The Banality of Good: Six decades of New Towns, Architects, Money and Politics


10am - 5pm

*Please note that the exhibition will be displayed in the Lutyens Room on Saturday 20 April.

*The RIBA will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 6 May.

What connects King Abdullah's Economic City in Saudi Arabia to Stevenage in Hertfordshire? Or the city of Songjiang in China to Tema in Ghana? Each are new towns - planned places, quite different in their own way, but each sharing a DNA inspired by an agenda and set of ideals of what makes a place. 

Based on six international cities built between World War II and the present day, this exhibition by Dutch collective, the Crimson Architectural Historians - first shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale in Summer 2012 - looks at the architecture and socio-economic drivers that inspired their development and the complexities of city making.

Showcased through large allegoric triptychs that represent both the dreams and the realities of the towns, it asks: Can the design of New Towns again be a subject of collective pride? Instead of the banality of the icon, the banality of wealth or the banality of fear, like we see in so many new cities at the moment, can it be the Banality of Good?

Associated Talk and Sing-along
The Banality of Good: From Stevenage to the World
Tuesday 26 March, 7.45pm
As part of the Spring Last Tuesday, Crimson Architectural Historians lead an introduction to the exhibition, followed by a musical performance of 'Brasilia' by the singer, guitarist and author Mark Ritsema. Free event - drop in on a first-come, first-served basis.


Admission to all RIBA exhibitions is free.



Please note, galleries may be closed early for special events. Call +44 (0)20 7307 3699 to check opening times.




The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


Stevenage, UK
© Crimson Architectural Historians

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