch of Ecoarchitecture: The Work of Ken Yeang, John Wiley & Sons (UK).



To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain the RIBA has curated a series of talks at the Southbank Centre. For bookings call Southbank Centre on 0844 847 9910 or visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.


Rebuilding the City: 1951 and Now
Sunday 3 July, 3.30pm, Tickets £8, Level 5 Function Room, RFH

Elaine Harwood, English Heritage, and Jean Symons, clerk on site during the building of the Royal Festival Hall, discuss the rebuilding of London in the postwar era, which was led by the LCC. Joined by Owen Hatherley, they compare this era with contemporary London, whose buildings are determined by private capital and property speculation. In association with The Twentieth Century Society.


The Skylon: Articulating the Future
Tuesday 5 July, 7.45pm, Tickets £10, Purcell Room

Join leading architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Jack Pringle, former RIBA President, to discuss one of the most peculiar structures ever built in this country: the Skylon. They explore Hidalgo Moya and Philip Powell’s structure - part Zeppelin, part-rocket, part-minaret which inspired many designers and architects who have campaigned to bring it back.



Part of a national series of discussions. In collaboration with Design for London. All tickets £5 unless otherwise stated. Advance booking essential.


New Age of Rail - Is the train key to our future vision of place?
Tuesday 31 May, 6.30pm

Rail was a key component in the growth of our cities and contributed to the transformation of British society. Where rail went, economic and social enterprise followed, manifested in bold design. Can railways once again provide a new strategic purpose? Is rail the opportunity to re-think the design of our cities and economy? Join a panel discussion chaired by Peter Bill, Evening Standard, with Sir Peter Hall from Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, Professor Dr. Andrew McNaughton of High Speed Two, Chris Williamson of Weston Williamson Architects and John Harding of Crossrail.


After the Party: What will be the true legacy of the London Games?
A Building Futures debate
Tuesday 7 June, 6.30pm, Free

What lessons have the Games taught us about regeneration and community? RIBA Building Futures presents a panel discussion looking at who will live, work and play in the East End post 2012. With Hadrian Garrard of Create London, Bob Allies of Allies and Morrison, author David Goldblatt and Eleanor Fawcett of OPLC.


A Better Outside:
Could subversive tactics bring our public spaces back to life?
Tuesday 21 June, 6.30pm

With looming budget cuts and an increased tendancy towards security and behavioural controls, are our spaces under threat? Do we need to relax attitudes and planning controls to re-invigorate city space? Chaired by Mark Brearley, Design for London with Martha Schwartz of Martha Schwartz Partners, Peter Heath of Atkins Global, Ben Plowden of TfL and Richard Reynolds of GuerrillaGardening.org.


A Flourish of Meanwhiles: Do ‘pop ups’ offer real long term possibilities?
Tuesday 28 June, 6.30pm

London and other European cities are experiencing a boom for temporary uses of space. From cycle-cafés, cineroleums, sky rooms and learning hubs they offer a wealth of ideas for alternative land use, however their short life spans often rules out any long-term change. Can they be taken seriously and provide solutions for real community enterprise? With Matthew Lloyd of Matthew Lloyd Architects, Dougald Hine of Space Makers, Klaus Overmeyer of Studio UC Klaus Overmeyer  and Clive Dutton, London Borough of Newham.



From Whitehall to Wigan: How can we Make Localism Work?
Tuesday 17 May, 6.30pm, free – booking essential

Localism is a fundamental shake up of planning that challenges years of established procedure. As the intellectual debate settles and the Bill makes its way through Parliament, are we any closer to knowing how we will deliver it in practice? Join a discussion chaired by Ruth Reed, RIBA President, with contributions from Bill Boler of Business in the Community, Dieter Kleiner of RCKarchitects and Chris Brown of Igloo Regeneration. Free but booking is essential: jessame.cronin@inst.riba.org.


The Melvin Debates: Innovation, Liability and Risk
Friday 20 May, 2.30pm, Free – booking essential

Join us to discuss architecture in the context of contemporary social, economic, and political conditions. Programmed in memory of the late Peter and Muriel Melvin, the second in the 2011 Melvin Debate series looks at architecture and the law with contributions from architects Alfred Munkenbeck and Graham Stirk, RIBA President Ruth Reed and barrister, engineer and academic John Barber. Free but booking is essential. Please email education.temp@inst.riba.org.



