Festival Update

In June this year we held our first Digital Festival in place of the traditional festival. Both we and our amazing event organisers had many installations and physical events which it just wasn’t possible to deliver in June.

We’re delighted that we can now start delivering many of these physical events as part of a wider Festival Season this autumn.


What makes the LFA unique is that our amazing programme of events each year is delivered not only by us, but by a range of organisations and individuals – helping to radically democratise the discussion about architecture and our city.

This incredible mix of organisers, from world-renowned museums to small community organisations; universities to artists means that our programme of events is equally eclectic. Much like London: there’s something for everyone, and for every architectural taste and opinion.

In addition to our Digital festival in June, this autumn we’re delighted to deliver a smaller programme of physical events which will help us to re-discover the city and its amazing architecture we’ve been missing so much.

Festival Season 2020
Festival Season 2020
Festival Season 2020

2020 theme: Power

From the White House to Downing Street, our buildings are a byword for the power of their inhabitants. From the Pyramids to the Parthenon, for millennia people have used architecture to demonstrate their power and influence. Our theme for the LFA 2020 is Power.

With many in the profession declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’, is there room for imposing symbols of wealth and power in our new sustainable future? From fuel cells in basements to solar cells on roofs – where does our power come from and who’s going to be supplying it? And are architects empowered to lead this green revolution and take real action to address our use of power?

London is a truly global city. As we continue to build taller is there any truth in the maxim that skyscrapers are just phallic symbols, erected by men with a power complex – or are they a pragmatic answer to planning problems?

As a society we’ve long been fascinated by the power and the melodrama of those who have it and those who want it. Perhaps still the greatest guide to power in the modern world, Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, tells those in power that it is better to be feared than loved. Are architects losing their power because they want to be loved?

And who actually holds the power in the profession? Does it lie with regulators, planners, landowners, architects or is the public in ultimate control?

In the workplace too we have seen power shifts, with companies paying closer attention to the way power is distributed along lines of class, gender and race. Despite these moves, throughout society there is still a lot of work to do to challenge preconceptions that still exist about who deserves to hold power, and the importance of feeling empowered.

Leaders of all kinds – whether religious, regal, political or military – have often demonstrated their power by creating moments of disruption, and moments of awe within the urban realm. A walk through London tells a story of shifting power through its built form. In places that story becomes ambiguous: The Houses of Parliament for example, created as an embodiment of the British Constitution, are shrouded in scaffolding and can be seen as a metaphor for our uncertain and unstable times.

The London Festival of Architecture exists to democratise the discussion about architecture and our city. We hope this year will be our biggest conversation yet exploring all aspects of architecture and our theme of ‘power’.


LFA Festival Season programme.


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