Contemplating the bother of Suburbia
Festival review

Generations of planners and architects have tried to ‘solve’ the suburbs. They’d have been better off enlisting the locals, the Architecture Foundation’s Doughnut festival heard: Boris Johnson knew to target it, and the Architecture Foundation thought it worth a day-long festival. The “Doughnut”, or London’s rapidly growing periphery, was the subject of a series of … Continued

Prize announcement:
Treehouse competition winner

To mark LANDSCAPE 2015’s partnership with the London Design Festival, this Summer the Landscape Show ran a treehouse design competition. The brief was to create a space that would work without a tree. The footprint could be no more than 9 square metres and achievable within a £20,000 budget. Otherwise designers were free to run … Continued

Finalists revealed
in Barratt and AJ Future Homes competition

  Will Hurst, Deputy Editor Architects Journal, 26th August 2015 “Ten architects and designers vying to win the prestigious home of the future contest Urban Salon, Levitt Bernstein, Artform Architects, C4 Architecture, Super Green Architecture, HTA Design, HLM, Place by Design, Langstaff Day and ZCD Architects are all in the running for the Barratt Homes/AJ … Continued

When architects only tell one side of the story
Event review

Are architects complicit in creating narratives that ultimately serve to line developers’ pockets? Joanna Day was at an Architecture Foundation debate on the subject. What is the difference between storytelling and lying? This was perhaps the most pertinent question asked at “Selling the Dream”, an event co-produced by the Architecture Foundation and Studio Egret West. … Continued

Learning from the Smithsons
Exhibition Review

Social housing design is back on the agenda but there are no stock answers. Joanna Day joins the conversation at an exhibition by Karakusevic Carson Architects: As an architectural endeavour, housing – perhaps especially social housing – is where design meets many rocks and hard places. It hits up against politics, economics and security, none … Continued

The Impossibility
of Rejecting History

Talk Review

After attending the Royal Academy of Arts with Docomomo’s first Forgotten Masters event focusing on the work of Jean Tschumi (1904-1962), I found myself musing. My musings were less architectural than psychological in nature. It is perhaps dangerous to stray into the realms of amateur psychoanalysis when assessing an architect’s (or one’s own) motivations and … Continued

Speaking Buildings into Existence
Talk Review

It is rare to attend an architectural event with the variety of speakers who presented their schemes at Living Architecture’s packed-out The Next Chapter at the Royal Geographical Society. It prompted me to test out a new hypothesis, namely that the way an architect speaks reflects their style of architecture. I think I’m on to … Continued

Surviving the Century
Exhibition Review

You get a slight sense that the Twentieth Century Society is expecting criticism of 100 Buildings 100 Years. You feel from the way the introductions are written that they expect disagreement about their choice of buildings, choice of exhibition style, even about the size of the photos. Perhaps this is inevitable for an organisation used … Continued

Material Evidence
Talk Review

I left the first Meaning in Materials talk at the RA feeling vaguely troubled. Entitled Material Concerns: A New Dilemma or Age-old Question, it involved four speakers forensically examining some of the intellectual questions surrounding our use of materials today, and left me a little lost. Adrian Forty asked, What is it that architects are … Continued