'Closer Look talks at the V&A

Take part in one of our Closer Look talks at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the V&A+RIBA Architecture Partnership.


Hugh Casson: Designer, Illustrator and Architect
Tuesday 17 May, 1pm - 2pm, free drop-in, meet at V&A Grand Entrance

As an architect, Sir Hugh Casson (1910 - 1999) is known for his work at the Festival of Britain alongside buildings such as the Elephant House at London Zoo. But he was also a theatre designer, illustrator, broadcaster, journalist and President of the Royal Academy. Hear about his life and career with Christopher Marsden, V&A.


Confidence: The Architectural Photographs of Bedford Lemere & Co.
Wed 29 June, 1.15pm - 2.00pm, Hochhauser Auditorium, free, drop-in

Nicholas Cooper, author of the new English Heritage publication The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co., discusses the work of these leading architectural photographers, the subject of a current exhibition at the V&A.


Street Views 
Tues 28 June, 1pm - 2pm, free drop-in, meet at V&A Grand Entrance

Explore 19th century London through drawings, rare prints, guidebooks and maps from the RIBA and V&A collections and see how architects imagined and shaped the capital city. With Dr Elizabeth Grant, RIBA.


Avenues of Death: Designs of Funerary Architecture
Tues 26 July, 1pm - 2pm, free drop-in, meet at V&A Grand Entrance

A fascinating talk that showcases the wealth of drawings and photographs of funerary architecture and design held in the collections of the RIBA and V&A. With Catriona Cornelius, RIBA.



Late at Tate: Borders and Territories
Friday 3 June, 6pm - 10pm, evening events, Tate Britain, free

This Late at Tate event explores and challenges notions of borders, culture and location in different arts disciplines. The RIBA will host an event relating to the current Tate James Stirling exhibition, with a film screening and discussion around Stirling’s work and legacy, and the contemporary significance of the RIBA Stirling Prize. Please visit tate.org.uk for details. Organised with Tate Britain in collaboration with University of the Arts London.


Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture
Presented by Mayor of London, 4 - 24 July
Talks: Tuesdays 12 and 19 July - RIBA hosted talks

Taking place across the Capital, Shubbak features a range of high profile events exploring contemporary Arab culture. On Tuesdays 12 and 19 July the RIBA hosts talks by leading architects, thinkers and critics. The talks address the current context, recent developments and investigations into the Arab world. These events are accompanied by an exhibition at 66 Portland Place. For full details of all these events and more visit www.nouscollaborative.com or www.london.gov.uk/shubbak.



Architecture Festival 2011
17 - 26 June, locations across the North West

Be inspired, informed and excited by a variety of events taking place across the region, including walking and building tours, exhibitions and debates. Highlights include an exhibition of the work of Eric de Maré, a sandcastle competition and the RIBA Liverpool City Tours. Most events are free, although there may be a small charge for some. Full details at  www.af2011.org.uk.


Stirling and the North
Tate Liverpool, The Albert Dock, Liverpool
Sat 25 June, 2pm, £5/3 Booking via www.architecture.com/RIBAwestmidlands

At the time of his death in 1992, James Stirling was widely regarded as the leading architect of his generation, not just in Britain but worldwide. Born in Glasgow, he spent much of his childhood in Liverpool and trained at the Liverpool School of Architecture. Join a panel debate and discussion, held at Tate Liverpool, Stirling’s only building in the city, that re-considers the role of the North in Stirling’s development and oeuvre, from his thesis design for Newton Aycliffe to late projects like the Lowry at Salford. Organised in association with the University of Liverpool and Tate Liverpool to coincide with the Stirling exhibition at Tate Britain. Part of the North West Architecture Festival 2011.


RIBA Liverpool City WalkingTours
18 June - 25 September, Saturdays, 10.30am and Sundays, 11am,

Discover Liverpool's past, present and future with a walking tour of the city. Join an RIBA Guide as they shine a spotlight on key buildings and spaces that form part of the contemporary city landscape, its characters, its commerce and its culture. 

Tickets: £7.50/£3.50 unwaged. Please meet at The Equator, Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1EN. For more information please call 0151 703 0107 or visit www.architecture.com/liverpoolcitytours.  



Architecture Festival 2011
16 - 26 June, Locations across the North East

Join our celebration of architecture and the built environment and take part in a series of lectures, tours and events. Why not visit the Architruck, rolling up at the festival with valuable information and resources on design and planning alongside a series of exhibitions and films? You’ll also get the chance to discover the virtual world of NewcastleGateshead. Find out more at www.architecture.com.



All talks free and drop-in. Visit architecture.com/RIBAWestMidlands for details.
Paradise Circus & Eastside
MADE, 6 - 7 Newhall St, Birmingham
Thursday 26 May, 6pm, free and drop-in

Davinder Bansall of Glenn Howells Architects outlines the vision for the Paradise Circus and Eastside areas of the city. Proposals for the High Speed 2 Rail link and developments such as the New Library of Birmingham are affecting these key gateways to the city, providing opportunities to re-cast and re-define two dynamic, yet contrasting, parts of Birmingham. Part of the Made In Birmingham series.


Reshaping Birmingham
Part of the Reshaping Britain series.
Joseph Chamberlain and Civic Architecture
TROVE, Newhall Sq, Birmingham
Thursday 16 June, 6pm, free and drop-in

In 1873 Chamberlain became Mayor of Birmingham where, in honoured Victorian tradition, he cleared the city’s slums, built sewage systems and promoted civic streets and architecture. Join an evening looking at the influence of Joseph Chamberlain on Birmingham and discuss whether localism offers the opportunity for a new revitalised vision for Britain’s second largest city.


Big City Plan
TROVE, Newhall Sq, Birmingham
Thursday 23 June, 6pm, free and drop-in

Birmingham's Big City Plan is the most ambitious and far-reaching citywide development project ever undertaken in the UK: to create a world class city centre by planning for the next 20 years of transformation, to be in the top 20 most liveable cities in the world and to ultimately progress the city’s continued regeneration as a global city with a local heart. As part of the Made In Birmingham series, join Andrew Round, City Centre Development Planning and Regeneration Manager and a panel to discuss future development and proposals.



On the Beach – Sandcastle Competition
Free, Saturday 16 July, 1pm - 5pm, family activity, Weston-super-Mare

Join us for a fun family day on the beach at Weston-super-Mare and create your very own architectural sand sculpture. Prizes will be awarded. The event features as part of the Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival 2011 from 11 June to 4 September. Free but advanced booking required at riba.southwest@inst.riba.org or 0844 800 2767. Teams of up to 6 people. In association with North Somerset Council.


Life’s a Beach – Summer Sandcastle Competition
Family activity, South Beach, Tenby
Free, Saturday 2 July, 1pm - 5pm (spades down 4pm)

Take part in a sandcastle competition on one of west Wales’ most popular beaches. Open to all, this fun family day encourages the creation of sandcastles with an architectural theme. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: tallest sand structure, most technically daring, best overall scheme and people's choice. Free but advanced booking required at rsaw@inst.riba.org or +44 (0)29 2022 8987. Teams of up to 6 people. Supported by Pembrokeshire County Council and Cadw.



Architect in the House
Registration closes 3 July

Take part in Architect in the House, an innovative scheme jointly run by Shelter and the RIBA. The scheme is simple – we match RIBA architects with homeowners where they live and in exchange for a free one-hour consultation, the homeowner makes a suggested donation of £40 to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, and helps people in housing need. Now in its 15th year, Architect in the House has raised over £1.1 million for Shelter.  This year the scheme is proud to be sponsored by TV channel Home. Both homeowners and architects can find out more and sign-up at www.architectinthehouse.org.uk.


Notes to editors

  • For further press information please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office, 020 7307 3813; beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org
  • Unless otherwise stated, entrance to all exhibitions is free, though entrance to gallery talks may require a reservation.
  • The exhibition galleries at the RIBA are open from Mon – Sat, 10.00 – 17.00, (exhibitions may occasionally be closed for events, call 020 7307 3888 to check) and are at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD.  Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street. For further information about the exhibitions go to www.architecture.com/programmes
  • The British Architectural Library is open Tue, Wed, Fri 10.00 – 17.00, Sat 10.00 – 13.30. Photo ID required fro entry. T: 020 7307 3882 or visit www.architecture.com/librarydrawingsandphotographs
  • The V&A+RIBA Architecture Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum are open daily from 10.00 – 17.45. www.vam.ac.uk/architecture


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